But they're not my client and I'd heard how pretty it was so went ahead and booked a cottage for 3 nights. Traffic was bad on Friday night so it took us twice as long to get there but we arrived just as the sun was setting and enjoyed the greenery around us.
The cottage was cute and cosy tucked away amidst giant ferns. It was very peaceful and relaxing and we could feel the leisure of the weekend arrive and stay with us once we'd set foot inside!
Dinner was delivered by a local company called Flitterby's and we enjoyed a Moroccan feast that was flavoursome and made better with minimal preparation and washing up!
Our evening was spent in the cottage with the fire on as in spite of the warm day, the night was pretty cool. And we enjoyed a home cooked dinner thanks to Steve.
On Sunday morning after an enjoyable breakfast we headed to the Tulip Festival as we had free tickets that came with our accommodation. It was surprisingly busy and by the time we left 2 hours later, the queues at the entrance were pretty crazy.
There was live music and Bavaria beer sponsored a lounging area with giant bean bags and we were able to secure one so relaxed for an hour laid out in the sunshine. The free wine tasting and beer for sale was definitely very welcome!
Our next stop was SkyHigh which effectively a look out that you can drive to on Mt Dandenong. We thought the Tulip Festival was busy but this was even crazier. It cost $6 per car and we were there for about 10 minutes!
The rest of the day was spent back at the cottage and again Steve cooked a delicious dinner and the fire burnt brightly.
And we had Monday off so after breakfast in the cottage we headed to 1000 Steps also known as the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk in commemoration of the Kokoda Campaign which was part of World War II between Japan and the Allies; mainly Australian troops as they battled to keep the Japanese from advancing to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
The Memorial Walk here is an uphill track that was tiring before we even got to the bottom of the stone steps!
There are plaques along the path depicting the lives of those who fought and died on the trail during the Kokoda campaign and some rest stops too. Believe me I needed plenty of those!
It's a pretty walk following the path as it twists and turns uphill amongst the towering trees and giant ferns.
People apparently go up and down the steps several times; don't know how they can manage that! It's a popular fitness activity with local athletes too.
The journey up gets the heart pumping and the thighs working and coming down a different set of stone steps challenges the old knees and ankles.
Poor Steve rolled his ankle halfway down.
And so to console ourselves over our injuries and to reward our strenuous activity we undid all that good walk with a naughty but oh so delicious lunch at Jimmy Grant's! This was a fitting end to a lovely weekend getaway. Although the Dandenong Ranges are only a 45 minute drive away during off peak hours (2 hours on the Friday night due to traffic), it felt like we were far far away and it was definitely good for the soul to have a weekend of R&R.