Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne

Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne.

In terms of landscape projects, this place started as nothing, except for the original native terrain, and just keeps on growing! Yes, it is the OTHER botanic gardens for Melbourne and focuses on native flora only. Well worth the excursion time from Melbourne CBD to just the other side of Melbourne.

Photo: David Mitchener

McClelland Gallery

McClelland Gallery, Langwarrin.

Actually, this is a sculpture park as well. Two fine art experiences together. In fact three, if one includes the clever public sculpture pieces that adorn the EastLink sides as Langwarrin is approached from the north. This makes for a wonderful stop about an hour from Melbourne, and a perfect partner with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, for a trip to the south east.

Photo: David Mitchener

Portsea Hotel

Portsea Hotel, Mornington Peninsula.

What an institution. The view, the lawn … it is quintessential Portsea. And even mind that it is properly known as the Portsea Hotel – everyone just calls it the Portsea Pub.

Photo: David Mitchener

Chelsea Kebab House

Melbourne is pretty much the kebab capital of Australia, and there are probably more than a hundred (or more?) places to get some lamb on a skewer or wrapped with goodies in bread from around the metro area. It would be risky to call any one of these the ‘best’, but this unassuming little joint down on the main road through Chelsea, on the way to Franskston, is definitely worth the stop, or even a dedicated drive from Melbourne. (Ask me how I know!)