Its Springtime in the Dandenongs

IMG_1993You know it’s spring when the Blackbird is singing his beautiful song and the tulips are flowering.  Yes, here in Australia we have the wonders of spring just like Europe, it’s just that its later in the year.

Tesselaar Tulip Farm have their Tulip Festival every year in September and October. You can visit their website here.  Victoria is a blaze of colour, especially in the Dandenongs and the Yarra Valley.

Treat yourself and come and visit us!

The Magical Dandenong Ranges

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When Autumn arrives in the hills, you really know it.  The colours are magnificent, but the nights are getting much longer now and the temperature has dropped.  Snow has fallen already up in Olinda and Mount Dandenong but it didn’t stay long, and in two weeks time, the start of the snow season begins with the Queens Birthday Weekend on June 5th.

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Yarra Ranges Country Apartment

Next week Winter begins and we will be cocooned indoors, all rugged up with a cup of hot  chocolate, a soft fluffy blanket, a good book or magazine and a toasty flickering fire.  If the sun shines,  many wonderful brisk walks can be enjoyed in the hills with pooch and a friend or loved one.

The Dandenong Ranges have a wonderful range of cafes, restaurants, specialist shops and gardens to enjoy.  On a clear winter’s day or night, the view from Sky High in Mount Dandenong is a vision to behold.

Christmas in July is just around the corner, and The Dandenong Ranges is the place to really enjoy it and get that European feeling.

Come and Find Yourself in The Dandenongs or Yarra Valley, there is so much to experience.

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Exciting Family Weekend

DSC03384We have an exciting new weekend package for families.  Come stay with us for the weekend.  On Friday night watch ‘The Healing’ movie together.  This moving film is set around  the beautiful Healesville Sanctuary featuring a wedge tail eagle and a prisoner certified M.

Then Saturday visit Healesville Sanctuary and see the’ Spirits of the Sky’ show.  Go early because there is a lot to see. They have wonderful activities for children and you can meet the animals and birds up close, as they often roam the Sanctuary with their handlers.

Then in the afternoon visit Hedgend Maze for a fun filled experience.

All admissions are included in this package.  Just send us an email using our Contact Form or you can ring 0419 582 410 for further

Our little Potting Shed

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I have had a desire for a little shed in my garden,  somewhere to escape, to relax, keep collected seeds, terracotta pots, tools and a little toy kitchen for my grandchildren to play with, when we are in the garden.

Our guest’s children have also enjoyed this little potting shed.  I found pizza orders written on my pad.

It thrills me to have guests enjoy our home and its garden and facilities.  At the moment our current guests are enjoying the roses and vege patch.

How lucky are we to have such wonderful people staying with us.

!920’s Ball in The Yarra Valley

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The Yarra Valley Regional Tourism Association is organising this great event in Healesville, Yarra Valley at the Memorial Hall on the 11th October at 7:30pm.  It promises to be a very special night. Go back in years, dress up, drink  bubbly and Chaleston and Swing all night.

Get all your friends together and book a table, this event is fantastic value only $45 for non Members.  Finger food, drinks at bar prices and featuring The Kimba Griffiths Quintet.

To book ring 1300 368 333

 

Visitors welcome to visit Worawa Aboriginal College in the Yarra Valley

Worawa Aboriginal College Art Gallery

“Set in the heart of the Yarra Valley, Worawa Aboriginal College is an Aboriginal initiative situated on Aboriginal owned land. The land is very important to the Aboriginal Community as it was once part of the Coranderrk Aboriginal Station and is in close proximity to the Coranderrk Aboriginal Station.

Educational Program

The College is a full boarding school for young Aboriginal women, years 7 – 10 and is Victoria’s only independent Aboriginal community school. The College has an impressive curriculum embracing many subjects with a strong Aboriginal culture and perspective thread through each curriculum area.

The College generously welcomes visitors by appointment, who can experience The Dreaming Trail which records and celebrates traditional culture, stories of the Elders and the history of the Aboriginal tribes and clans connected to this important site. Visitors can learn about the cultural protocols in welcoming visitors to the Land, the use of plants for food, medicine and craft.

