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.
The lake itself lies in the centre of the park and has wetlands and boardwalks to explore.
With a few different walking tracks to choose from, you can climb rolling hills...
...meander along flat paths beside the water...
...and stroll through rows of Monterey Pines, planted as windbreaks by the orchardists who first pioneered the area.
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.
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.
A 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...
...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.