This Saturday hailed the official first day of Spring, i.e. it was the day of the Spring Equinox. Luckily for most of East Coast, the first day of spring came with sunshine and record breaking temperatures for September. It was 27+ degrees, almost felt like summer! With such lovely weather, it was a shame to stay indoors and watch TV (this was our original plan for this weekend). We decided to head out to the Dandenong Ranges for a nice relaxing walk through one of the gardens and enjoy the beautiful spring day.
William Ricketts Sanctuary is tucked away on Mt Dandenong Tourist Road, if you aren’t looking for it, it’s pretty likely you will zoom right past it. This sanctuary was owned by William Ricketts, an Australian potter and sculptor, and then handed over to the State. In the Sanctuary, there is a great video about William Ricketts, and why he created these beautiful gardens. In short (spoiler alert!) – he spent time living with the aboriginal communities out in Central Australia. He created these gardens to respect the spirituality that the aboriginal people felt towards earth and to also show his feelings about how the aboriginal people were treated by European settlers. It’s really fascinating walking around the gardens, understanding the story that is trying to be told through the carvings.
With hubby navigating, we walked through the intricate pathways, ducking and weaving through the many secret alcoves to look at the statues and read the stories. As we finally exited the gardens and looked at our watches, we realised we had only spent a mere 30 minutes in the gardens. We felt like we had spent hours exploring a secret and fantastical world.
The sanctuary is deceptively small in comparison to many of the gardens in Dandenongs, but it stands up against the larger gardens like Alfred Nicholas Gardens. The charm and beauty of these gardens are the sculptures of aboriginal people and the poems carved into the surroundings. What a beautiful way to spend an hour in the Dandenongs, and with spring here and spectacular summer around the corner, keep this on your bucket list this year!
Happy Trip Avenging!