Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Peace Mile Trail, Lake Daylesford

Take an hour to stroll Peace Mile Trail on the edge of Lake Daylesford. On a crisp Autumn morning, the blue sky, the changing colours of the trees and the bright paddle boats all create a postcard perfect photo opportunity.
Peace Mile Trail, Lake Daylesford
Peace Mile Trail, Lake Daylesford
The bright red berries of the holly trees are bursting with colour right now.
Peace Mile Trail, Lake DaylesfordPeace Mile Trail, Lake DaylesfordPeace Mile Trail, Lake Daylesford

Peace Mile Trail, Lake Daylesford
Peace Mile Trail, Lake DaylesfordCross the road and continue around the Lake, past the Lakehouse and the local geese community.
Honk if you love geese. HONK!
Peace Mile Trail, Lake DaylesfordPeace Mile Trail, Lake Daylesford

Peace Mile Trail, Lake Daylesford
Spend another hour (or two) at the Daylesford Bookbarn, where you'll find the shelves loaded with second hand books from all genres. I got myself these 3 beautiful old books, filled with fascinating old photos of Australian buildings.
Bookbarn, Lake DaylesfordBookbarn, Lake Daylesford

Where: Leggatt St, Daylesford
When: Daily
Why: Lake, bird spotting,  bushland, walks, wildlife
How Much:FREE
Nearby:  Wombat Hill

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Healesville Sanctuary

As Zoos Victoria Members, we often visit the 3 Zoos around Melbourne, whenever we have a spare couple of hours.
We usually pick a few favourite animals to see and keep our regular visits fairly short.

I'd read about the Magic Moments wildlife encounters, and was very interested in meeting the beautiful Dingoes at Healesville Sanctuary.

Healesville Sanctuary
On my way to the Dingo enclosure, I happened to meet one of the latest arrivals to the Sanctuary, a Tropical Dingo puppy. She and her sister are the first Tropical Dingo pups to arrive at the zoo.  She was out for a walk with her keeper and was very excited and happy to stop for a quick chat and to plant a big slobbery kiss on my hand. (No chance for a photo of this gorgeous girl, unfortunately).
The great thing about Healesville Sanctuary is that you will often see young animals walking around with their keepers, letting them get to know their environment as well as giving visitors a closer look at them. We've seen a baby Tasmanian Devil wrapped up in a blanket, a baby Wombat shuffling about on the path, and now this Dingo pup. 
Too. Much. Cuteness.

Healesville SanctuaryHealesville Sanctuary

Alpine Dingoes are the current residents at the Zoo. They are bigger than their Tropical cousins, with a rougher, thicker coat for the cooler climate.

I phoned and booked my Magic Moment before I arrived and there was only one other person in my group. 
We were given a safety induction before heading into the enclosure to meet Omeo and Dargo, along with 2 keepers.
They were immediately friendly and enjoyed being patted on their backs - and the other lady in my group received a big wet smooch on the cheek!

Healesville SanctuaryHealesville Sanctuary

The 10 minute encounter was a great way to get up close and personal with these beautiful animals, with lots of pats and photo opportunities. Highly recommended.

Where: Badger Creek Rd, Healesville
When: Daily 9-5

Why:Zoo, wildlife protection, up close and personal
How Much: Zoo Admission $30.80. Magic Moment $12. (Discount for Zoo Members)

Geelong Waterfront

Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside. Breathing in the fresh salty air, listening to the clinking of ropes against masts on sailing boats, watching seagulls fighting over a hot chip and a good walk along a beautiful promenade are up there on my favourites list.

This walk starts at the lovely old Cunningham Pier and meanders along the waterfront. The Bay Walk Bollards, 104 painted woooden sculptures, are scattered along the footpath, the beach and the surrounding grassy area.

Geelong Waterfront The Steam Captain and Sail Captain stand at the entrance to the pier.



The Bathing Beauties are assured of a safe dip in the water, knowing that the Eastern Beach Lifesavers are on duty.

Geelong Waterfront

Geelong Waterfront

Standing on the beach, you can see right across to the hills of the You Yangs.
Watch the helicopter take off for quick joy flights around the bay.

Geelong WaterfrontGeelong Waterfront

The Giant Sky Wheel operates 7 days.
Geelong Waterfront

Run up and down the stairs near the sea baths, Rocky style. 
(I didn't - but feel free to give it a go yourself.) 

