ASHCOMBE MAZE & LAVENDER

Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Farm -located on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne and is about a 90 minute drive. There are plenty of things to do, from beaches to cool climate wineries and farm gate properties selling their produce. Popular for sampling and purchasing Victorian gourmet treats, is the Redhill Market.

You’ll find plenty of Bed & Breakfast properties if you wish to spend a few days in the region.

As Australia’s oldest and most famous traditional Hedge Maze now standing over 3 metres high & 2 metres thick. With four mosaic flags to find in each half of the hedge maze, the hundreds of metres of winding paths take you through the South Maze into the Centre

Ashcombe Maze, Mornington Peninsula

ASHCOMBE MAZE

Garden before you tackle the North Maze. While not overly complicated it does take a little while to make your way through (some people take longer than others!) The North Maze is a totally different layout to the South Maze, so any tricks you worked out while making your way through the first part, mean absolutely nothing in the other!

The Ashcombe Hedge Maze was planted in the 1970’s with more than 1000 Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) plants. They are planted at around 1 metre intervals, and each year the hedge gets a bit bigger (and the paths get a bit narrower!) Being a drought tolerant plant the hedge only needs irrigation in extreme heat waves. It now stands more than 3m high and 2m thick.

Ashcombe Maze is open everyday (except Christmas Day) from 10am to 5pm.

What’s underneath the Onion Skin:

Other things nearby – Redhill Markets, Mornington Peninsula Wineries

Suburb/Neighbourhood: Mornignton Peninsula

Food:  The maze has its own café Ashcombe Café

How to get there: Melways reference  Map  256 E4

By Car:  

The easiest way to get to Ashcombe Maze is to follow the M1 (Monash Freeway) from Melbourne and take the Mornington Peninsula/Hastings exit. This will lead you onto the Westernport Highway (A780). Follow this Highway to Hastings, then follow the (C777) road towards “Flinders”. Travel through the small villages of Balnarring and Merricks and look out for the brown tourist Ashcombe Maze signs to guide you to Shoreham which is located 7km before the township of Flinders.

Alternatively if you commence your journey from bayside or the southern suburbs of Melbourne take the Nepean Highway (3) to the Mornington Peninsula Freeway (11) and at Frankston you will pass the BP & Shell service stations and at the next roundabout you veer left into Frankston Flinders Road (C777) and 4kms further on, turn right into Coolart Road (C785) and follow the signs to Ashcombe Maze and Flinders via Balnarring.

Location:  15 Shoreham Road, Shoreham on the Mornington Peninsula

The Children’s Garden – for real Kid’s & those still Kid’s at Heart

THE CHILDREN’S GARDEN

The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden

Located adjacent to the Observatory Gate and Café, opposite the Shrine of Remembrance Visitor Centre on Birdwood Avenue, the Children’s Garden entrance is down a pathway with magical creatures shaped out of plants.

This fenced garden is a perfect place to let the kids explore and investigate a garden, getting their hands dirty as they find the hidden secrets.

The Meeting Place which has a water feature that sprays up out of the ground in summer, is a hoot of fun, dodging the water jets to cool down. It always seems to entice those who ‘s parents didn’t bring the spare set of shorts and a towel, which I recommend. A great spot to let them free whilst having some fun. You could even let your own inhibitions down and play dodge yourself!!

Fountain in the Children’s Garden

Nearby watch out for the sculpture by Louis Laumen of characters from the classic Australian children’s book by Norman Lindsay – The Magic Pudding. This is a great spot if you can weave you kids around the characters for a photo shoot.

From the oriental hut you’ll overlook the Wetland Area with Bamboo Forest behind and buried inside is a platform to climb which is often missed and a great spot to wave to seated adults on the other side of the garden.

The Rill is a gentle waterway that runs through the Garden which you will stumble across at some stage and if you are tackling the garden in a clockwise fashion, it will lead you to the plant tunnel. At the back of this section you’ll come to the shell of a burnt out tree stump. Be inquisitive with your kids and get inside, looking up you may be lucky to spot the resident possum if around having a siesta.

The Children’s Garden built with assistance from the Ian Potter Foundation is well worth a visit and is easy to while away an hour or more. It is perfect for combining with other close by attractions and one activity that provide balance for the younger family members in a days Melbourne sightseeing.

Onion Heads in the Children’s Garden – Raised Beds

What’s underneath the Onion Skin – other things to do nearby:

If you are visiting the Children’s Garden with kids, further along the path from it’s entrance, inside the Royal Botanical Gardens [RBG] there are three other things which may add to your visit. This will be of course dependent on energy, age and interest of those with you.

