Our family of five love a little road trip with the promise of an adventure at the end. Today’s outing to William Rickett Sanctuary in the Dandenong's was one that left us all feeling a little awestruck.
Parking for the sanctuary is across the road and like the rest of the surrounds it is beautiful with large ferns and undergrowth in the shadows of towering gums.
The anticipation of what we were going to discover in the gardens was making the kids giddy with excitement as they were affected by the promise of wonders to behold.
The moment we entered the gates the children were unified with collective 'wows'. They knew they had entered something pretty special.
Through our adult eyes we had entered a sacred place, a tribute to a spiritual man who shared his beliefs through his artwork. Through the children's eyes they saw a magical garden lush with greenery with secret places, hidden pockets and discoveries at every turn. This became the perfect setting for a fairy and pixie hunt much to Miss Three's delight and even Master Six was a willing participant enticed by the surrounds.
William Ricketts Sanctuary has quite a powerful message as was the intention by creator and namesake artist, William Rickett. His indigenous heritage, aboriginal philosophy and Christian beliefs he shared through his artistic talents, creating sculptures and carvings that have a culturally significant yet whimsical feel. Some of these creations depicted figures in their natural form it is worth noting, which was not an issue for my lot. William Rickett’s aim was to create a peaceful place for reflection. Which we think he succeeded at considering our usually boisterous bunch were a little more subdued and affected by the tranquil atmosphere.
Though the gardens aren't large we spent an hour exploring. The compact size meant not too much walking which was a win for Miss Three and navigation with a pram was easy enough. William Ricketts Sanctuary is a lovely way to explore and appreciate nature and art together and a treasured legacy for future generations.
The Dandenong’s have so much to offer that this visit can be part of a bigger day out. To make the most of the area we indulged in milkshakes and scones at a nearby tea house in Olinda Village, one of the many lovely eateries in the area and one of our favourites. A great day combining an appreciation for nature, art and enjoy some warmth and indulgence.
Where: 1402 Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd, Mount Dandenong VIC 3767