Australia, Travel

Cockatoos of Sherbrooke Forest

Tourists visiting Melbourne are spoiled for choice when it comes to Australian wildlife and landscapes in our large and beautiful state. From picturesque beaches to lush green forests, we are so lucky to have all these options available to us in Victoria.

Those interested in feeding some Australian cockatoos should definitely visit Grants Picnic Ground in the beautiful Sherbrooke Forest of the Dandenong Ranges. The cockatoos simply love to fly onto your shoulder (and sometimes even your head!) and feed on the seeds you hold out for them in shiny silver dishes. It’s an experience that you’ll cherish as a truly Australian one so make sure you bring your camera!

Afterwards you should definitely go for a bush walk along the many trails in Sherbrooke forest, breathe in the fresh forest air and try to spot other wildlife such as wombats, possums, lyrebirds and wallabies in their natural habitat. The wonderful ferns and stringy bark trees rising up towards the sky will leave a good impression on you too. There’s also a lovely cafe and gift shop there for all your souvenir needs. The best part is it’s only a short drive from suburbia but feels a world away!

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!

Australia, Melbourne, Travel

Melbourne = Home

I’ve been back in Melbourne for exactly 6 months today. I enjoy the lively atmosphere on the streets, its modern architecture, skyscraper views and hidden city discoveries. Melbourne is home and I absolutely love being a tourist in my own city. There’s always something happening in the city. From interesting exhibitions and installations at the National Gallery to cultural events at Federation Square, Melbourne’s got you covered for everything hip and uber cool. It has a certain vibe to it that has to be experienced, it can’t be described.

Here’s my photographic journey through Melbourne on a quiet summer’s afternoon.

Australia, Travel

Sorrento!

When most people hear the name Sorrento they often think of sunny Italy but in reality there’s a town with the same name right here in Australia. Last week my Mum and I spent a few nights at the Hotel Sorrento where we relaxed by the beach and spent some quality time together swimming, laughing and catching up on old times. It was just the break we both needed before the rush of Christmas and New Year festivities took over our schedules.

With its friendly locals, excellent gift shops, top quality accommodation and beautiful beach views, Sorrento is a wonderful place to escape to, for residents of Australia and tourists alike. We loved it!

Here’s a summary of our stay in photographs:

 

Australia, Travel

Phillip Island Weekend Getaway

Last weekend my family and I took a roadtrip to a beautiful part of Victoria that is Phillip Island, for a relaxing bonding weekend away. After a 90-minute drive in our car we stopped at Maru Koala & Animal Park to see all the beautiful Australian animals that call our unique country their home. It was a small but really nice park allowing tourists and visitors to see all sorts of animals including Tasmanian devils, Wombats, Donkeys, Sheep, Horses, Kookaburras, Cockatoos, Dingoes, Peacocks, Emus and the ever-so-cute Koalas, Wallabies and Kangaroos. For an extra fee people could hold a baby wallaby and have their photo taken patting a koala. Adorable!

After a quick gelato we drove to Cowes and checked into our resort motel. With crystal clear blue waters and soft sand between our toes, it was a beautiful day to arrive in paradise with not a cloud in the sky. After some shopping in the wonderful boutiques in the area we were off to a nice restaurant for dinner. In the evening we took a dip in the spa and pool at our accommodation and relaxed. I loved it!

The next day started with an early check-out and a quick drive to see if we could spot any seals at The Nobbies. We were disappointed not to see any seals but the views from the boardwalk were absolutely incredible. Pyramid Rock not far from there also offered some amazing coastal views with vibrant landscape vistas.

All in all our weekend away was a well-deserved break that we all really needed and a great way to spend some quality family time together. I had a great time and returned home fully refreshed and happy.