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!

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

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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.

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚
We also passed so many cute boutiques and cafรฉs and shops that I know I could easily spend an afternoon strolling around.

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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

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The Great Ocean Road

*late post, ooops*

So I felt like the absolute luckiest person a few weeks ago! Hopped in our little blue Betsy and hit the Great Ocean Road for a 3 day road trip before we officially settled into Melbourne life and new jobs for 6 months. If you are coming to Australia, or if you are already in Australia, do not miss The Great Ocean Road. Every minute of the trip was just breathtaking. Here are my highlights ๐Ÿ™‚

Loch Ard Gorge

Stunning gorge, you walk down to the completely sheltered inlet of water which is perfect for swimming. It’s part of a lot of guided tours but again we were lucky enough to avoid the crowds!
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The Grotto

Very cool rock formations created by the sea. Lots of little rockpools to look at.
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Aireys Inlet Lighthouse

Sweet little town, one of the first places we stopped at. Has the cutest lighthouse and incredible views out over the ocean. We also stopped for lunch in an American style diner here and it was delicious and not too spendy ๐Ÿ™‚
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Sheoak Falls

Wayyy less touristy than Erskine Falls, but it’s smaller. However it’s a nice little walk to get to it, and when you get there it’s really magical, you’re basically standing down a sinkhole and there’s a large pond/small lake that you cannot tell the depth of. It’s peaceful and tranquil with the little waterfall running straight over the edge of the rocks above.
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12 Apostles

Probably one of the most famous natural landmarks in Australia, the 12 Apostles did not disappoint! I was so awestruck we actually visited them twice, the first day in radiant sunshine and the 3rd day under some cloud coverage. They looked magical both times. We were lucky enough to be travelling independently in our little van so we were able to work out what times the coaches would arrive and miss most of the touristy crowds, it might seem super snobbish, but I can’t stand forcing my way through hoards of people and having to duck every second step to avoid photo bombing ๐Ÿ™‚
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Erskine Falls

A huge waterfall surrounded by foliage. We were lucky enough to go the morning after a storm so there was tons of water running down making it all the more amazing. However the rocks were still wet and slippery from the rain, so if you’re going to venture off the set path wear good shoes or risk broken bones!
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We also saw our first koalas in the wild! Just make sure you’re looking up in the trees and you see their furry little butts! My camera is not good enough to have captured any pictures of them but they are definitely there!!

We are now settled in Melbourne and have been for almost a month, I miss the vanlife already but we’ll be back in the road soon enough! So for now let me know if there’s anything I missed on the GOR or that you recommend for our time here in Victoria!

Follow me on instagram: neonwanderlust – I post regularly on there even when I’m being very bad and slow on the blog!

xo