As the weather gets nicer in Melbourne town, I am certainly feeling the pull to soak up the cheer-making effects of the sunshine / upcoming summer feels – and Victoria is a fabulous state in which to do it. Here’s a few gorgeous, unique, interesting spots to visit in between the inevitable Melbourne rains.
If you’re a bird fan, like me, you’ll love Serendip. There’s birdos a-plenty in the wetlands on these grounds, and a Wildlife Walk where you can catch a gander (awful pun intended) at emus and roos. There’s some nice picnic spots, and enclosures where you watch the local bird life. It might be busier than other spots in the area, thanks to its use as an educational facility of sorts, but it’s lovely to meet animal life outside of the cats that live in your street (they’re nice, too, obviously.)
Port Campbell/Loch Ard Gorge
It’s worth popping into Port Campbell on your Great Ocean Road journey: the seaside town is a good stop-over between many of the region’s great sites, including the Twelve Apostles, and the gorgeous Loch Ard Gorge. There’s more beach than you poke a stick at in this area, and a host of interesting natural wonders and formations.
National Rhododendron Garden
Frankly, this is just a nice spot for a bit of a summer wander. Take a walk, have a think and a sit, even. Be a lord of leisure! With the various blooms coming out in the spring sun, it’s a positively divine spectacle. In my home suburb of Brunswick, there’s not a lot of dazzling flora, so the National Rhododendron Garden is a simply aesthetically gorgeous place to just sit and be. There’s also a cafe on site, so you can grab a cuppa and soak up the local plant-life.
Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park
Another one for the animal lovers. This park features a bunch of Aussie wildlife that you can pet and feed, including dingos, roos and deer. The sustainable park also sells organic fruit and vegetables on site, and works to achieve a greater understanding of the land and how we can use it, without destroying it.
If you’re less of a beach person, heading into the Dandenong Ranges is a good choice. In amongst the various forests and parks of the region, Olinda houses several gorgeous trip ideas for your nature-lovers, including Olinda Falls, the Woolrich Lookout and the stunning RJ Hamer Arboretum, where you can take in the glorious views and dense forest atmosphere.y
I know it’s a big deviation from the above suggestions, but I’ve found some of the nicest little local surprises on my regular op-shop sojourns. This site is a good resource on op-shops all around Australia: sometimes I just pick a suburb and head down, leaving myself enough time to stop if something catches my fancy, like a cute little cafe I didn’t know about, or some nice parkland to stretch the legs. Outer-suburban and regional op-shops are inevitably very interesting in their stock, and you can find some outstanding gems.
Throw A Dart On The Map!
Not literally, of course, but if you’ve got the time and you can wanna get out and enjoy the summer sunshine, but can’t think of how, simply open a map of our fine state of Victoria and pick a name: there’s obvious name-brand holiday destinations like Castlemaine, Daylesford and much of the suburbs of the Mornington Peninsula, but what of smaller, lesser-known places like, say, Chewton? Or Greendale, a tiny town right by the Lerderderg State Park? Take a chance, you never know!
Image Source: Self Wanderer, Thousand Wanders, Phillip Johnson Landscapes