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Yarra Bend Park

Yarra Bend Park provides 223 ha of open space, about half natural bushland and half recreation area, only 4 km from Central Melbourne. Yarra Bend and Studley Park were reserved in 1877 following the closure of the Yarra Bend Asylum, and combined into one large park in the 1920s. The park's eleven ovals are used for cricket, football, soccer and hockey. It has two golf courses (18-hole and 9-hole par-3) and two orienteering courses. The Deep Rock Swimming Club operated in the park from 1906-57. The golf club house, opened in 1936, is an example of American country club architecture. Boating is popular at Studley Park and nearby Fairfield Park boathouses. A trail network provides opportunities to walk, cycle, picnic or barbecue, and a Koorie garden established in 1990 recalls the area's Aboriginal past. The park is popular for geological excursions. The oldest rocks exposed in the park are marine sandstones and mudstones from over 400 million years ago, best seen in cliff faces at Dight's Falls. The other major soil type is basaltic, brought by lava flows in the last two million years. Over 230 indigenous plants (flora) have been found in the park. Many indigenous mammals and birds make their homes there. The Eastern Freeway bisects the park, but attempts to lay the Brunswick-Richmond power line through it in the 1980s failed in the face of strong community opposition.

Brian Carroll