Additional learning opportunities are available for the following:

• Smoking Ceremony
• The history of Coranderrk
• Aboriginal Elders stories
• Aboriginal people’s relationship with the Land
• Traditional implements and their use
• Aboriginal technology
• The use of ochre in ceremony and art
• Contemporary Aboriginal Australia
• And view art created by the Worawa community

Yarra Ranges Country Apartment is very happy to announce that a 2 day mid week package can be booked to include a visit to Worawa Aboriginal College. For further information please use our Contact Form or ring +61419582410.  Dates and times are subject to Worawa Aboriginal College availability.

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Wild Laughing Kookaburras Come for a Feed in Victoria Australia

Australian Laughing KookaburraWild Laughing Kookaburras visit our garden most days. They make a sound as though they are laughing, which in itself is very funny.  They are the first bird you hear at dawn in Australia .   We have a family of 8 living close by in the bush. They are a very family orientated bird whereby the siblings help bring up the other siblings.

The Kookaburras first came to us over 30 years ago when we had cats and dogs.  The cats would only eat raw meat and we found they left the birds alone when we gave them that diet.  As our cats were slow eaters, the Kookaburras discovered there was a free feed going.  They soon started helping themselves to the cat food.  Ever since that time, the Kookaburras have visited most days.  When they are nesting, they don’t come so often, but once the fledglings have grown, they come too.  They form breeding pairs for life.

At first the young are very tentative, but quickly become friendly and quite used to us.  Our guests enjoy being able to hand feed them and take their own photos.

We have often been away for several months, but still they return once we are home.  There is plenty of natural food around for them, such as worms, insects, small snakes and mice etc.  One time a Kookaburra visited us with a mouse in its mouth, he seemed so proud of his quarry.  They kill their prey by bashing it on some hard surface, you can see this if we give them a larger piece of meat.  They will bash the meat on the deck railing.

We give them raw meat, which they love. This attracts other birds too, such as Grey Butcher Birds, Magpies, Pied Currawongs.

The Australian Laughing Kookaburra is found all along the east coast of Australia, south west coast and I have actually seen one myself up in the Kimberley region of north west Australia.

The Family of Laughing Kookaburras

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So Close to The Australian Wilderness

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Wilderness Drive

Just a 1 hour drive from our accommodation at Yarra Ranges Country Apartment through the Yarra Valley you can  be driving through mountain ash forests, under magnificent tree ferns taller than houses.  The air so fresh you can smell the scent of the eucalypt and hear crystal clear streams babbling through the bush.  This beautiful drive is close to the Melbourne CBD only 1hr 50 mins away and you can take a round trip via Lilydale to Warburton, up the Acheron Way over to Marysville and return via the Black Spur.  Allow for a day trip, to really explore and enjoy this magnificent region.

In winter, June to August,  snow often covers the high ranges, Mount Donna Buang and Lake Mountain.  Chains are often required to drive on some of the roads and can be hired from local businesses.  Cross country skiing and tobogganing  are very popular and equipment can also be hired locally.

A holiday in winter can be just as much fun as in summer, with log fires, exhilarating snow sports, wineries, wonderful Yarra Valley food and brisk winter walks.  So much to see and do, any time of the year.

Come and see for yourself.

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Adventure in the Dandenong Ranges

Only 50 minutes from the Melbourne CBD is an amazing adventure, set in a beautiful forest close to Puffing Billy steam train.  Trees Adventure in Belgrave offers a wonderful experience.  It has rare and beautiful trees including a magnificent 150-year-old Algerian Oak, used as the ‘home tree’ for the adventure courses, and a gigantic Sequoia that rises sixty metres towards the sky.  A great day out for family or friends, or personal growth opportunities for corporate groups.  This activity really helps to build self confidence and self reliance plus builds trust in teams.  The Trees Adventure is open from 11am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm Saturday and Sundays and closed Christmas Day.