If you're looking for a nice green spot for a lazy weekend walk, you can't go past the lush oasis that is Michael Perry Botanic Reserve. Tucked away in suburban streets between Stonyfell and Burnside, this quiet forested oasis features a 1.7km loop trail along Second Creek and amongst its exotic gardens.
These gardens were originally established in the 1870s by an early property owner who landscaped the gardens and imported many exotic species, which are still there today. Second Creek runs right down the centre, filling the reserve with many small ponds and rock pools and the sounds of trickling water. The creek has been enhanced with curved 'rock ramps' to reduce erosion and assist the small native fish to move along the creek.
The walking path along the outside allows for walkers, dogs, and bike riders who enjoy a quick spin around the circuit. The path takes you past the property's old water pump and pumphouse originally used to source fresh water. At the far eastern end of the creek, a fence marks the boundary between the reserve and a nearby quarry, guiding you back along the other side of the creek to complete the circuit.
You'll see a huge assortment of plants here, including palms, pines, gum trees, grasses, succulents, agapanthus – too many to name. There is plenty of fauna for a keen eye too – you'll spot lots of birdlife and aquatic creatures enjoying the water. A series of interpretive signs around the reserve will explain some interesting facts of its history and preservation.
For architecture buffs, look upwards and through the bushes and you'll see many neighbouring houses overlooking the reserve. Some eye-catching houses and historic properties are dotted throughout the reserve with sprawling garden & design features visible.
Take some time to wander into this secluded oasis for a leisurely stroll or picnic and listen to the sounds of nature. You'll never believe that you were right in the heart of suburbia to get a taste of nature therapy like this.