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Grey Flying Fox in flight, Eastern Park colony, Geelong

I am currently working on the Geelong chapter for the next guidebook, so expect some urban and parkland walking posts over the new couple of weeks.  Today, Indie (the co-author of Melbourne Dogs!) and I took in the relaxing stroll which is the Sri Chimoy Peace Mile circuit, around Geelong’s Eastern Park, which is right in the city centre. This loop beneath ancient cypruses runs around the gorgeous Geelong Botanic Gardens and is very popular with runners, walkers and their dogs.  There are views across Corio Bay, a chance to visit one of a series of global geoglyphs (huge rock sculptures, designed to be seen from the air) and a huge colony of screeching grey flying foxes!

Best of all, the walk ends up at the Geelong Botanic gardens – Australia’s 4th oldest – which may be small at only 5 hectares, but which is perfectly formed.  There is an exciting 21st century garden which you walk through before heading into the original heritage gardens with its iconic Chilean Wine Palm, edible gardens, bunya pine lawns, ferneries, a glass conservatory and wonderful Tea Rooms set on the sweeping green lawns. Unusually, dogs are allowed into the gardens as long as they are on lead and well behaved. A genuine urban oasis.

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Succulent display, 21st Century Gardens - Geelong Botanic Gardens

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