As the name suggests, it is built on the site of the old Mentone Racecourse, which was in operation from 1888 until 1948. It was then used as a training track until most of it was converted into a housing estate in the early 70’s. And luckily for those new residents (and us) a large area was preserved and made into the gorgeous park and lake we see today.

Fittingly the reserve has a horseracing theme throughout. The main structure has a long ramp flanked by images of horses leading to the finish line. Little ones love the horse springers and there are two large horses resting under a tree that are worth a little sit on.

There are slides, climbing wall, fireman’s pole, a tunnel, rope ladder, tic-tac-toe, curved vertical rope climbing frame. The flying fox is a big draw card to the park for the bigger kids. There is a maze to explore and a sandpit with two diggers and a rocky creek bed leading down to the lake with a musical turtle. Further around the lake is an area with four swings (including one with a harness), two stand-on spinners and a carousel.

There are shelters with tables and BBQ plus shaded and unshaded seats scattered about the area. Toilets, water taps. Plenty of grass for the sporty types – a basketball key and hoop, oval with soccer net at one end, and AFL goals at the other, and a wall for tennis practice. Dogs are allowed on lead and make sure you bring a picnic, as there are countless lovely spots to set up your rug.

40-50 Glenelg Drive, Mentone