Peaceful parks and gardens

There are many scents of place on the Mornington Peninsula. There’s the tang of eucalyptus in the peaceful bush, the rich perfume of thousands of  roses in formal gardens and the heady scents of herbs in lush gardens around our vineyard restaurants. Our parks and gardens are a visual feast too, with blossom-filled walks in spring, huge shady trees in summer, fiery colours in autumn and little cafés where the coffee and welcome warm you in winter. Gardens also become an art form with award-winning sculpture collections, while others with huge mazes are very family friendly.   If you’re travelling with kids, the Enchanted Adventure Garden is a must-do. It’s a fantasyland of mazes, gardens, art and adventure where fun is high on the agenda.

The Enchanted Adventure Garden’s four mazes include the eerie indoor 3D maze, and there’s thrilling tube sliding and tree surfing where you can ride  on a 10-metre high zip line.  Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens are famed for their fragrant and abundant lavender bushes which bloom all year. You’ll also find Australia’s oldest hedge maze and a circular maze of heavenly perfumed rose bushes.  There are vast rose gardens around the  magnificent Victorian mansion at Morning Star Estate, where 75,000 rose bushes have been planted. Another classic is Heronswood, one of the few
Victorian gardens listed in the exclusive Oxford Companion to the Garden. It’s rich with heritage vegetable gardens, towering trees, dry gardens and floral borders.

Sculpture dominates two very popular but very different garden areas: McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park has a $150,000 biennial sculpture award, with the winners displayed in natural bushlands. At Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove, the annual $30,000 sculpture award launched in 2005 has resulted in a magnificent collection in the extensive gardens. 

Set across 15 glorious hectares, the Australian Garden at Cranbourne won a Gold Medal in the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show. It’s an inspiring display of Australian flora, landscapes, art and architecture which follows the journey of water from the arid inland landscapes of central Australia along dry river beds and down powerful rivers to the coastal fringes of the continent. 

If you’d like to enjoy more of these natural landscapes, just follow the many bushwalks through the Mornington Peninsula National Park and Point Nepean National Park. Expertly
guided walks are available with Mornington Peninsula Walking Tours too. 

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