I will be reviewing a different park in the eastern suburbs each week, as well as a local café. The reviews will be from the point of view of a how dog friendly they are so I won’t be reviewing any playground equipment or bbq facilities.
For my first review I chose to visit Ruffey Lake Park and Café Mania in Doncaster East.
Ruffey Lake Park
I initially parked in the main carpark on Victoria Street to check out the amenities. This area of the park is on lead only and dogs are not allowed in the playground area.
There are plenty of bins and drinking fountains as well as well as three separate toilet blocks in convenient locations throughout the park. There are no dog waste bags supplied so you will need to bring your own. The main external trail is 3.6km’s and there are several other trails running through the park if a shorter walk is desired. There are some small hills while walking on the paths, but nothing strenuous. If venturing off the trails the hills are decidedly larger.
After walking around the trails near the Victoria St entrance, I decided to drive around to The Boulevarde entrance. There are several parking spots provided as well as plenty of on street parking. The majority of this area of the park is off lead. There is plenty of room for dogs to run around and explore. Swimming in the lakes is discouraged but as long as dogs don’t disturb the wildlife then it is allowed. Considering I visited the park on a weekday when it was quite cold, there were still quite a few people walking around, with and without dogs. For dogs that need their space, there are multiple trails and many different open areas so no need to worry about being bombarded with unruly dogs or children.
There are no cafés within walking distance of the park so I decided to drive 5 minutes down the road to Café Mania in Jackson Court. There are a few other cafés in the same locale but I chose this one as it had the comfiest looking outdoor chairs. There was also a water bowl for dogs. There are a couple of umbrellas and a small undercover area if it rains. I ordered a cappuccino and the big breakfast. The cappuccino was decent but had a bit too much froth for my liking. The food was tasty, although the toast was plain and would have been nicer if it was something a bit fancier like sourdough. Being a cold and windy day, the food cooled down quickly so heating the plates would have been a nice touch.
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Rebecca runs Hound Hikes and is a professional dog walker and brunch enthusiast. Group or private dog walks are available.
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