“So how many roadtrips did you go on during the break?” my Mom asked me the other day as we were sitting in-front of the TV, flipping through magazines. “That’s a good question,” I replied. So I did some thinking, and went through my diary entries (yes I am one of those rare people who enjoys writing diary entries) and it seems I went on 15 roadtrips during my 3 month summer break! I am amazed, impressed and a bit surprised too! It makes sense because 3 months is equal to 13 weeks, meaning I went on one trip per week, with two during the final week, totaling to a whooping 15 trips!
1. Mt Donna Buang + Rain-forest Gallery
I rocked the holiday season off with a trip down Warburton Highway, and up the mountain road to Rain-forest Galley. Here we enjoyed a beautiful 15-20 min walk among the lavish forest trees, whilst breathing in the fresh mountain air. Continuing up the mountain road, we found ourselves at Mt Donna Buang, a stunning lookout tower, overseeing the entire Yarra Valley and the Great Dividing Range in the distance. Read more here.
A week following the Mt Donna Buang trip, I went on yet another drive to Marysville. This was probably my 5th time visiting the small sleepy town. We went because the bakery there is amazing. I would definitely recommend the cheese and broccoli pie & beestings! Aside from food, the town is home to to lovely hiking tracks and scenic views like Steavenson’s Falls. Find out more about Marysville and its attractions here.
I am not a fan of driving over to the west side, mainly because it is very industrial and heavy with traffic. So instead, my friend volunteered to drive this one. We went for a nice walk in the Victorian State Rose Garden, breathing in the scent of the blooming roses, doing some flower appreciation, and because we are children at heart, taking a million selfies because why not!? The day ended with a classy high tea at Werribee Mansion Hotel where we indulged in finger sandwiches, cakes, pastries, and miniature desserts. Talk about sugar overdose.
I love driving to Yarra Glen because it is so easy and relaxing. Unlike Geelong, Dandenong, or Mornington where you have to take busy freeways or highways, driving to Yarra Glen is super easy because living where I live, I don’t have to use any of those busy highways. I just cut through the quiet Christmas hills area, and ta-dah, I am in Yarra Glen 😀 A must visit for me every time I am in Yarra Glen is the Chocolate Farm. Even though I have been at least 6 times, I never get sick of it. There’s always a sweet treat that catches my eye. Plus, the spectacular views of the rolling hills and open grasslands never cease to amaze me.
For New Year’s, we went to Mornington Peninsula. I am not so much a surf and a sand person as I am a mountain & forest person, but nevertheless, I enjoyed the coastal drive. There’s always something very soothing about the ocean.
Visiting Boinga Bob’s Treehouse was one of the major highlights of 2016’s roadtrips. The treehouse is very unique, not something you would expect to see in Australia. There is a wonderful history behind this beautiful piece of architecture. As I was wandering through the house, I thought of Boinga Bob and his extensive travels around the world which fueled his inspiration to build this artistic house. Find out more here.
7. Blue Lotus Farm + Upper Yarra Dam
Although the entry fee into the Blue Lotus farm was rather costly, the stunning views of the oriental garden was definitely worth the price. The lotus farm is divided into many smaller gardens and the most magnificent and most beautiful garden is saved until the very end. See more photos of the garden here.
Technically this wasn’t a roadtrip as such but I will classify it as one haha 😀 Along with the Boinga Bob’s outing, Tree Surfing was another highlight of my summer break. Although it required much upper body strength, and I felt dead-tired and a bit sore afterwards, I would definitely love to do it again and challenge myself with the “oh-la-la Black course” for experts!
Happy Australia Day from Geelong! Like the city of Mornington, Geelong is very “modern” with its tall buildings and cafes lining the main street. The day was spent by the coastline, enjoying the waterfront festival and of course, with some ice-cream too.
Rayner Orchard’s is a massive and I say massive orchard, home to at least 50 or more varieties of fruit and vegetables. One attraction the orchard has to offer is the “all-you-can-eat” fruit tour where you can sample as much fruit as you can. Depending on what season you go, will determine what you get to eat. We went during the stone fruit season, so we left with our tummies heavy in nectarines, plums and peaches. If you visit during summer, there’s also a large sunflower garden in full bloom (see more photos here.) The sunflowers were huge, towering over me (and I am already pretty tall to begin with). If you visit during the spring, the entire field of stone fruit trees turns pink. It will be like a miniature Japan.
Who would have thought flower farming could go so well with Alpaca breeding? Well, ask that question to the owners of The Big Bouquet because that’s exactly what their business is about. The Big Bouquet is lovely farm located on the outskirts of Heasville, far from busy traffic and crowds.
13. Innocent Bystander, Beechworth Bakery & Yering Station
[Three separate blog posts to come to feature these little gems] – Sneak peak photos below:
In a nutshell, I did a day-trip around the Heasville-Yarra Glen area where we went to Innocent Bystander (in Heasville) for lunch and then we went to Beechworth Bakery (right next door to Innocent Bystander) for even more lunch 😛 That was followed by a nice drive to Yering Station in Yarra Glen (where we were hoping for more food in the form of a high tea, but it was closed that day, so we walked around taking photos instead).
A sunny day well spent up in the mountains. Cardinia Reservoir was beautiful, with the clouds reflecting against the dam water like a mirror. As the cheesy saying goes, it was like a scene out of a dream. Silvan reservoir was much smaller, and most of the view was blocked by tall wire railings. Nonetheless, it was still a lovely tranquil sight. See more photos here.
My holiday ended in true summer style with a nice ocean drive along the Esplanade (save for the grey skies in the morning) and a ferry ride from Sorrento over to Queenscliff where we spent the afternoon by the beach. Thankfully the sun did decide to come out in the end 😀