The 2nd of April dawned warm and sunny, with patches of thin clouds perfectly diffusing the already mellow autumn sun. Actually it didn’t – it was cold and threatening to rain, but undeterred a group of 20 MPCers set off for our first major event of the semester, The Day Trip.
In order to fully appreciate the beautiful and tranquil places we would be visiting that day, (yup, it was all part of the plan ;)) we began our trip with an attempt to pick up a member from Clayton station. After sitting in gridlocked traffic for a full 1/2hr, we had to abandon our errand of mercy and headed off to our first official stop, Healesville Sanctuary.
Located in Healesville (surprise surprise), Healesville Sanctuary is home to a wide variety of Australian animals, from koalas, echidnas, emus, and kangaroos to orange-bellied parrots and blue-tongued lizards. It was a great place to for wildlife photography as most of the exhibits were housed in walkthrough enclosures allowing you to get right up personal with the birds and animals. The highlight of the morning was probably the birds in flight demonstration where we were dazzled with the acrobatics of a number of raptors and parrots.
After a lunch break in Healesville township we headed off for our second location, the National Rhododendron Gardens. Located in Olinda, the immaculate gardens feature 15,000 rhododendrons, over 12,000 azaleas, lush tree ferns, towering eucalypts and an ornamental lake. The overcast skies only added to the tranquil atmosphere of the gardens with low-lying clouds fogging up the treeline nicely. After a beautiful but long walk around the gardens, we arrived back at the bus realising we only had 15 mins to get to our last stop before it closed for the night.
Fortunately the William Ricketts Sanctuary was only a 10 minute drive, but we were pessimistic of our chance of being let in. However, after some sweet talking by our bus driver, the Parks Victoria lady kindly agreed to let us in for a quick visit. The Sanctuary showcases the remarkably intricate clay sculptures of Aboriginal figures created by William Ricketts over the course of sixty years. Although necessarily rushed, it was a worthwhile visit even just for the chance to admire the sculptures.
With that, we headed back home to Clayton, tired, but with memory cards full of great
photos. A great day out!
Until next time,