Victoria had a long weekend recently, so we took advantage and headed up the mountain for a picnic lunch. We live a stones throw from Mount Dandenong, and it is such a beautiful place to live. We decided to head to the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, in Sassafras. I have never been there before, which is amazing, given I grew up in the area!
So we drove up the mountain, winding our way past the huge line of cars and people who had decided to visit the Dandenong Ranges National Park and, I’m assuming, the 1000 steps Kokoda Memorial Trail. Yep, you heard right, the 1000 steps. Have you been there? It is a three km 1.5 hour return walk, that was created in the early 1900’s and was adopted by Victoria Veterans of the Kokoda campaign (WW2). Apparently, the walk is very similar to the first 100 metres of the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. People were parked for miles up the road!
We kept going though, and found ourselves at the lovely Alfred Nicholas Gardens. They’re amazing, and we didn’t even get to see the majority of them. Because, you know, small children. We took a picnic and a pram, but the next time we go, I would not take the pram and I would pack the picnic in a back pack. The paths are great, and if you need a pram, they are definitely suitable, but it would have been easier without I think. Unfortunately they were draining the lake for maintenance when we visited, but there was still a lot to see. Ms 3 insisted we would find fairies, and took along her wings to help the search.
The paths lead down to the lake, and to a boat house, and to a fabulous large space, where the kids just wanted to run and run. They found a ‘fairy’ tree, they were amazed by the size of the trees and it was just so wonderfully quiet and peaceful. Just gorgeous.
If you’re in Melbourne, and haven’t been, I recommend making the drive up the mountain. Especially now, as we head into Autumn. The colours are always amazing this time of year, and I think we’ll be taking another trip soon. Plus, all that walking tuckered out the little ones!
Do you like to take breaks in your own backyard? Tell me about it!