Exploring my own city: Westgate Park

I hate driving over the Westgate Bridge. It’s a real white-knuckle drive, what with the steep drop over the sides and all the B-doubles thundering past. But if I’m a passenger, that’s a different matter. I always look down at the park below and think that I must visit it one day- and today, on a warm, still Anzac Day- I did. Click on the images to enlarge them.

The lake, a former sand mine, turns a brilliant pink at the end of summer, but there was no colour in it today. There were no noisy miners, and so there was lots of bird life: wrens, honeyeaters, wattlebirds, mudlarks, magpies. It’s hard to believe that it was ever the blighted place it was forty years ago. The Age described it in 1979 as ‘scrofulous scenery indeed … dead water, swamp, sick factories, dead wood, haze, gasping barges, wretched refineries, wheezing chimneys, dead grass, institutional putrefaction’. It’s not like that now. There’s been lots of hard work done here by the Friends of Westgate Park since 1999 – a real gift to the people of Melbourne.

Site of Westgate Park 1984 Weston Langford https://www.westonlangford.com/images/photo/400480/

You can read more about Westgate Park here.

5 responses to “Exploring my own city: Westgate Park

  1. The view from the bridge is not what it used to be, with the suicide prevention fencing.

    We’ve visited the park a couple of times, the last when it was really too hot to be walking around so it was a brief visit. It is strange when the water turns pink. Nevertheless, it is great and very naturalised suburban park made from what would be described as wasteland.

    PS We would be much poorer without the photos taken by Weston Langford and your photos are good too.

    • I’ll try to go back and see it when the lake is pink. We were fascinated by the scaffolding under the bridge too. Perhaps there’s always scaffolding there, moving from pylon to pylon?

  2. I can never drive over it without remembering that little girl who was murdered there and the terror she and her siblings must have felt.

  3. I’m not sure I’ve ever driven over this bridge but that tragedy, and the one so well explored by Gandolfo in her novel, keep it vividly in mind.

    But as you say Lisa, the terror of that little girl. It doesn’t bear thinking about. The things people do to children.

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