Sometimes you want to get out of town, but not go to the effort that can be required when you have kids. And thats where Warrandyte comes in handy.
Depending on traffic, an hour, or a bit less hopefully, Warrandyte is to the North east of Melbourne. A very lucky community lives here, amongst the eucalypts and the natural surrounds, and no doubt get sick of the rest of us that lob up when we need a break. Regardless, Warrandyte has a lot to offer for a few hours away. The river has a lovely trail running along side, where you can find in particular, a lot of dog walkers, making for an entertaining stroll.
And particularly if you have young lads to climb the rocks, and perfect their skills bouncing the smaller perfectly rounded rocks on the surface of the water, the river becomes a destination in itself.
There is an eatery on the river with terrific pies, coffee and cakes, and a playground, so no matter how old your younger members of the family, you will be looked after. There are also interesting boutique style shops along the road, including a shop dedicated to lollies. Lesser known though, across the road a little, is a walking trail to an old mining area.
Warrandyte of course has origins from the gold rush, and my own childhood featured visits here where we searched for the elusive gold nuggets. There are remains of the old gold tunnels, now fenced off, and remains of other mining equipment scattered through the bush if you use your sharp eyes, these relics make for interesting viewing.
If you come on a hot day, you will quickly get an inkling as to how arduous it must have been for these committed men searching for gold, with the heat smashing your head and the blowies buzzing about.
But it does offer lovely walks that are pretty quiet.
And I am sure that the ghosts of the old miners are whispering through the trees to you.