Little Miss H has been waking up ridiculously early lately. Yesterday, out of all days (a public holiday), she woke up at 5:30am. Really? Is life really that amazing that you have to get up so early? Turns out it is 🙂 Four hours later when the hubby awoke, we started on what turned out to be a beautiful day out with mother nature.
10am Off to get some morning coffee, we headed to Fig and Walnut, a charming little cafe in Seddon. The kids had fun in the courtyard out the back. There were veggie boxes and a wooden cubby house that kept them occupied while we soaked up the sun and enjoyed a delicious almond croissant. Mr D must have worked up an appetite in the short while we were there because he asked to order some food and drink – he had a slider and babycino which he gobbled up quite quickly. It must’ve been the effects of the beautiful sunny morning coupled with the hit of coffee that we decided to just get up and go on a roadtrip.
1:00pm Destination Warburton Valley. About an hour and a bit drive from Melbourne City along the M3 there were lots of things outside the window that kept Mr D entertained from animals to cars to the artwork along the Eastlink. I love seeing the shades of grey with white centrepiece at Mullum Mullum tunnel. So pretty!
2pm The kids fell asleep by the time we got to La La Falls so the hubby stay in the car with them while I hiked up the 3.2km return trip through the lush Mountain Ash Forest. It was actually a good thing because we didn’t have the baby carrier with us and it would’ve been a hard walk having to carry Little Miss H the whole way. So it ended up being “me” time!
Since it was such a spontaneous drive, I think I was a tad bit inappropriately dressed with my super white Converse sneakers – everyone I walked past was commenting that they’d be brown by the time I walk back hahah! Surprisingly they weren’t! The track wasn’t flat but it was pretty family-friendly with lots of families with school-aged kids and people walking their dogs. With the babbling streams being heard and seen here and there and small stone bridges along the way I just kept thinking Mr D would love it here. It was like I was expecting to bump into an elf or hobbit along the way.
3pm We stopped by Warburton’s town centre to grab some pies from the local bakery and check out the handy information centre along the main strip. They were knowledgeable and friendly sharing other wonderful attractions to visit. Armed with some maps and info sheets we drove only about 7km until turning off left onto Cement Creek rd. The road was unsealed and we drove over a one-lanes wooden bridge that Mr D loved! Within only a few minutes we were at the car park.
Passing through the gates was the fascinating Redwood Forest. Over 1457 Californian Redwood trees (sequoia sempervirens) were planted as part of the hydrology research program on canopy interception (read more about it on this information site). Planted in a grid arrangement the trees so tall, between 20-55metres in height, stand in appealing straight lines and it was captivating being amongst them. We felt so small and fully enveloped by nature. There were no echoes when we talked to each other – it was like the air was cushioned like a well-sound proofed theatre room! Mr D was engrossed in it all and loved the open grassy area just to the side. A perfect picnic spot. Like with La La Falls there are no toilets at Redwood Forest but the town centre close by has all the amenities.
Warburton is absolutely beautiful and it was such a lovely way to spend the public holiday. Next time we’ll have to leave earlier in the morning or even better, stay over night to see:
– the Rainforest Gallery where you can walk among the tall Mountain Ash treetops along an elevated walkway. Some of the beech trees also found in the area are up to 400 years old!
– the summit of Mt Donna Buang
– the Lilydale to Warburton rail trail. Bring the bikes along and ride this 40km iconic trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders!
– so many walking trails around the area where you can take it all in and get active amongst the greenery.
Tip: If you need a quick pit stop, check out the cute, little Thomas Avenue playground in between the main road and the Yarra River. A great place to stretch out after a long drive. There are toilets on site and the playground has many stepping logs, some swings and animal sculptures including a big wombat and tortoise. Walk a little bit further down and the banks of the river boast ducks and other wildife – you may even see a platypus if you’re lucky!
What’s your favourite road trip destination? Hope you’re having a great long weekend so far whether it’s being out and about or relaxing at home enjoying watching the Doggies win!