Last Saturday Mum and I decided to go on an outing to the Blue Lotus Garden at Yarra Junction just over an hours drive from home. One of my Vietnamese friends had told me about it during the week as for many cultures the lotus flower is important to them for religious and cultural reasons. Not to mention they are so beautiful to look at. In all the years that we've lived in Melbourne, and knowing Victoria well, we couldn't believe that we'd never heard about it.
Before I continue with our adventure I'll just give you some information and tips about the gardens. BELOW is a photograph that I took from the website so that you can get the idea of the size of the gardens and the layout. On the left of the photo is the entrance and exit area. In the middle of the large lake area is a path with many bridges that is NOT very wheelchair friendly however was a challenge with many laughs included. YOU DO RECEIVE A MAP WHEN YOU ARRIVE and purchase your ticket.
The gardens stretch over 14 acres made up of lakes, ponds, lagoon, a waterfall, fairy and fairy garden for the kids and much more.
SOME TIPS:- The gardens are open from December until April, 7 days a week, although keep in mind that we were told there can be up to 1800 people a day going through the gardens as large bus groups go up at a time. Only on public holidays do they not let the buses go up. Take an umbrella as it's a hot time in Melbourne as well as even hotter with the reflection off the water, sunblock to the max and most definitely a hat.
EATING:- There are many options for eating. You can buy takeaway at the little shop, or eat in at tables and be served, or have the option of taking your own food and using the BBQ areas or sitting at many of the picnic spots scattered around the 3 km walk area.
Below is a link to the website as well as the location on Google maps. just click on it.
THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES:-
We couldn't believe the number of cars and people that were there when we arrived, nor the size and beauty of this hidden gem in Melbourne. I was super excited as many of you know I love taking photographs. It was almost lunch time when we arrived so we decided to have a bite to eat and a coffee before exploring. We'd caught a maxi taxi there as me and the electric wheelchair can't get into Mum's car, and he was coming back to pick us up at a specific time, so we needed to manage our time wisely. We sat in the serviced area and decided to eat something small so we could get amongst the stunning plants. The photos will be self explanatory re the sizes of the food portions! We finished that and continued our journey into the most beautiful place.
BELOW - This is the stunning view we had as we were eating lunch. How could you not feel calm and excited at the same time looking at this view. Mum ordered bruschetta which was massive, and I ordered a warm beef roll which was enough without the chips.
BELOW - Mmmmmm a very glamorous self portrait of me taken after the journey around the grounds. It was 31 degrees on my weather app however I'm sure much hotter there. I bought the hat there...lol...DON'T LOOK GOOD IN HATS! And WAS NOT HAPPY JAN as I was so overheated, right to my core that I was drinking a cold can of coke zero with 2 cold bottles of water placed strategically within my clothing in order to try to cool my body down. HEAT OS NOT GOOD FOR MY NMO DISEASE AT ALL. Mum however looks stunning at the beginning of the lunch as did so at the end. LOL...
BELOW - We walked/wheeled around the corner after lunch and this is what we saw. It was breathtaking. There were so many plants and it was such an expanse of water. Throughout the gardens there are red bridges which really stand out, as well as lovely little huts with benches where you can just get out of the sun, sit down and reflect or take selfies.
BELOW - The reflections of the plants, building and bridges is stunning on the water.
BELOW - The bridge and walkway down the centre of the lake is long, narrow and very undulating in a wheelchair. It didn't look challenging when I began the journey however is not recommended if you are. We had many laughs along the way and just put it down to another story to tell one day to add to all the other outings that we've had in the past.
BELOW are 2 panoramas that I took with the iPhone. THEY ARE SLIGHTLY distorted however it gives you an idea of the size of the place.
BELOW - These are stunning water lilies in purple and pink.
BELOW - The 2 photos below are water lilies.
BELOW- This is the pod that is left after the flower has finished. You can see the seeds inside. The pod is really light, soft and spongy to touch.
BELOW - The leaves amaze me as not only are they enormous, they are stunning to look at with the sun shinning through them so that you can see the detailed workings of how mother nature works. The photo on the right shows one of many lily shaped fountains throughout the lake.
BELOW - You can see the lotus flower bud, the flower and the stamen and pod plus the seeds all in in one shot. Almost the entire cycle of the plant.
BELOW - There are plenty ducks throughout just having a blast and a feeding frenzy.
BELOW - These are giants of the Amazon. They are a species of gGiant amazon Waterlily that they grow in a hot house.
BELOW - The fairy who was ever so nice and had a stunning outfit on. I think that the dad's had more photos with her than the kids!
BELOW - My feet were and are so swollen this Summer however were nuts after being in the heat for a few hours. My nerves on the top of my feet are also so sore that no-one can even touch the top of my right foot. That shoe was flung off in the cab on the way home! I would not have exchanged it for anything and will do it over again. It's such a stunning place!
In a wheelchair permanently since early 2010 due to a disease called NMO. I am loving getting out and about in my wheels. My blogs capture my journey.