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Published April 16th 2015
Hidden park in Mentone ticks all the boxes
Hidden away in the back streets of Mentone is a fantastic park for all ages. Mentone Racecourse Reserve (affectionately known as the 'Duck Park' to locals) ticks all the boxes as a great spot to take the kids or dogs, meet friends, or have a BBQ.
As the name suggests, it is built on the site of the old Mentone Racecourse, which was in operation from 1888 until 1948. Most of the racecourse was converted into a housing estate in the 70's, but thankfully a large area was preserved as parklands for the local community.
A large ornamental lake is home to dozens of ducks and other wildlife, which are kept well-fed by young visitors. The lake also features several water fountains. A walking track surrounds the lake, and extends around the exterior of the entire reserve. It is a popular spot for joggers, dog-walkers, and families.
With a nod to it's history, the large playground has a horse-racing theme, featuring two large horse statues, horse springers, and a long ramp flanked by horse images. There are also the usual playground staples - multiple slides, swings, fireman's pole, climbing walls, and tunnels.
Horse Racing-themed playground at Mentone Racecourse Reserve
In addition, there is a decent-sized flying fox, birds nest swing, wooden maze, and diggers in a sandpit.
There is also lots of space for the sporty types - a basketball key and hoop, oval with soccer net at one end, and AFL goalposts at the other, and a wall for tennis practice.
There are multiple sheltered areas with barbecues and picnic tables, making this a popular spot for get-togethers and kids parties. There are also public toilets, drinking fountains, and ample car parking along Glenelg Drive.