Mount Dandenong with Ashley
It was going to be a hot day in Melbourne and Ashley, Joe’s good mate who was also departing for a new adventure in Perth was visiting grandparents in Melbourne. After the lovely night at Giorgios and a sleepover, we decided to take a drive up to the Dandenongs.
Once you start the winding climb up to Mount Dandenong you are presented with a wonderful forest drive with a few scenic choices to distract you. The drive through Sherbrooke Forest, a trip on Puffing Billy departing Belgrave are just two iconic side trips we have done before and thoroughly enjoyed.
We headed for Skyhigh at Mount Dandenong. Wonderful gardens and a maze that we had explored quite a few years earlier. It sounds like it is a long way away, but in fact it is only 44km from Melbourne.
Halfway up the mountain (which at 633 metres is more like a hill than a mountain) we stopped at Sassafras for a stroll through this tourist hamlet, home to Miss Marple’s Tea Rooms. There was a queue to get in so it is very popular.
The local produce such as jams and honey were also for sale and in the township there was also a bonsai nursery.
We took a brief stroll down the “Tourist Track” which dates back to Edwardian times (The Edwardian era or Edwardian period in the United Kingdom is the period covering the reign of King Edward VII, 1901 to 1910)
The entrance is in a carpark and as you descend the steps into the ferny picturesque gully that could take you as far as Belgrave. After communing with nature which is seriously quite pretty, we returned to the hustle and bustle of weekend Sassafras.
Joe and Ashley ducked into the maze which gave Helen and I a chance to slowly wander through the gardens enjoying the scenery and the atmosphere of this garden in the hills.
We spent almost two hours up there wandering around taking photographs and chatting. Joe and Ashley emerged after their own wanderings and we headed back down the hill, dropping Ashley back at his Grandparents house before heading back to Oakleigh but not before a mini detour into Wattle Park and a stop for a frozen sugar filled fizzy beverage from a leading fast food outlet.
When I was uploading the photos of this wonderful day out, I stumbled upon the photographs I took of a previous trip to the same location in 2007. This was with Joe’s cousins and with more children, face painting and an age (around 6 years of age) where many things are being experienced for the first time, the wow factor is intensified. These photographs are included as a comparison of how things have stayed the same and how some things have changed.