Split by the Darebin Creek tributary of the Yarra River, the suburb of Fairfield in Melbourne’s mid north-west is set apart by its own community pet.
It is a suburb celebrated for its arts projects, but none attracts more media attention that FIDO, otherwise known as the Fairfield Industrial Dog Object which is kennelled opposite Fairfield Village.
FIDO is made of recycled hardwood on a skeleton of galvanised steel and is designed to symbolise the connection between people and pets.
As the name suggests, FIDO is based on the family dog, but, because of its size and structure, critics have compared it to various mythical creatures, including the Trojan Horse.
FIDO’s charm is enhanced by its ability to interact by wagging its tail, wiggling its ears and talking to passers-by.
You can get away from giant mechanical dogs by paddling a hired canoe up the Yarra. Serious oarsmen will be in their element in one of Australia's oldest rowing clubs, the Fairfield Canoe Club, whose members have been paddling the local reach of the Yarra since 1919.
The river also provide a picturesque setting for one of Melbourne's premier public golf courses, Yarra Bend.