It is refreshing to see an active arts group operating in Warrandyte and includes Craft, Painting, Pottery, Music, Theatre, Dance, Photography and a host of other arts related activities all housed in a 75 year old Mechanics Institute Hall.
Like most arts groups this is starved of funds and relies on the great work of a team of dedicated volunteers to continue with its history that stretches back over 50 years.
A unique way to explore some of the colourful history of Warrandyte is by way of 6 "sound posts" located at various sites and each give commentaries about the history of the area. Simply push the button and listen in as you are taken on a sound journey
Each post is designed to develop an individual theme and they are to found at the following locations.
Warrandyte Historical Society Museum
First official discovery of gold in Victoria
History of the post office building
The Victory and Whipstick Gully mines
Traditional goldmining techniques
How to pan for gold
Whipstick Gully - sights and sounds in the 1890s
'With a swag upon my shoulder' sung by children from Warrandyte Primary School
The 1939 bushfires - Bill McCullock remembers
Warrandyte Mechanics Institute
The early hotels
Story of the Warrandyte Mechanics Institute
From this viewpoint - in the 1890s
'Look out below' sung by children from Andersons Creek Primary School
Panning for gold
Crushing the quartz
Playing the steam organ
The Stonehouse building - Daisy & Violet
'The Caledonia Mine' and the 'Diorite Dyke'
A real miner's story (Bill Hartrick)
Photo above is the sound post located beside the Warrandyte Mechanics Institute - all sound posts provide FREE entertainment.
Gold, gold, GOLD went the cry in the early 1850's as the first gold found in the Colony of Victoria was found not at Ballarat, but at Warrandyte (then known as Anderson's Creek), which today is an outer suburb of Melbourne.
In 1870 a public company was founded to dig a tunnel through a natural bend in the Yarra River, divert the water and then pan the 5 kilometres of river bed for alluvial gold. Sadly the company ran into considerable difficulties and never paid a dividend and wound up in 1872.
The tunnel still carries water and is somewhat of a canoeing/kayaking dare-devil trip through the tunnel, which is 196 metres long, 6 metres wide and 4 metres deep.
The park also contains walking and cycling tracks, BBQ and pic-nic facilities as well as guided Abseiling, Mountain Bike Riding, Rafting and Rock Climbing.
Photo shows the tunnel mouth.
Park opening hours are 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM, extended to 8:00 PM during daylight savings period.
It was our anniversary dinner and we choose Boleros in nearby Warrandyte to celebrate 39 years of marriage - and glad we made that choice.
Warm cosy fire for the cold spring night, great food and great service and a memorable night. We decided to try the restaurants version of paella - and glad we made that choice. A shared starter in anticipation of a huge serving of rice, chicken and seafood that is the basis for a good paella and washed down with a chilled white wine. Next time we'll have the other house speciality for 2 - Chateaubriand
We were too full to have dessert, so again shared although I was a little disappointed that a restaurant with French and Spanish influences failed to have an option of cheese instead of dessert, so a few mouth fulls of the dessert and washed down with strong black coffee.
Open Wednesday to Monday and booking essential for Friday and Saturday evenings.
Photo above taken outside business hours.
The easiest way to explore Warrandyte is by car, however if that is not an option there are frequent bus services to/from Warrandyte from the city or from Ringwood rail station. As nearly all there is to see/do is along the main street (Yarra Street) the bus is a great option, so long as you've got a Met Card.
Suggested is the 304 Ventura Bus from City to Ringwood via Warrandyte, or the 305 City to Warrandyte (via Doncaster) services - allow around 45 - 60 minutes off peak for the trip. Check timetables from the web site below.
Just past the Warrandyte Bakery and before the bridge along Yarra Street is a shop which has a Pandora's box of treasures of all shapes, sizes and prices. Walk down the brick steps and walk into a wonderland of all things old - and a few new ones too - and duck the head in case of low-flying bric-a-brac. There is almost a fire hazard of price tags dangling from anything that doesn't move in the 5 or 6 rooms crammed full of treasures - so many rooms and corridors that I thought the business should be re-named Rabbit Warren and Moles, but that name didn't seem quite right. There's even creaking floor boards for added atmosphere and a few steps that are easy to miss as you spot something in a display case or on one of the countless number of shelves that looks interesting.
Haggling over prices could be tried, but as I walked out without buying anything I cannot verify if bargaining is allowed or not - no harm in tying.
If you come out of the place empty handed, then you have not been looking - or you're like me and a non-shopping mere male.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 11am - 5pm. Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday & Mondays except for public holidays.
What to buy: The business supports the local wildlife rescue service - and your contributions will go to a worthy cause.
Now I know its cute to feed ducks that swim or fly towards you for a free feed, but you could be causing the death of the very animals that you enjoy watching.
Ducks, like humans, are supposed to have a balanced diet and bread - particularly white bread - can be fatal to our feathered friends as they can gorge themselves on the free handout rather than foraging for their own balanced meal. Ducks have been known to choke on bits of bread that are too large for them.
Another thing to consider is that by feeding ducks they are becoming less timid of people and can therefore be more susceptible to attacks from dogs or children (sadly adults too) trying to capture them.
So PLEASEdon't feed the ducks.