Dandenong Ranges

We had a day off from work today, the flat was already tidy and clean and the weather was beautiful so we decided to go exploring!

As much as we are loving Melbourne life, we knew that we wanted to get out of the city. We know how gorgeous Victoria can be from our experiences along the Great Ocean Road and today felt like a good day to get back to nature! We just googled national parks near us and Dandenong Ranges was one of the first to pop up. Beautiful forest only 45 minutes away by car, perfect!

One place that caught our eye was The William Ricketts Sanctuary, so that’s where we set the sat nav to head to first! Originally called Potters Sanctuary, it’s a piece of land on Mt Dandenong bought by Australian potter and sculptor William Ricketts in the 1930’s, on which he built hundreds of sculptures, inspired by the Aboriginal people, spirituality and nature. It was bought from him by the Victorian government in the 1960’s and made into a public park where William Rickett lived until his death in 1993.

Below are some pictures of his art that I took this afternoon, enjoy!

2015/01/img_7209.jpg

2015/01/img_7205.jpg

2015/01/img_7202.jpg

2015/01/img_7210.jpg

2015/01/img_7211.jpg

2015/01/img_7216.jpg

2015/01/img_7221.jpg

2015/01/img_7226.jpg

2015/01/img_7227.jpg

2015/01/img_7231.jpg

2015/01/img_7248.jpg

2015/01/img_7241.jpg

2015/01/img_7250.jpg

2015/01/img_7252.jpg

2015/01/img_7265.jpg
I love this kind of ‘outsider art’ and think he was a wonderfully eccentric man with a beautiful soul and the world needs more people like him. Made me want to create my own ‘secret garden’ somewhere 🙂

Afterwards we drove 10 minutes up the road to check out Olinda Falls, recommended to us at the sanctuary.

2015/01/img_7283.jpg

2015/01/img_7279.jpg

2015/01/img_7273.jpg
Not the biggest or most impressive Falls we’ve visited in Australia but the walk to get there through the bush was pleasant and the sound of the water and surrounding kookaburras made it a lovely tranquil spot to just sit and take a breath.

2015/01/img_7270.jpg
We had a bit of a lie-in so it was more of an afternoon of exploring rather than an entire day but we’ll definitely be returning to the Dandenong Ranges as there is so much more left to see and do!

On the way home we stopped at a lovely little tavern for delicious scones and iced coffee 🙂
We also passed so many cute boutiques and cafés and shops that I know I could easily spend an afternoon strolling around.

2015/01/img_7285.jpg
Definitely worth checking out if you’re nearby. Let me know if you’ve been and have any recommendations of what we should do next time, constantly on the lookout for stuff to do around Victoria at the minute.

xo

Advertisements

The Bunya Mountains

Sorry for not blogging sooner but I just had the most amazing birthday weekend in the mountains here in Queensland.

The lover whisked me away from dreary Dalby and our jobs here (hellhole) for 2 nights in the Bunya Mountains (heaven!)

They were only an hour drive from here and so beautiful!

The drive was pretty steep and scary and there were one or two moments where we were unsure if our little van would make it, but make it she did, and I cannot emphasise enough how incredible it was up there!

There were tracks and trails to follow through literally magical rainforest with cool (and massive) trees and so many birds chirping away. There were waterfalls and streams hidden away and every so often you would come to a break in the trees and get the most spectacular views from lookout points.

Here are just a few photos I took, literally could not put my phone away, every 2 minutes there was something I wanted to capture on camera!

20140909-111240-40360731.jpg

20140909-111242-40362556.jpg

20140909-111236-40356819.jpg

20140909-111237-40357652.jpg

20140909-111442-40482976.jpg

20140909-111437-40477362.jpg

20140909-111439-40479236.jpg

20140909-111441-40481232.jpg

20140909-111753-40673309.jpg

20140909-111755-40675825.jpg

20140909-111759-40679605.jpg

20140909-111755-40675077.jpg

20140909-111757-40677725.jpg

20140909-111801-40681643.jpg

20140909-111751-40671553.jpg

20140909-114019-42019562.jpg
We stayed in a cabin called Renyar which we booked through the Bunya Mountains Accommodation site that you can find here.

At $170 a night it wasn’t cheap, but it was my birthday so we splurged!

It was in a brilliant location overlooking a valley and there were constantly wallabies and colourful birds on our doorstep 🙂

It had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, dining room, lounge, fully equipped kitchen and laundry. There was a log fire and we prebooked to have chopped wood ready and waiting for us and it kept the cabin super toasty!

The ensuite had a spa bath with the jets and everything (this was very exciting for me after living in a van and using camp showers for what seems like a lifetime!)

It was cosy, peaceful and homely and we didn’t want to leave, could happily have stayed for another week or two!

20140909-112609-41169720.jpg

20140909-112611-41171437.jpg

20140909-112611-41171657.jpg

20140909-112608-41168778.jpg

20140909-114020-42020600.jpg

20140909-114023-42023223.jpg

20140909-114021-42021216.jpg

20140909-114025-42025102.jpg

20140909-114026-42026975.jpg

20140909-114028-42028933.jpg
We saw loads of other cabins available to rent and there were campsites too so they have something to cater for all budgets.

I was completely spoilt, a weekend of gorgeous scenery, good food, great company and some pamper time was exactly what the doctor ordered. One very happy girly right here!

If you’re in Queensland I highly recommend a visit to the Bunyas, well worth it!

xo