lederderg gorge

Today’s #WhereToGoWednesday is a guest post by Erika Jonsson, western suburbs writer and mum of two sons under five, ‘El Guapo’ and ‘Lightning’. She takes us on a family-friendly trip to Bacchus Marsh. Thanks Erika!

Our family loves day trips. They don’t have to be a long way from home – in fact, about 40 minutes from our inner west apartment is ideal as this distance allows El Guapo, our one-year-old, to have a nap there and back.

maddingley park

On the weekend we headed for Bacchus Marsh for two activities. The first was Maddingley Park’s adventure playground.

maddingley park

It is a community-built playground (similar to Victory Park, Phoenix Park and Albert Park playground) and it has a forest theme along with hidey holes, a little train and fire station, lots of swings and a good-sized sandpit outside the fenced area.

maddingley park

Lightning, who turns five in October, loved this playground. We’ve been reading the Faraway Tree books and he immediately applied an Enchanted Wood theme to the whole experience. We grabbed a takeaway bakery lunch and both kids protested when it was time to leave – always a sign of a successful outing.

maddingley park

After lunch we drove to Lerderderg Gorge inside Lerderderg State Park. There are a couple of different access points – we parked at the closer one that leads to the Mackenzie Flat picnic area. There are a couple of short bush walks as well as many longer ones and we chose one listed for about an hour.

lederderg gorge

Lightning loved jumping across the river over stepping stones that were just far enough apart to make him feel adventurous. We spotted two wombat burrows and talked about the different plants we could identify – fragrant wattles, bottlebrush, banksias and ghost gums. Spring seemed so close – we could smell nectar and pollen in the air and Lightning talked with excitement about warmer weather on the way.

We will certainly be returning to the gorge, especially when we can have a paddle and some water play. If you haven’t been to Bacchus Marsh it’s an easy drive from Melbourne and was a hit with the kids without being an expensive day out.

HOT Tips Maddingley Park Adventure Playground:

  • fenced;
  • natural shade;
  • water tap;
  • toilets;
  • suitable for toddlers;
  • suitable for older children;
  • picnic tables and barbecue outside playground area;
  • free parking.

HOT Tips Lerdererg Gorge

  • range of walks from short, easy strolls to strenuous overnight hikes; and
  • toilets, electric barbecues and picnic tables at MacKenzie Flat entrance.

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