If you are looking for somewhere to let the kids run wild then Woodlands Historic Park, Greenvale, Victoria, is just the place! The property totals over 1730 acres (700 hectares), which includes a public park, historic homestead and Living Legends. On this occasion we visited the park and homestead and cannot wait to go back and visit all of the ex-racehorses at Living Legends.
There are many walking, horse riding and bicycle trails to explore, rocks to climb on and Australian native wildlife to watch and listen to. There are numerous Eastern Grey Kangaroos and if you are lucky you might spot evidence of Eastern Barred Bandicoots. They are nocturnal but it is still fun looking for their diggings, droppings, nests and grass tunnels. Woodlands Historic Park staff are doing great work nurturing these animals back from the brink of extinction. The Woodlands Historic Park also contains scarred trees and surface scatters, evidence of the Woiworung Aboriginal people, who lived in the area before Europeans arrived.
In an area this vast it’s easy to forget how close you are the to the Melbourne Airport. Located 6 minutes from the airport, Woodlands Historic Park is every airplane spotter’s dream! They even have a pick up and drop off service from the airport which can be booked by telephone. During the 2 hours we were visiting, not five minutes would go by without one or two little hands reaching skyward pointing out “a plane”!
After all that fresh country air and running around we went into Woodlands Homestead. The homestead was established in 1843 and is a fascinating example of what life was like over 170 years ago. The homestead is a large pre-constructed timber kit house brought to Australia from Britain and is listed with Heritage Victoria. Within the homestead there is an extensive art collection, various collections of historic artifacts along with horse racing memorabilia associated with Living Legends. Woodlands Historic Park also contains ruins of two other 19th century homesteads, Cumberland and Dundonald which we are looking forward to seeing on our next visit. They both looked very impressive in the paintings and photographs we saw – it’s such a shame they are no longer there.
The staff at Woodlands Homestead serve refreshments or you are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the beautiful gardens. There are plenty of beautiful shade trees and picnic tables – a perfect place when the weather is fine. Unfortunately, you can see it was a overcast day when we visited, but we will definitely return with a picnic!
The country girl in me LOVES Woodlands!! The homestead is my dream home (although I would like a few more creature comforts!) and the gardens are beautiful. The kids loved running around, there were few hazards and they could just be free! It was fantastic and best of all entry was free*!!
(*Living Legends is not free – there is a small charge to enter that section and there is also an option for a guided tour of the horse paddocks)
I liked the horses. I liked patting the horse. I didn’t like it trying to bite me (funny story that!). Next time we have to go there first (to the horses) (we ran out of time and had to leave as they close the gates at 4pm!) and I liked the food (scones with jam and cream – yum!).
Time: 10am to 4pm (except Christmas Day)
207 Oaklands Road, Greenvale Victoria 3059, Australia
Melways: Map 177 Ref K8
Cost: Woodlands Historic Park and Homestead is Free
Living Legends costs:
- Living Legends entry $15
- Living Legends concession Entry $10
- Public Guided Tour extra $10
- Children under 12 free
Information and pick up bookings: (03) 9307 1165
Please note all details quoted are correct at the time of publishing. All details are subject to change without notice and Kidding Around Australia takes no responsibility for information contained in this post. Please check the appropriate website to ensure that information is still correct and current.