William Ricketts Sanctuary is a beautiful, peaceful and tranquill garden hidden in the Dandenongs. The Sanctuary was created by William Ricketts who was a sculpture and artist who carved the most beautiful sculptures out of wood and trees, Ricketts lived there until his death in 1993 and the sanctuary is now owned by Victorian Government.
Ricketts had a connection with Aboriginal spiritual world and most of his work reflects this. Not only are you walking though lush green forest but you are walking a story trail of the Native Australian Aboriginal.
The Sanctuary is almost like a small forest, trees are everywhere. I recommend that if you visit the sanctuary that you wear sensible footwear as the ground can sometimes get a little slippery if it is wet. There is a small cave area where you can watch a video and learn about Mr Ricketts himself and how he completed his work.
The Sanctuary is open all year around apart from Christmas day but it may shut if there are bad weather conditions.
Address: 1402-1404 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Mount Dandenong VIC 3767, Australia
An off-the-beaten-track tip within Melbourne itself - Lysterfield Park is to be found on the eastern periphery of the city.
It's a place of bush walks and mountain bike tracks, horse riding, picnics by the lake and lots of water activities, including boating and swimming from protected sandy beaches in the middle of the bush.
It's not a spectacular 'must see' but certainly worthwhile checking it out if int he Belgrave/Puffing Billy area. And it's a great place to spot kangaroos.
An hour's drive from Melbourne is the Yarra Valley, famed for its vineyards and superb wines. Day trips can be organised from the city to take you out to the many of the best vineyards and to give you a real taste (literally and metaphorically!) of the wine growing area and regional Victoria.
As well as the vineyards, there's TarraWarra Museum of Art (wonderful cafe and vineyard too!), the township of Healesville (famous for its animal sanctuary and state park).
(These pictures are there to also point out that Australia is not all about red dust and perpetual sunshine!).
(See also State of Victoria pages)
The Avenue of Honour is a part of the Maribyrnong River Trail and represents an era when values and beliefs were different to what they are today and, as such, makes for a fascinating historic record of times past. Old people such as myself will find the interpretive signs of much interest. The young will mostly pass on, disinterested by such a topic.
The avenue came about because of the Essendon League, a group of civic minded citizens who decided to plant a row of 12 cypress trees, part of their riverside beautification scheme, and name them after British Naval ships of WWI, nine of which were sunk in the Battle of Jutland.
The original plan to commemorate the locals who had fallen in battle became superflous when local council decided to have a Soldiers' Avenue in a different part of the city.
The original trees are no longer there though their stumps house the explanatory signs. Kauri trees, that last much longer, have replaced them.
This 4 km loop walk is certainly not "Off The Beaten Path" for Melbournians but is included here because very few tourists will have done it and that's a bit of a shame for a few reasons, not the least being because it's a nice thing to do and you can get exercise doing it. If you can find Raleigh Road Bridge or Chifley Drive you'll be in the right area of Maribyrnong.
If you're in the CBD take the 57 tram out of Elizabeth Street and alight at stop 41 and you're there.
All along this short walk there are interpretive signs with lots of interesting information, the most dramatic being a record of the flood levels over the years.
This is a yearly summer event at Werribee Zoo, near Melbourne. Every Sat and Sun evening from early Jan to early March. Includes wild life safari at the open zoo, African food and African music & dances. See details at their website
My travelling mate happened to be a devout Christian (though not a Catholic), so a visit to a cathedral was on the card. Anyway, we were in Fitzroy Gardens, so a visit to St.Patrick's Cathedral wasn't a task that was out of the way.
St.Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, is the cathedral church of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne. It is known internationally as a leading example of the Gothic Revival style of architecture.
Plans for the cathedral started in 1847, the cathedral was consecrated in 1897 and finally completed in 1939. Since the Catholic community of Melbourne in the early days was almost entirely Irish, the Cathedral was dedicated to St.Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
The Cathedral is built on a traditional east-west axis, with the altar at the eastern end, symbolising belief in the resurrection of Christ. The plan is in the style of a Latin cross, consisting of a nave with side aisles, transepts with side aisles, a sanctuary with seven chapels, and sacristies. It is 103.6 metres long on its long axis, 56.4 metres wide across the transepts and 25.3 metres wide across the nave. The nave and transepts are 28.9 metres high. The central spire is 79.2 metres high and the flanking towers and spires are 61.9 metres high.
The view is both breathtaking from afar and from near-by. A wonderful piece of architecture.
When we took a visit to the Collingwood Community Centre we were amazed at the Mosaics and the Gardens and the real community spirit that we found in the middle of Melbourne.
Collingwood Community Centre is built at the bottom of a huge set of high rise apartments (units, flats) that are owned by the Ministry of Housing. The high rise apartments are rented out to families or singles.
We had a tour of some of the flats, had a meal prepared by the local College, with food from thier own community garden. The Mosaics are amazing. We also toured the local open space area and took in the local scenery. The Mosaics were all laid by members of the public housing estate.
An absolutely amazing place in the heart of the suburbs!
Hoddle Street, Collingwood
One of the off the beaten path things to do in Melbourne is to walk around the Universities and enjoy the sculptures.
This particular sculpture is by Inge King, who is a fairly well known sculptor in these parts. This was sculpted for Kaye Fox in memory of her parents, Earnest and Fannie Kaye Fox.
At the Yarra river side walk there are lots of nice warm sweet cafes , stylish restaurants , chic bars , unique shopping ( lots of brand name )along the river . The crown casino 's right at the corner of the river too .You will find it with spectacular views of the city ( esp. in the night ime ) The river precinct is melbourne's pulsating heart of entertainment and leisure.