Monday, 5 December 2011


Yarra Bend Park is a 260 hectare (642 acre) park in the Melbourne suburb of Kew. It is located 4 km northeast of Melbourne's CBD and is the largest area of natural bushland left in inner Melbourne. The most notable feature of the park is the Yarra River which flows for 12 km through it. The park hosts two golf courses, two historic boathouses, sheds and a number of cycle and walking trails. It receives approximately 1.5 million visitors per year.

The largely native vegetation has been supplemented by early plantings of some exotics, for example European shade trees.
Studley Park is named after settler John Hodgson's house, which in turn was named after a town in Yorkshire, England. Both Studley Park and Yarra Bend were held back from sale, the former for recreation, the latter for public institutions. Amalgamated in 1924 after the closure of Yarra Bend Asylum, they were connected by Kane's Bridge until it was destroyed by flooding. It was replaced by the present bridge in 1935.

Too bad about the graffiti...
Another view of Kane's footbridge that spans the Yarra River.
The whole area is exceptional for its diversity of flora, all the more surprising given the industrial history of the inner north-east. However, it is no pristine natural environment, with many species, particularly low-growing grasses and flowers, having been lost because of pollution, grazing and trampling. Studley Park has been popular for picnicking and walking since the 1830s.

A beautiful specimen of  Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha).
More wattles (Cootamundra Wattle) and gum trees along the Yarra River.
A close-up of the Cootamundra Wattle (Acacia baileyana)
In the 1860s boating and swimming became popular, reaching their peak in the interwar years. The Studley Park Boathouse, established as the Burn's Boathouse, has been in continuous use since 1863. The park's popularity waned mid-century as motor cars expanded leisure choices. Since the early 1980s revegetation and the construction of the Main Yarra Trail have led to a resurgence of popularity.

The Studley Park Boathouse
One can enjoy a scrumptious Devonshire Tea or a light meal from the Boathouse Kiosk or Cafe, whilst overlooking the banks of the Yarra River. Alternatively, step it up a notch and dine at the elegant upstairs restaurant (formerly Beate’s)
Remember, this is Australia’s oldest operating boathouse!
You can hire a rowboat, canoe or kayak and have a paddle down the river. Or for those a little more adventurous, try tackling Dights Falls
Or simply enjoy the tranquil views...
Feed the fowl!
Or watch them parade on the lawns...
Cross Kane's Bridge and walk along the trails. The Capital City Trail and Yarra River Trail pass through the park and can be used by both cyclists and pedestrians. For the golf enthusiasts, there are two courses within the park
Looking at this magnificent bushland, hearing the sounds of native bird calls and the flow of the Yarra River filling your ears it’s so easy to forget that you’re only ten minutes out of the city
But please, please, please! Respect the park, don't litter, don't damage the trees and plants, take care of the wildlife and allow others to it like you do! 
Here is a map (courtesy Google!) showing the CBD centre (as a red circle) and the Studley Park Boathouse marked (A).


  1. Very nice pics taken in my backyard!

  2. Gorgeous place! How lucky you are to live close to such beauty!

  3. The citizens were very lucky that when the land was amalgamated in 1924, after the closure of Yarra Bend Asylum, it didn't go into private hands. Lots of large institutions and estates were broken up, especially between 1892-1918, yet it didn't do the public any good at all.

    One of my favourite Melbourne artists, Clara Southern, painted the region extensively. I have a beautiful painting she did of the Yarra with wattle filling the canvas with yellow.

  4. This looks like a marvelous place to spend some time... walking! Lovely photos.

  5. Lovely photos of the park, it looks like a beautiful place to visit. Have a great weekend!


  6. · I hardly ever understand English but I can enjoy your photos.

    · regards
    CR & LMA

  7. The brownish hue of the river reminds me of the Fraser River here in BC. The contrasting row of red boats unused and lazing on the water make a lovely picture … and I agree … too bad about the graffiti.

  8. What lovely shots of this beautiful park!

  9. Great photos of the park. Like the bridge and the trees very much:)

  10. That was a lovely tour of the park. I'm sure I would love to visit it in person as well.

  11. Nice shot, great trip, i like the oldest operating boathouse.