First you’ll come across the Herb Garden and a great spot to extend the play and learning in the raised garden beds in the Children’s Garden. Further down the lawns you’ll see the ornamental lake, a great spot to see ducks, water fowl and Australia’s Black Swan and if you choose to walk through the fern gully on the way, look up and you may see fruit bats hanging in the tree tops. Thirdly there is Guilfoyle’s Volcano – the rebuilt reservoir, built with arid plants, rock and scoria has a great spiral walkway, this would have appeal to those a little older.

Food: The Observatory Gate and Café is metres from this garden entrance a great spot to purchase a coffee or an ice cream. Alternatively there is a lawn area to share your picnic if you have brought one or let the kids run and let off some steam.

Inside the RBG overlooking the Ornamental Lake is located another café which has a more adult vibe, but great for a Devonshire tea.

 

Suburb/Neighbourhood: MELBOURNE [5 minutes from South Melbourne Homestay]

How to get there:  Melway reference – Map 2F K12

By Car: Parking around the Tan, there are a range of two and four hour parking spots or weekend s on St Kilda Road
By Tram:
St Kilda Road and Dorcas Street – stop number 19 walk up through the Shrine of Remembrance forecourt and past the Vietnam War Memorial.
St Kilda Road and Coventry Street – stop number 18 walk past the Shrine of Remembrance Boulevard to the roundabout and right along Birdwood Avenue. This is a  gradual flatter approach but a little further to walk but easier managing a stroller and children or if steps might be a difficulty.
The Domain Road intersection Terminus– walk from the rear of the Shrine reserve to Birdwood Avenue.
By City Explorer Bus: – Free tourist shuttle, get off at stop 13 for the Shrine and Royal Botanical Gardens. Walk further along the road in the direction that the bus travels to the Observatory Gate and entrance to the Children’s Garden.

 

The Melbourne Magic Festival, 4-16 July 2011

The Melbourne Magic Festival

To make it easy for you to choose which shows to see the Festival organsiers have divided them up into five different categories:

MAGIC SHOWS FOR KIDS

This year the Melbourne Magic Festival has TEN great shows especially designed to appeal to kids under 10 years old. These shows are perfect school holiday entertainment.

MAGIC SHOWS FOR FAMILIES

In 2011 we have EIGHT completely different shows perfect for the whole family to enjoy together. Some are daytime shows while others are perfect after dinner shows.

MAGIC SHOWS FOR ADULTS

Magic is no longer “just for kids”. With TEN shows designed for adults to enjoy, this year you’ll see world class sleight of hand, mind reading, hypnotism, ventriloquism and live horror! All perfect for ‘after dark’and most are family-friendly but slanted towards adults.

WORKSHOPS & CLASSES

Last year over 1,100 kids took part in our magic workshops and this year we’re expecting even more! We also have classes for adults in close up and stage magic, plus special international guest lecturers for the more experienced prestidigitators.

SPECIAL EVENTS

The Australian Junior Championships of Magic are back, and this year we have the first FISM Oceania Championships of Magic – open to all ages! Plus free entertainment nightly in the bar courtesy of the honest conman Nicholas J Johnson with his show ‘Wanna Bet’.

TICKET SALES
The Melbourne Magic Festival offers four easy ways to guarantee your tickets in 2011:
1 – Group Sales – Come in a group of ten and get generous bookings and priority seating! Click here for more details. Call the Group Bookings Hotline on 0459 487 381

2 – Phone bookings – You can call the Northcote Town Hall on (03) 9481 9500 to book your tickets, but be aware you will be paying a $5 ‘per transaction fee’ on top of your ticket price.

3 – In Person – Just roll on up to the Northcote Town Hall Box Office in person during normal business hours and you can even buy your tickets with good old fashioned cash if you like! The Box Office is also open one hour before show times but we can’t guarantee the show you want to see won’t be sold out. Play it safe, book in advance. (The Box Office is located at 189 High St, Northcote)

If you’d like to check if a show is almost sold out click here and take a look at it on the Daily Schedule page.

4 – Online – Just go to the page of the show you want to see, click on the CLICK HERE TO BOOK link, and get your tickets instantly and with no extra charges. Or you can go directly to the Northcote Town Hall Online Box Office by clicking here.

Suburb/Neighbourhood: NORTHCOTE

How to get there: Tram 86 to High Street, Northcote – but refer to the festival website for details of tram track maintenance details over the period of the festival.