Fancy a spot of jogging? Or maybe a gorgeous walk to stretch out any left over, cold winter muscles. Then the iconic Tan Track that circumnavigates our splendid Royal Botanic Gardens, parallel to the perimeter of the fence, might be just the thing.
More fondly known as 'The Tan', this 3.8-kilometre track is a big hit with Melbourne's joggers and runners, including professional athletes. If you prefer to meander it slowly at a more leisurely pace, it might be best to avoid weekends, as it can get rather busy – and speedy!
There's no need to break records, as did Graig Mottram in 2004, who broke Robert de Castella and Steve Moneghetti's records and sped around the track in a whirlwind 10 minutes and 12 seconds. Besides the fact that I'd fall into a heap if attempting anything faster than a slow jog, sprinting allows no time to soak up the beautiful views.
You can start at any given point at the various entrances to Kings Domain (along St Kilda Road, Domain Road, Anderson Street and Alexandria Parade). A popular starting point is the bottom of the Alexandra Street hill, so you can tackle it while fresh. The rest is then almost a 'walk in the park'.
And it's a pretty stunning park too, one home to a beautiful ornamental lake and all manner of trees, flowers and bushes, both indigenous and imported. If all that exercise has you in need of some sustenance, you can have a very good coffee or bite to eat at The Terrace or Observatory Café.
So popular is The Tan that it hosts the annual Go The Tan fundraising event each February. Participants can run, jog or walk and all proceeds go towards researching a cure for Friedreich Ataxia, a fatal, degenerative, neurological disease.
If you'd like to explore The Tan further, it's best to get more info from those in the know, those who live to run. Check out CoolRunnings for more tips.