Explore Casey: Australian Gardens.

 

School holidays and what to do? Well, you can always be a tourist in your own neighborhood. Yesterday my son’s Mr. Serious, Mighty Mouse and I went to Australian Gardens. These are the most amazing gardens, and a great place to just get out on a Winter’s day and explore. With different styles of Australian landscape and gardens set out within them. It also features lots of beautiful spaces to sit and relax by the stunning lake or in the gardens. While we saw plenty of colour and flowers out in bloom despite it being a grey Winter’s Day It is a beautiful leisurely walk with lovely garden views and walking views and plenty of beautiful walking tracks to enjoy and explore. I have teenage son’s so they just like to walk and explore. I enjoyed watching the younger children in their gum boots splashing about in the little river that flows through the garden. There is a special space that is very shallow for people to walk out into and splash about. Our day was cold and lightly raining so we did not take a picnic lunch, however, on a fine day, there are plenty of spaces to enjoy a picnic. We ended up going to a lovely cafe there and enjoy coffee and hot chocolates. There is also a beautiful gift shop full of lovely things to look at.

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So if you live in Melbourne or are visiting I strongly suggest you check these gardens. So enjoy your visit to this beautiful place!

 

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Water Saving Garden

 

Australian Gardens at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne
1000 Ballarto Rd, Cranbourne, Victoria 3977, Australia
Open 9-5pm 7 days a week
Cost: Free or Donation welcomed
https://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-cranbourne/attractions/australian-garden

river

Wishing you a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

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Art Excursion The Archibald Prize.

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It was a long weekend in Victoria, we had a Public Holiday for the Queens Birthday. Although in my family it was my Dad’s Birthday so we enjoyed having a small family party for him. On the Sunday we went for an excursion to the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery to see the Archibald Prize for 2013. I knew a little about this award, it always made it into the news each year. The Archibald Prize is an award for the best portrait of a distinguished Australian. The variety of ways artist chose to do this with their work was fascinating. The people they chose was often interesting and not so obvious. Whilst the winner was Del Kathryn Barton’s painting titled ‘Hugo’.  Whilst it was not my favourite it was certainly well done, and very detailed. That is the thing with art, people like different pieces. My son liked the one called ‘Jo’ because it had lots of animals in them. I thought they were all very interesting.

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery

After looking at all that art, we went to the gallery cafe, enjoyed a delicious lunch, whilst listening to some delightful live music. We then headed down through the rose garden to the Oak Hill Gallery, a local gallery run by volunteers, to see the Little Archies Portrait Prize exhibition.

Sculpture in the rose garden.

Sculpture in the rose garden.

We got to enjoy more art, it was such a visual delight. Once again totally amazed by the methods different artist use to do their portrait. Once again interesting, and delightful.

Oak Hill Gallery

Oak Hill Gallery

It was a lovely day filled with art. I love going new places and seeing new things. It was such a wonderful experience to finally see the Archibald Prize exhibition in person and not just on the news.

It makes me wonder what other amazing adventures await me in the weekends ahead.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Links:

http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/prizes/archibald/2013

Lazy Scrumptious Saturday!

The view from the back great place to sit have coffee and contemplate.

The view from the back great place to sit have coffee and contemplate.

Relaxing in bed, drinking coffee and reading a book. Eventually we got up around late morning, and sat out on the pergola admiring the view and simply sitting quietly listening to the birds making their music. We then headed into town for bunch. Which was cooked breakfast at lunch time. Yummy. Oh we were super lazy!

Yarra Valley Dairy.

Yarra Valley Dairy.

Then we went for a drive into the surrounding hills to the Yarra Valley Dairy. We sat and watch a cooking demonstration. I learnt something about making pasta. Finally we finished with taste testing. The food was so yummy.

Yarra Valley Dairy

Yarra Valley Dairy

With our tummies full, we went for a scenic drive to Mt. Donna Buang. This is the tallest mountain that is closet to Melbourne. On a clear day you are meant to see panoramic views over Melbourne,  the Yarra Valley, and the  Dandenongs. It was not a clear day the sun and blue skies had turned to clouds and rain.

The 21 meter hight tower at the summit.

The 21 meter hight tower at the summit.

I faced my fear of heights and climbed the observation tower. It was still a great view. It was so windy and wet, I did not want to let go of the bar. Did I mention I am afraid of heights, yes scardy cat Francine when it comes to anything involving heights, it required lots of deep breathing and some encouragement from my husband to climb the tower. It was totally worth doing, there is something special about being up so high and just looking into the distance.

At the top. No way was I letting go of that handle bar.

At the top. No way was I letting go of that handle bar.

The evening saw us venture out to one of the local restaurants The Basement for a light and tasty Tapas meal. This place had a lovely open space, full of contemporary art, chandeliers and lots and lots of delightful candles. The restaurant was a little hard to find, so glad we kept looking until we discovered where it was hiding. It definitely was a gem of a place to dine.

Evening time was spent siting in front of the wood fire, sipping wine, listening to music and having conversations. It was followed by a bubble spa bathe by candlelight. So romantic!

Lazy Saturday ends and yes it was a totally scrumptious day!

 

My Monday Morning Expedition!

