As much as I love the city sometimes its nice to get away for a bit and breathe some fresh air. When my grandmother came to visit me a few weeks ago I brought her to the Rippon Lea Estate, a place I had been wanting to visit for a while.
Despite being outside of the city it was actually really easy to get to. We took one tram line straight down from the Uni Melbourne stop for about 45 minutes and then only had to walk for another 5 minutes before arriving at the subdued green wrought iron gates of the Estate. The reason I had been wanting to visit this place is because upon reading about it the estate sounded very similar to The Old Westbury Gardens, one of my favorite places in the world. The antique house and sprawling gardens did not disappoint.
I do not know why old houses like these fascinate me so much but I enjoyed the very detailed tour that we got of each of the rooms. I marveled at some of its frivolities like the gigantic ballroom and old Hollywood pool. My favorite part of these estates though are the grounds and as I said this one definitely did not disappoint my expectations. I love walking through the grounds and picturing being one of the children growing up with that kind of backyard. The grounds in Rippon Lea, in particular, were obviously designed with the children in mind. They had a fantastic waterfall which you could climb to the top of or hide in the secret passage ways carved through the middle of it. There was even a towering tree house which overlooked the entire estate. My inner child was absolutely dazzled by this as I had always dreamed of having an elaborate tree house as a child.
After thoroughly walking the grounds of the estate my grandmother and I laid out a little picnic and enjoyed the crisp Melbourne fall weather. Once our bellies were full and bodies were tired of walking we passed out in the sun for a leisurely nap.
If you are in Melbourne for long enough I recommend visiting the estates. It’s a quiet and calming day trip retreat from the city.