Into the woods, Into the woods they sing in Brothers Grimm fairy tales…But don’t you worry, Sherbrooke Forest is far from creepy and dark. And by no means is it home to witches, trolls and swamp monsters of the like. In fact, I would say Sherbrooke is one of the prettiest and most peaceful natural forests around.
Sherbrooke is a small settlement located within the Dandenong Ranges, a set of low mountain ranges to the east of the CBD. Sherbrooke is roughly 50km from the CBD making it an approx 45-1hr drive. Like the Black Spur Road, the woods of Sherbrooke are habituated by towering Mountain Ash Trees and are home to a range of native and non-native animals including wombats, platypuses, possums and those rather show-offy lyrebirds :p
What’s good to do in Sherbrooke?
With forest roads and nature all around you, this would be a good time to turn turn off your phone (or put it on flight-mode), forget about the technology driven age and return to simpler times where humans were connected with nature, once upon a time.
Enjoy the scenic peaceful drive. Or if you are after some fresh air and some exercise, why not take a walk through the Alfred Nicolas Memorial Gardens and George Tindale gardens.
I can’t say much about these gardens because I have never been inside, but from reviews I have read, the Alfred Nicolas and George Tindale gardens are supposedly beautiful all year around with the entire garden turning golden during autumn, and budding with color during the spring.
I probably would not go during the winter, mainly because it would be super cold up in the mountains, nor would I go in the hot summer due to bushfire risks. But on a cooler summer’s day, I would definitely visit.
So after a long day of walking around, what else is there to do in Sherbrooke? Why not wind down with a coffee and some food. Perfect.
Head on down to the Piggery Cafe and Burnham Bakery (both are located next door to each door- how convenient).
Like the forest surrounding it, the Piggery Cafe is very very rustic and very earthy.I found out about Shannon Bennett’s Piggery Cafe through watching Master-Chef 2015. The contestants visited the cafe for a cook-off and in the end, one of the contestants scored themselves a job there too!
As you pull over at the car park, you will see a rather old chimney tower and wooden building surrounded by lavish lawns, and cute seating areas outside. As you walk closer, you will smell the earthy scent of charcoal cooked chicken linger away in the air <- their signature dish.
When I went, we had the ¼ Charcoal chicken platter with stuffing, house nuggets with selection of 3 salads; the Merguez sausage, brioche roll with crispy onions,house-made pickles, house fries; and a pork burger if I recall correctly?
Overall, I wouldn’t say I was totally amazed with the food. It was rather oily and overly focused on the “meat” hence the name Piggery Cafe. For me, I prefer more veggies, seafood, and “brunch” style meals like smashed avo with poached eggs. But for those who enjoy their meat, their steak, their chicken, and pork, by all means, this is the cafe for you! For me, I think it was more for the experience.
- Sherbrooke is about 50km from the CBD and located within the Dandenong Ranges
- It is a mountain ash forest home to native and non-native animals
- When in Sherbrooke, visit the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Garden and George Tindale Garden (best times would be Autumn & Spring)
- Relax at the Piggery Cafe and Burnham Bakery for some food after a long walk though the gardens
- Enjoyment level 7/10