Travel

Enjoying Macro Photography

Happy New Year, dear friends! Wishing you all a very happy 2016.

While my family and I were holidaying on the Mornington Peninsula last week, we spent a peaceful afternoon in a 230-hectare old Homestead known as The Briars, in Mount Martha. There was something so captivating about all the flora and fauna there that I decided to switch my Nikon camera to Close-Up mode and immerse myself in the vast amount of different flowers and leaves prevalent throughout the gardens. The Briars is an excellent place to spend a quiet Sunday afternoon, go for a walk along the boardwalk with the possibility of finding kangaroos and koalas in their natural surroundings, smell the roses, hear the roosters call and admire a beautiful maze of perfectly trimmed hedges. It’s truly every Victorian nature lover’s paradise, with a lovely cafe and restaurant also onsite. The best part is – it also has free admission.

 

Travel

Dandenong Ranges in Victoria

Some of my best childhood memories come from the scenic mountainous part of Victoria known as the Dandenong Ranges. We used to go for long walks in the forest with my family, climb up steps for breathtaking views and look for hidden natural discoveries at every turn. When I got too tired to walk my dad would carry me on his back until I was able to explore on my own feet again. Ironically, the name of the place where we would often have picnics together later became known to me as my favourite TV show – One Tree Hill.

Last week we ventured into the Dandenongs (35 km east of Melbourne) for a few hours to relax and unwind over the weekend. Everything from the quirky gift shops to the quaint courtyards, picture-perfect buildings and breathtaking greenery made this trip very special. Don’t expect to be seated at Miss Marple’s glorious Tea Rooms as soon as you enter though! This charming little establishment is always over-populated and bookings are essential. Next door you’ll find one of the best Tea Shops with a great range of teas, sweets and teapots.

We spent a mild summer’s afternoon exploring the National Rhododendron Gardens, had lunch while kookaburra’s looked down at us from overhanging branches and discovered stunning vistas, framed by floating white clouds. That day was absolutely perfect. If you’re after a place to have dinner, try the Cuckoo for a truly Bavarian experience. It’s not light on the hip-pocket but there is a great amount of choice when it comes to food!

The Dandenongs are a brilliant place for city-folk to relax, unwind and recharge their batteries. All tourists to Victoria should visit the charming towns of Sassafras, Olinda and Mt. Dandenong for top quality shopping, a charming village  vibe and fresh air combined with scenery that is hard to beat. In winter it also snows there!