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Tucked away in the midst of suburbia is a jewel the locals don't want you to know about. McAlpin Reserve is the go-to site in Ringwood North for Sunday picnics, school day playdates, ponding and open lush grassy space. It's the closest you can get to an oval without the goal posts.
McAlpin Reserve is easy to miss. Set back some 150m from Wonga Road, it is literally surrounded by houses, accessible either via a single birch-tree lined drive, or by foot/bike from the surrounding suburban streets.
The land on which McAlpin Reserve is situated was a gift from the McAlpin Family whose forebear, James McAlpin settled in Ringwood in 1895 and established an orchard on both sides of the road.
Wide grassy space is just-the-ticket for rough-and-tumble ball games. A walk around McAlpin Reserve takes you under a wisteria covered archway, around a clump of palms and giant yukkas, past blossom laden trees and cascading mini waterfalls, across bridges, and under the cool shade of pine trees.
The pond boasts plenty for ponding enthusiasts with two arched bridges, a couple of mini waterfalls, plenty of creepy critters to view more closely in the jar you've brought from home, and board walk for minimising the chance of wet feet.
For your dining convenience you'll find 5 picnic tables, 3 free undercover barbecues, wheelie bins, bench seats and drinking fountains. The toilet facilities include a baby-change cubicle and disabled facilities. It is difficult to think of anything this parkland does not offer.
Approximately 13 parking spaces are provided including one for disabled access patrons. Given most regulars access the parkland from the surrounding streets, parking is unlikely to be a problem. Entry to the parkland is flat and all paths are paved. Buses 906 and 364 stop on Wonga Road.
Dogs are permitted on lead, but bikes and horses are prohibited.