Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Ruffey Lake Park, Doncaster

One of my favourite parklands is Ruffey Lake Park. The huge patch of green is a whopping 68 hectares and stretches from The Boulevard to Victoria St in Doncaster.

Ruffey Lake Park

The lake itself lies in the centre of the park and has wetlands and boardwalks to explore.
Ruffey Lake Park
With a few different walking tracks to choose from, you can climb rolling hills...
Ruffey Lake Park
 ...meander along flat paths beside the water...
Ruffey Lake Park...and stroll through rows of Monterey Pines, planted as windbreaks by the orchardists who first pioneered the area.Ruffey Lake Park
The track takes you past former quarries where sandstone and mudstone was sourced to build the houses for the German families who settled here in the 1800's.

Ruffey Lake Park

Ruffey Lake ParkRuffey Lake Park
As the trail opens up again closer to Victoria St, Finger's Bunya Pines can be seen on the left. Planted in 1900, either side of the orchard gate, the smaller one was burnt in a fire soon after and was unable to reach the lofty heights of its neighbouring tree.

There are still a few buildings in the area that were part of the orchardists estates, and Schramm's Cottage on Victoria St is worth a look for a journey back in time to the Doncaster of yesteryear.
Ruffey Lake Park
One of the first trees to be planted around Doncaster, The Old Pear Tree, still going strong at the ripe old age of 166 years. About 119 varieties of fruit trees once stood in these former orchards.
Ruffey Lake ParkA few more trees that I like to visit are the ones my family has planted on National Tree Day. These were planted by my husband and daughter two years ago...

Ruffey Lake Park
...and this year, my son and I joined them and we planted about a dozen more trees and shrubs in the same area.  I look forward to visiting them in the future and watching them grow tall and strong.

Ruffey Lake Park
What: Ruffey Lake Park
Where: The Boulevard, Doncaster
When: Daily
Why: walks, history
How Much: FREE
Nearby: Schramms Cottage

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