Geelong WaterfrontGeelong Waterfront

Reward your exercise with a delicious feed from The Geelong Boathouse, a 100 year old renovated barge. Grab some fish'n'chips to take and eat on the grassy hill outside, or dine in the bistro on the balcony overlooking the bay. 
The seafood is fresh and cooked beautifully, the chips were great!
Geelong WaterfrontGeelong Waterfront

What: Geelong Waterfront
Where: Eastern Beach Rd, Geelong
When: Daily
Why: Seaside promenade, art, scenery, walk
How Much: FREE to walk.

*also nearby Powerhouse Geelong

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Powerhouse Geelong

Whilst visiting Geelong recently, a friend suggested Powerhouse Geelong as a must do when in the area. Time was not on our side that day, but a few weeks later we headed off to Geelong again and made a beeline straight for Powerhouse.
Powerhouse Geelong
Wow! It is impressive. If you are into street art, you'll love this venue.
Powerhouse Geelong
Powerhouse Geelong

Six storeys high, 3000sqm of abandoned power station space has been resurrected after being vacant for 30 years. The new owner has breathed life into the imposing old building on the waterfront and created a huge public art venue.

Powerhouse Geelong

Powerhouse Geelong

Where: Mackey St, Geelong
When: Daily 10am - 5pm
Why: Street Art, Public Art
How Much: Donation 

* also nearby Geelong Waterfront

Petty's Orchard, Templestowe

In a part of town once filled with orchards and farms, Petty's Orchard is one of the last remaining. Managed by Parks Victoria, the property is leased to the Heritage Fruit Society, a group of volunteers dedicated to conserving heritage (heirloom) fruit varieties. They manage the Demonstration Orchard and Commercial Orchard, hold working bees on the orchard and offer tips on maintaining your own fruit trees at home.
There is a mini museum set up in an old shed - filled with farm machinery, information boards and historical photographs of the area.
Pettys OrchardPettys Orchard

From the driveway, there is access to walking trails, a bird hide and wetlands. Kangaroos are often in the orchard, as well as many bird varieties and I spied a blue-tongue lizard on the way out. I haven't walked the trail - yet - but I will do during the cooler months. Watch this space...

Pettys Orchard
Yarra Organics operates the shop and cafe at Petty's, stocking a big range of organic fresh foods and dried goods, at competitive prices. Apples, pears and stonefruits grown in the orchard are available to purchase, along with many other locally grown items.

Pettys OrchardPettys Orchard

Where: Homestead Rd, Templestowe
When: Thurs - Sat 9:30am to 5:30pm / Sunday 10-4:30

Why: Orchard, Organic produce, bushwalk
How Much: FREE Working Bee 1st and 3rd Wednesday, 9am-11am - see Petty's website for details. FREE to walk around the park - see Parks Vic website for map.

Old Melbourne Gaol

The beautiful old bluestone buildings are such a part of Melbourne's history, it really is worthwhile visiting Old Melbourne Gaol at least once.
 Old Melbourne Gaol
You can't help but shiver as you enter the Gaol, once home to some of Melbourne's most notorious criminals. You can almost hear the clang of the iron doors slamming and the shuffling of shackled feet. Or maybe that was just me...
Old Melbourne GaolOld Melbourne Gaol

Each of the three floors of the main Cell Block building can be accessed. Cells are open to the public with information boards and photographs inside, detailing the history of the many men and women that were housed here.
Old Melbourne Gaol
Old Melbourne Gaol

Our infamous bushranger, Ned Kelly, was among the 133 inmates to be hanged inside the Gaol. Kelly's death mask is on display, made just hours after his death in 1880.

Old Melbourne GaolOld Melbourne GaolIt's only Mick Jagger playing Ned Kelly in a movie, but I like it.
These days, the Gaol is home to jailbirds of a different kind, as the local pigeons perch on the cell window sills. Get arrested and locked up yourself, at the City Watch House next door. The 40 minute interactive experience is included in the Gaol admission price.

Old Melbourne GaolOld Melbourne Gaol

Old Melbourne Gaol

What: Old Melbourne Gaol 
Where: 377 Russell St, Melbourne 
When: Open every day (except Christmas Day and Good Friday) from 9:30am to 5:00pm.
Why: Melbourne's history,  Ned Kelly
How Much: $25 (The Entertainment Book has a 2 for 1 offer)
* also nearby Old Treasury Building 
p.s. *get a coffee at:  65 Degrees