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Royal Park

Royal Park is the largest open space in the City of Melbourne, covering 170 hectares. It is protected under the Victorian Heritage Register and its vast native vegetation landscape is an oasis on the edge of the city.

A person walking two dogs through a bushland park

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Located in Parkville, the park sits north of Flemington Road and stretches northwards to Park Street.

Royal Park is situated on land of importance to the people of the Eastern Kulin Nation. The park is also historically significant as the starting point of Burke and Wills' ill-fated expedition to the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1860. It was also the site of the Acclimatisation Society of Victoria (1861), part of which later became the Royal Melbourne Zoological GardensOpens in new tab.

Royal Park was the site of a major Australian military camp and training ground during the First World War (1914-1918) and was used for the mobilisation of ANZACs to the Western Front. It was also a camp for both Australian and US troops during the Second World War prior to their deployment to Pacific War campaigns (1941-1945).

The 1984 redesign of the park created wide open spaces, which make it hard to believe you are still in the city. Stretches of open grass alternate with areas of lightly timbered eucalypt forest, sports grounds, wetlands and gardens.

Using technology to understand park usage

We are trialling the use of sensors at Royal Park to improve our open spaces. 

Beginning with the Nature Playground, sensors in key locations will capture data to help us understand the way the park is being used over time. Learn more at Participate MelbourneOpens in new tab.

Things to do

  • Walk, run or cycle along the many footpaths and Capital City Trail, and keep an eye out for wildlife, especially near water features. 
  • Enjoy a meal outdoors using the picnic and barbecue facilities. 
  • Explore the Australian native garden, designed by landscape architect Grace Fraser in 1977.
  • Take part in a range of sporting activities on the many sportsgrounds including the Royal Park Golf CourseOpens in new tab and Melbourne Sports CentreOpens in new tab on Brens Drive. Check our directory for more sporting clubs and activities in the park.
  • Let the kids run wild in the award-winning nature playground which includes a sandpit and water play area, rocks and ropes to climb over, swings, and a grassy hill for rolling. 
  • At Trin Warren Tam-boore wetlandsOpens in new tab, bird watching is popular and there is a self-guided nature walk. 
  • Let your dog have a run in the designated off-leash areas.


Nature Play at Royal Park is on the corner of Flemington Road and Gatehouse Street, Parkville. This accessible, nature-based play space features plants and play elements representing the seven Wurundjeri seasons, as a way to encourage discovery and understanding of Indigenous Melbourne. It includes a climbing forest and a rocky escarpment with slides, swings and water play.

Manningham Street Reserve Playground is located in north-west corner of the park. It is a favourite with all ages featuring timber equipment, slide, swing and rockers.

For more information, see Playgrounds.

Dog off-leash areas

Off-lease map of Royal Park

Sports grounds

Seasonal sports ground hire includes cricket, soccer and baseball. For more information, see Sports grounds and facilities.

Designations, policies and plans

How to get there

​Take an Upfield line train to Royal Park Station, or trams 58 and 59 (Flemington Road), tram 19 (Royal Parade) or bus 505 (Poplar Road).

See PTV journey plannerOpens in new tab for more public transport information.

Royal Park

our acknowledgement

  • Torres Strait Islander Flag
  • Aboriginal People Flag

The City of Melbourne respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land we govern, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Bunurong / Boon Wurrung peoples of the Kulin and pays respect to their Elders past and present. 


We acknowledge and honour the unbroken spiritual, cultural and political connection they have maintained to this unique place for more than 2000 generations.

We accept the invitation in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and are committed to walking together to build a better future.