Formed in 1994 in a radical reform of Victorian local government boundaries, the City of Manningham strikes an unusual balance between city and country. Although the municipality is only 12km from the Melbourne CBD, a green belt flanking the Yarra River underpins the city’s open space and parkland. The significant green areas include Mullum Mullum Creek Linear Park and the bordering Currawong Bush Park, Ruffley Lake Park (the Municipal Gardens), Stiggants Reserve, Tindals Wildflower Reserve and Westerfolds Park. Following the broad sweep of the Templestowe reach of the Yarra, a manor house overlooking ancient river red gums gives Westerfolds its gracious, rural character. It is at its most handsome in its ensemble of wattle blooms in spring when the park invites visitors to step on to the observation deck to watch the river bubble over rapids, take a canoe ride, absorb the sights from horseback or meet the native creatures of the night on a the ranger-led nocturnal walk.