20.01.2018 – It’s Saturday!

No time to waste – It’s the weekend!  No work and ample time to go exploring.   One last look at our view from our campsite.

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Our next booking is to stay at Mornington Gardens Holiday Village, therefore I looked at the map to see if anything was marked that we might want to call in at.   The Royal Botanic Gardens at Cranbourne caught my eye.  We had never heard of it before.

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Were we very pleasantly surprised when we spent a great part of the day within the Australian Garden at Cranbourne.

Mike and I rode the “Garden Explorer” that circled the Australian Garden with an excellent host who was very informative.  Without having experienced this ride, I think we would not have appreciated the garden fully.  Entrance to the Gardens is free, and $8.80 for an adult to ride the Garden Explorer.  There are tours available too.

Following a lap in the Explorer, we walked the entire garden, going up to higher vantage points and pathways off the route of the Explorer.

The garden aimed to show the differing types of areas of Australia, from the red dirt, dry desert areas of middle Australia; to where underground water comes to the surface to create flows towards large pools below high rock gorges; where water is more plentiful and lush plants thrive; forests of eucalypts, the sandy shores of a beach …  The symbolism of all the areas and the way they were presented were very effective and we were in awe.

Research is carried out and more Australian plants produced and developed for the gardens of the future.  There were examples for water savings home gardens and volunteers available to answer questions.

The colours of the flowering gums, kangaroo paws and other Australian flowers were beautiful.

Within the garden was a brightly coloured piano, one of 20 placed on streets and in parks of Melbourne for January 2018 to be played by anyone and enjoyed.

Every area has very wide pathways that change with differing areas and very interesting surfaces.   There are warnings about snakes in the park and signs on pathways to remind visitors to stay on paths.  We witnessed the quick response by staff to protect visitors from any snakes observed off the paths and to stand guard.  As we left the main complex, staff were on the entrance path halting people from walking on the side of the path close to a snake that was moving in the garden.   Despite this, I would not hesitate to visit the park again.