 

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Monday morning was my Artist’s Date, this week I decided to explore The Victorian Artists Society gallery. I walked in off the street into a beautiful old building and asked if I could look around. I was in luck there was a photographic art exhibition on. It was interesting to look at and certainly gave me a different perspective of a different culture and also on the vast scope of what art can be. A photo has the ability to tell a story, make us ask questions, and wonder what it is we are being shown. That is what I loved about my Artist’s Date is that it made me see something new and different. Yes, I liked the photographic exhibition very much they were amazing pictures, of a Chinese city and it’s culture. I walked away feeling a buzz from doing something a little bit exciting.  When did you last go out exploring and what did you do? Please leave a comment.

The Victorian Artist Society

The Victorian Artist Society

My photos are not art, however they do express what I saw and experienced. They help me tell my stories. Although I would like to take better photo’s. I have fun taking them anyway.

Today was Yoga Tuesday, I really enjoy my Yoga class, it was so relaxing and energising.

Hope you are all having a wonderful day.

Needed A Re-Charge: Gone Camping.

That time between Christmas and New Year’s was spent catching up with family. It was a wonderful busy time, and in ways so busy it was exhausting and I was hanging out for a rest. So for New Year’s this year we went camping at Wilson’s Promontory National Park Victoria. We packed our tent and headed off for a restful, relaxing holiday. The Prom was busy with lots of families and individuals seeking a restful relaxing holiday, the camping ground was packed.

Tidal River Camping Ground.

Tidal River Camping Ground.

We camped at Tidal River  which was walking distance to Tidal River and Norman Beach. It was very pleasant paddling in the river, and walking along the beach. We even went for a swim at the river and jumped some small waves at Norman Beach. Mighty Mouse had a great time.

We also went for a walk to Squeaky Beach and could hear the sand squeaking as we walked along it. It was a beautiful ocean beach, too cold for me to go for a swim. I did enjoy just the walk and spectacular views of the beach.

Norman Beach

Norman Beach

We also encountered some of the wild life, the park is full of wombats.  We went to see the Hobbit at the Prom outdoor cinema which was interesting but very cold, next time we will take blankets, sleeping bags and our pillows for comfort. Still it was a wonderful experience and a interesting movie. When we got back to our tent it had been broken into by a wombat, it put a big hole in our tent and several smaller holes. I was very unhappy and even a little scared. What if I had been in the tent when the wombat tried to break in? My husband laughed, yes he could see the funny side. The next night onwards we put our food containers in the car, no more wombats trying to break in. Mighty Mouse thought they were cute, and spent his time examining every wombat hole he came across. We saw a lot of wombats. Ofcourse the park was full of parrots and garlahs, and many other birds, I even seen two black cockatoos. Wilson’s Prom. is very remote and known for its wonderful wild life and walking tracks.

Wonbat

Wombat

We had plenty of time for sitting around, reading books and simply doing nothing. It was a time away from modern living of TV, iPads , computers and Xbox games. Just  time to relax, and enjoy nature. I did re-charge my batteries, and I am much more rested from our camping holiday. I must say I am very grateful to come home to our clean comfy house. We spent New Years Eve in our tent, it was cold, very cold and we manage to stay up to midnight. Apparently Mr. Serious claimed it is bad luck to go to bed before midnight and I don’t want any bad luck for 2013. So we stayed up and brought in the New Year quietly, we told jokes and talked about the things we wanted to do in 2013. New Years Day was a scenic drive to Foster and Sandy Point it was too cold, wet and windy to do anything else.

Usually by the end of the year my energy reserves are so depleted, and I feel exhausted. I need a holiday! I need to re-charge my energy levels. January seems the perfect time to take a break and build up my energy levels.

Wilson Botanical Park a Tranquil place.

Hidden in the outer suburban area of Berwick lies a hidden treasure, a tranquil space for people to enjoy. A place to escape, and experience peace. A place to hear the singing of birds,and the whistling of the wind. A place to watch the tall strong trees, the exotic vegetation, mixed with native beauties, the sparkling glittering of the water on the lake, and the ducks swimming past. One can just walk along the picturesque walking tracks or sit watching the amazing lake views. Whilst the surrounding trees whisper the words peace, harmony, beauty, nature and explore. It is so true that walking in nature brings so much joy into my life, it gives me a sense of peace, and a knowing that life is truly amazing.

The sky is covered in a blanket of grey cloud, a simple winter’s day. It is quite mild outside, not cold like the past few days. There are plenty of people out walking and exercising, all of them enjoying this beautiful place.

Wilson Botanic Park was an operational quarry until the late 1970’s.   It was transformed into a lake and park, surrounded by trees, exposed rock formations, walking tracks and picnic areas and was officially opened in 1992. The transformation work began in the 1980’s it is now a picturesque tranquil park for people and bird wildlife. Mr. George Wilson the grandson of the original landowners donated the land to the community.  Wilsons Botanic Park is in the outer suburb of Berwick, the Shire of Casey, in conjunction with the Friends of Wilson Botanic Park, manages it.

It is hard to imagine that this picturesque place was once a working quarry. It certainly has been transformed into a beautiful park. A wonderful place to visit for my artist date today, my well has certainly been refilled.

Click on the link for more information about Wilson Botanic Park and how to get there.

http://www.casey.vic.gov.au/wilsonbotanicpark/