Once upon a time we liked to tackle challenging bush walks with high degrees of difficulty, but ever since the daughter - now an energetic toddler - arrived on the scene, stroller-friendly walking tracks are a must. That's what led us to Victoria Point's Point Halloran Reserve.
This bayside destination is not the prettiest going around, but it does tick some major boxes in that it's stroller friendly, plus wide and flat enough for the toddler to run along when given the opportunity. For the bigger kids or adults, the path is ideal for bike riding, and there are plenty of benches along the way for those wanting a rest or to spot some wildlife.
Point Halloran Reserve is a composite of dry forest and swampy mudflats. There are two walking tracks to choose from - the Wet and Wild Walk (650m circuit) and the longer Point Halloran Walk (2.8km) which incorporates the smaller circuit. Unfortunately, on the day we visited, the longer walk was inaccessible due to a recent fire so we had no choice but to tackle the shorter Wet and Wild Walk.
On first venturing down the track, we were struck by how eerie and lifeless the place looked due to the charred tree trunks. But as we continued on there were signs of regeneration in the undergrowth, and we even managed to spot a lizard lurking alongside the path. As we continued further into the forest, the trees became healthy and we started feeling optimistic that we may well see one of the many koalas that call the reserve home. Although we lucked out on this occasion, the toddler had a great time thrusting her head skyward and shouting out her new favourite word, "koala."
A few hundred metres into the walk, the terrain transitions to mangrove-lined mudflats. At certain times of day they can be quite pretty and teeming with bird life, but at 9am on a scorching Saturday morning they were just a little bit interesting and a lot smelly.
When the walk was done, the toddler still had enough energy for a few hundred pushes on the swing at the covered playground, just a few metres from the Orana Street car park and entrance. There's also a large grassy area which could easily accommodate a game of cricket, soccer or a picnic.
Although Point Halloran Reserve isn't particularly large, it does provide an opportunity to taste a little bit of nature and get the legs moving. If you're wanting to make a whole day of it, Victoria Point is a quaint little suburb with plenty of cafes. In fact, I can personally vouch for the local bakery.