To wander around Queens Park today with its lush greenery and manicured lawns you would never think that the land you are standing on is steeped in history. The park received it's royal name as a means of honouring and commemorating the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887, but the really interesting stuff happened years before that.
Queens Park was originally used as a water reserve for the Doutta Gala Aboriginal tribes and travelling livestock. It was also the first camp stop for fortune seekers on their way out to the gold fields. Even more famously, the site was where Bourke and Wills set up camp on the first night of their "Victorian Exploring Expedition" in 1860.
Today the park is a lot of things to a lot of people.
There are plenty of nooks and crannies to spread out a blanket and set up a picnic. Whether you are looking for some sun or some shade or even a picnic bench, Queens Park has the lot. And if you forget the picnic basket, Valley Seafood across the road on Ascot Vale Road can cook you up some fish and chips for the perfect picnic.
Fun, games and fitness If you are up for some activity there is plenty to choose from
Two play equipment areas Open lawns for personal training or a game of Frisbee and soccer
Bocce courts Music stage Plenty of paths for strolling, power walking or running
On site is the Moonee Ponds Bowling Club and Queens Park Swimming Pool
The original caretakers cottage, which dates back to 1891, has been turned into a café serving Devonshire tea, ice creams and other snacks. One of the playgrounds is situated close to the café so parents can keep an eye on the kids while enjoying a coffee.
With so much on offer, the park attracts all sorts of people, so it is the perfect place for a spot of people watching.
On weekends you are also likely to spot wedding parties in all their finery as the picturesque surroundings have made Queens Park a popular location for wedding ceremonies and photos.
Take time to smell the roses
Queens Park is more than just a park; it is an area of beautifully kept gardens, wildlife and landmarks. While exploring the park you will come across
The ornamental lake complete with fountain and three islands
A sunken garden
The Avenue of Oaks
Ornamental garden beds
A rose garden
War memorial and memorial plaques
Bourke and Wills sculpture
Plenty of bird life (note that Moonee Valley City Council prohibits feeding the ducks and swans)