If you didn’t know, I’ve spent the last month back at home in Aussie-land soaking up the warmth! It’s really nice to be home again and to spend time with family. There are some must-do items that I always gotta do when I come here which is to have some REAL ‘OH SO FLUFFY’ SCONES. Not the terribly dense ones that you get in Canada. They are so dry and hard that they could either cause jaw ache or you need to down a glass of water right after. I’m talking tall scones that are velvety goodness in my mouth. YAS.
One of the places I love getting my scone fix is in Olinda right up at Mount Dandenong. I love going to Mount Dandenong because it is nice and cool there (it is a temperate rainforest!) with some sweet fresh air. The drives is one of my favourites in Victoria, coming third to the Great Ocean Road and The Black Spur.
Devonshire tea is such a classic English/Aussie food item that you just can’t find in Canada. It is traditional English cream tea with scones, jam and cream… and the scones are so soft and fluffy! YUM. There are so many places to enjoy good cup of in Olinda, just look out for the signs and pick your fancy! We ended up at a local café for these scones… they don’t come cheap. The plate below set us back $18 Aussie dollars.
Actually, there are so many things to do at Mount Dandenong, like climb the 1000 steps in honour of the Kokoda Track Memorial, enjoy the colourful florals at National Rhododendron Garden, get your Aussie on with some pie at Pie in the Sky, a picnic at Alfred Nicholas Gardens, or simply just go for a walk at the many many walking trails and enjoy the tall Mountain Ash trees.
This time around, we went to somewhere we hadn’t been before – William Ricketts Sanctuary. It was a pretty neat place with no entry fee and is situated in the middle of the lush rainforest setting. It houses mystical sculptures amongst the ferns created by William Ricketts, a man who had spent much of his time living amongst Australian aboriginal communities.
William Ricketts created the sanctuary with the intention of it being a place of quiet reflection and replenishing the spirit. The sculptures were placed hidden amongst the trees as he “believed that all Australians should adopt Aboriginal philosophies, respecting the spirituality of the mother earth and all things in the natural world”. (Read more: https://visitdandenongranges.com.au/activity/william-ricketts-sanctuary)
Personally, My favourite sculpture is the Winged Man which sits above eye level. I don’t know the meaning behind this particular piece, but when I look up and see the Winged Man, it’s like as if they are sitting amongst the top of the trees. To me, I see this as a representation that as a human, we are one with nature but with that in mind, we are free to be whomever we want to be and achieve anything we want.
We headed over to the National Rhododendron Gardens but unfortunately, since we were visiting so late into the summer there were not many colourful spring florals to be seen. We did find some little purple ones amongst the bushes though which called for a quick pic! :)
Ah, Mount Dandenong. You’ll always be the as beautiful as you are and I will always come back.