Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The flora and the fauna

In a previous life, this weekend of festivals would have been about two other words starting with 'f' - fashion and food.  Given I have kids, life is somewhat different.  While we braved the crowds last year at Moomba, this year we had other commitments.
We found ourselves at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne on Sunday and I have to say it was utterly delightful - a bit of a revelation.  Think modern Australian/indigenous landscape and building design with more of a desert feel than pretty English garden.  I loved it and once we got there, it was surprisingly tranquil - the kids loved the man-made water feature which was a lot more exciting than the playground.  The Gardens Shop is also one of the most beautifully merchandised 'tourist' shops I've ever been to - I bought a Banksia seed pot made by Hansen Galleries in Queensand.  Service was a bit slow in the cafe but if you're wanting to show Melbourne off in a different light or heading to the Mornington Peninsula and want to stop off somewhere interesting (just remember to take the Thompsons Road exit off Eastlink) - this place is a winner. 
Visiting the Melbourne Zoo (kids were free yesterday!) was our other trip over the long weekend.  Highlights for me were the baby elephants trying to push each other over in the water, the lions at feeding time (such majestic creatures) and the new-ish penguin and seal enclosure.  Highlights for the boys were the snakes in the reptile house, the icypoles and a ride on an original Carousel (Merry go-round) but probably not in that order : )  Hope you had a great weekend!

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