I am a mum of two and Primary School teacher whose aim is to never be home during the midday movie. I believe that I am only ever a car trip away from an adventure.
Published November 14th 2013
A Park for all Seasons
Watching the seasons change at the picturesque Emerald Park Lake is simply enchanting. With the glorious native flora and fauna, Lake Treganowan and Lake Nobelious and a huge selection of recreation opportunities and activities this is a spot that promises adventure, exploration, imagination, enjoyment and relaxation. What will you do on the day you visit?
Watch the seasons change
Puffing Billy The iconic Puffing Billy borders the park and at any time you may hear the toot, toot or see it's steam rise above the tree tops. The station of Lakeside is located right in the park and is a wonderful spot to jump on this historical train and head to Gembrook or Belgrave with your legs hanging out the windows. Alternatively it's a perfect spot to jump off the train and enjoy the 50 hectares of this once was nursery whilst awaiting Puffing Billy's return. If you don't necessarily have the time or the inclination for a ride why not bring your camera and take the opportunity to get up close with the magical train and take some memorable shots.
This is a must for all train enthusiast and certainly enjoyable for all ages and interests. Taking up 2000 metres of track this is the largest running mini train in the Southern Hemisphere. It is an amazing teeny world with every detail included, think opening doors on outback toilets, carnivals, mountain climbers and rodeos. Some tiny pieces even move or light up and special "spot this" stations are set up to keep kids focused and intrigued. Open from 11-4, adults tickets are $6 and kids are $4.
Largest train display in the Southern hemisphere
Paddle Boats. Located on Lake Treganowan and reminiscent of bygone days the paddle boats can be hired out and used to escape the shore and enjoy the tranquil still waters. Paddle boats are all two seaters and are a great way to work off your afternoon Devonshire tea or wear out your kids as they rely purely on pedal power. It's also a peaceful and romantic activity to undertake with your sweetheart. Hire is from $11 for 15 minutes to $15 for 30 minutes.
Whilst at the lake you are welcome to bring your own bait and equipment and try some trout or fly fishing. Stop by the Environmental Centre to see what else may be swimming about. Or on warmer days simply jump into the wading pool at the edge of Lake Treganowan and cool off in the fresh water. Entrance is free and is open most days in Summer weather permitting.
Take a trip or a dip or try your hand at a spot of fishing
Walks: If you enjoy a bit more physical activity and want to get a real feel for the majestic views around you, strap on your walking shoes and take to the well developed 15km trail for a spot of hiking. You might be lucky enough to spot some native wildlife or just enjoy the sound of the birds singing, the brook babbling and the leaves rustling. Ofcourse there's no obligation to stay on the track, you can just stroll around the grounds freely stopping and restarting as you wish. There are paths to use or head in your own direction but there are some steeper sections so it's not necessarily for everyone.
Beautiful flora and fauna surrounds you
Playgrounds Two adventure areas are available, one is more old school style with the wooden structure bearing a slide and a couple of swings joined together by bridges made of wooden planks. The second playground is for the more advanced and includes a climbing wall, monkey bars and a strange spinning contraption that would make me giddy but ofcourse kids adore it. There is also a gymnasium section for the biggest kids and is recommended for ages 12 plus. They can try some weight bearing exercises aswell as some cardio movements. Little kids are drawn to this gym section but it can be a bit tricky for them to maneuver and operate the equipment so I advise a parent or caregiver to stay close.
Two playgrounds and one gymnasium to attack
Hungry? There are many options available at Emerald Park Lake to satisfy grumbling tummies. You can choose to bring your own picnic and lay out under the sky and watch the clouds roll above you or use the free electric barbeques to cook up a hearty lunch. Plenty of shelter and tables are available as is an amphitheatre, all can be pre-booked to avoid disappointment. Finally you can take pleasure in a lovely meal at the cafe/tearooms where you can enjoy the ambiance of the surrounds whilst indulging in Devonshire tea, a hot meal, alfresco dining or simply cool down with an ice cream or warm up with a hot chocolate. The cafe is open from 9-4:30.
Plenty of shade and shelter makes this a park for all seasons
You could easily spend a whole day at the Emerald Lake Park and still wish to return to do something else, something new or do it all over again. Whatever your day brings don't forget to roll down a hill, splash in a puddle, collect some pine cones to take home and do a little bit of cloud gazing aswell.