So one of my resolutions for 2013 is to get into a routine for blogging, yet it has been three weeks since I’ve made any effort to blog. To be fair I was AFK for a week. There was a lot going on inside my little noggin and I just needed some time away to sort things out. Then I spent the following week settling back at home and at work, which leaves the past week … which I’ve spent playing “Order Up”. (It’s kind of like Diner Dash meets Cooking Mama, it’s super addicting. Highly recommended.)
That aside I’m back and I’m ready to blog.
As a bribe for being away, I’ll be showing off one of the places I love in Melbourne. My brother’s friend has been staying with us for the past week, so we had the pleasure of revisiting Dandenong Ranges on Wednesday. My family and I go there whenever we have guests, and I love it! Although it’s only a short drive away from Melbourne, it’s quite different from typical suburbs here. I’m reminded of how beautiful Melbourne is whenever I visit.
One of the places that you absolutely have to visit Puffing Billy Railway. It’s probably best way to enjoy Victoria’s cultural heritage. If I’m correct, Thomas the Tank Engine and The Fat Controller also make special appearances during Autumn*. If you have the chance to visit Puffing Billy, you should definitely take a ride on the train. It’s quite an experience.
Next is Grants Picnic Ground in Sherbrooke. It’s a wonderful little place where you can rest and feed the birds. Most of the birds are quite approachable, if you have food of course. There’s even a nice little cafe where you can enjoy the scenery whilst having a slice of cake or two.
I guess what’s really popular in the Dandenong Ranges is antique shops. One of my favourites is of course Mangana Arts and Craft, I did a post on them a while a. Feel free to read it here. This time around I discovered Smits & Bits, another quaint little antique shop that has most of its items outdoors – I can just imagine what a bother it is for them when it rains.
They have all sorts of stuff on sale from outdoor furnitures to vinyl records and even wall decor. They also have Dame Zara Bate’s Doll House on display, it’s pretty cool if you’re a collector yourself. I found it a little bit too dusty and cramped for my liking – I’ve never been a big fan of dolls myself though.
And of course, who can forget Miss Marple’s Tea Room. Best scones ever, hands down. Pretty nice hot chocolate too.
Be warned, there always seems to be a line up at Miss Marple’s Tea Room – so get there early! But if you end up having to wait, you can always visit Tea Leaves next door. They have quite an impressive collection of teapots and tea on sale, time will fly when you’re in there.
I hope this suffice as a bribe, because it’s getting late and I’m running out of things to talk about. I also hope you enjoyed reading about my brief introduction of the Dandenong Ranges. If you are planning to visit, you should go in late Spring or early Summer. It’s quite beautiful in Fall too. I say this is because Melbourne’s weather can get a bit extreme during the other seasons. You have been warned! Also apologies for the LQ photos, all I had was my phone that day.
Catch you all soon! (Hopefully not a month later, haha)
*As a reminder for my international readers, Autumn in Australia is between March to May!