We all know Melbourne parks are top notch, but it looks like park lovers elsewhere in the world have noticed how great they are too. Fitzroy Gardens and Royal Park has been awarded the Green Flag Award this year, placing it among the world's best parks.
The Green Flag Award, which is managed in England by the Keep England Tidy initiative, is given out by green space experts who judge parks across eight criteria including "horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability, community involvement and providing a warm welcome".
Royal Park was a shoe-in for the award; the park is the largest in Melbourne at 170 hectares and features a diverse landscape with grasslands and wetlands. We're not surprised it made the cut, the park even has its own train station and is next door to Melbourne Zoo, a golf course and a huge tennis club. Even the playground, Nature Play, won an award last year for the best playground in the country.
The park lovers judging the Green Flag Award were also impressed by East Melbourne's Fitzroy Gardens, which attracts 2.5 million people every year. The park completed at multi-million dollar makeover in 2015, which featured a new visitor centre, one of the city's largest water harvesting facilities, as well as a new garden area.
Four other Australian parks made the cut: Sydney's Centennial and Sydney Parks, and Brisbane's Roma Street and Southbank Parklands'.