As we checked out of our Charming Pioneer Cottage Air Bnb on Thursday we got to feed the sheep some apples one last time. These guys are middle eastern Damara sheep and are the lawnmowers of the property! We got to feed them in the morning and gave them a treat of some bread which they loved. We enjoyed such a relaxing stay with our wonderful host Libby (who also is a children’s book author), it was a perfect place for the three of us and we felt safe in amongst the sounds of the noisy cockatoos and trees.
I had planned for our drive home to stop off at the Heide Museum of Modern Art where I met my friend who lives close by. We stopped by to check out more art and enjoy some picnic snacks from a bakery across the road. It was the perfect little stop for our drive back to return our Car Next Door car share back to its spot.
Checking out what we experienced it was an art focussed family getaway to refresh and restore ourselves before we hit the next phase of our time in Melbourne in our rental property and our family is reunited again in a couple of weeks!
To visit this sanctuary it will take your breath away with its dedication to the plight of Indigenous Australians by the sculptor William Ricketts. According to the video interview, William’s spirit animal was the Lyrebird where you see him dance as a Lyrebird sharing his inspiration and love for the earth and Indigenous Australia. I loved his sincere dedication as being the channel to share this art with the world. This sanctuary is a place of beauty, contemplation and peace where you are surrounded by a history of Indigenous Australia. Where the connection to the earth is fully present in what we need to see today, this sanctuary is something humanity has dealt with – the cruelty of colonialism. But breaking through the ugliness of this is the beauty in people and hope that we can exist on this earth together with nature.
After our William Ricketts experience we drove down to Birdsland Reserve to have a picnic lunch and go for a wander around the waters where we found a heron and a cormorant. Our Air Bnb host said to arrive there early in the morning or later in the afternoon to see lots of kangaroos. But as our day panned out we were there in the middle of the day and as we sat down at our table we were immediately surrounded by kookaburras! As Missy was about to eat a hot cross bun a kookaburra swooped down and landed on our table, we took one look at that beak and decided it would be safer to move somewhere else away from this wild kookas as I had heard they will steal snags from the BBQ.
After the Rone exhibition we went on the Sherbrooke Falls hike where we wandered on a small 45 minute walk in amongst the trees to see a little creek and find the small waterfall. I was thankful as our host told us not to expect Niagara falls which helped curb the excitement! The kids loved these very friendly Rosellas, due to humans feeding these guys over the years they have learnt to be trusting of humans and come very close to see if they can score some food.
These pictures capture our time in this incredible exhibition experience! I have never experienced anything like this before in my life with the way that artists collaborated in such a way that you felt that you were among someones life left long ago, love that has been lost and left behind to wither over the ages. It was absolutely breath taking in its grandeur and the organic elements within taking over the house was something so unexpected and worked so beautifully. The addition of the technology element with augmented reality where you could see how the space was before it had been transformed through to the end of the exhibition with a gallery space and a virtual reality film where you felt immersed in the whole process of transformation. I was so happy to experience this with the children they just loved it too and were there with their phones capturing their favourite elements of the exhibit right down to the details.
Here you see the augmented reality and the way the room looked before it was transformed into the sun room space complete with a knitting bag. The hallway arbour of sticks was stunning and felt so natural in the space. I was chatting to one of the exhibition people and they were saying as it is a heritage building it is going back to the way it was before and apparently in the future it will be a fancy hotel.
The inspiration for our little getaway over the school holidays was to go to see the Rone exhibition at the Burnham Beeches mansion in the Dandenong Ranges. My friend had shared some of his work on Instagram and as soon as the show was announced here I was on it! So I got a rental car and drove up carefully – the first time I have driven on the left hand side of the road in years to our little Air Bnb for the week.
Our first stop before check in was Grants picnic ground where you can get delicious pies for a late lunch and go and feed some cockatoos for $4 for plate of seed. The kids loved it and so did I and I was blown away to experience so many cockatoos in one place. After our fun with the birds we wandered over to the forest where you can get a glimpse into the feel of the National Park and it was absolutely divine to be amongst the giant Mountain Ash and huge ferns. I have not been hiking in Australia in 12 years and my experiences have been in amongst the redwood forests of Northern California, it was so good to be home amongst the trees again!