Get in Touch with Nature Without Leaving the City
It’s rarely contested that being around nature has benefits for your health. It ensures you’re spending more time outdoors, gives you a sense of connectedness with the world, and has been found to lower stress and reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. The best news is that even in the city there are many places to get in touch with nature. Here are five of them:
This zoo is home to thousands of animals and species from Australia and overseas, from red pandas to regent honeyeaters, elephants to otters. Find out about the zoo’s conservation and research projects that are helping fight global extinction threats and widespread habitat destruction. Once you’re immersed in Melbourne Zoo, you’ll hardly believe you’re still in the heart of the city.
Melbourne sits atop Port Phillip Bay, and you know what that means—beaches! Sit amongst the brightly coloured bathing boxes at Brighton Beach, hire a sail boat at Williamstown, or walk the famed esplanade at St Kilda beach. If you visit the latter, don’t forget to wander down the historic pier and keep your eyes peeled for waddling penguins.
CERES Community Environment Park
CERES is the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies, and is an award-winning sustainability centre on the Merri Creek in East Brunswick. Formerly a wasteland, CERES is now a lush community space that advocates for economic, social and environmental sustainability. There’s a nursery and organic market on site, and CERES regularly run environmental education and training programs.
Sitting in the Yarra River a mere three kilometres from the city, Herring Island is an excellent place to get in touch with nature. Accessible only by boat or punt, you’ll feel miles away from the bustle and chaos of the city on this little haven. A wander around Herring Island reveals sculptures made of organic materials, fishing spots, barbecue stations and oodles of tranquillity.
Fitzroy Garden Conservatory
This Spanish mission-style conservatory in Melbourne is home to bright and blooming floral displays that are accessible year-round. Opened in March 1930, the Conservatory has a long and successful history of connecting the community to horticulture and nature. It’s a beautiful site to see, surrounded by the layered landscape of the broader Fitzroy Gardens.
Getting in touch with nature can help improve the mental, physical and emotional health of everyone in the community, so find a way to connect with it today. Being engaged with the natural world also reinforces the importance of protecting the environment and the wildlife that call it home, so everyone wins!
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