Hidden Away in Mt Dandenong

“A change of scenery can help everything.” – Drew Pomeranz

Victoria barely had about 4 months to recover from the effects of the pandemic and the whole of Australia is now promoting travelling in our own backyard. Yes, people are still anxious.  But this is the start of getting back bit by bit to normalcy…especially now that the vaccine is starting to be rolled out here in Australia. Yes, we are cautious in every step that we take. But… we all need a change of scenery and this serene atmosphere of the William Ricketts Sanctuary is a great place to be.

For this week’s Lens Artist Photo Challenge – Change of Scenery

Hidden away in a dense inlet along the winding Mt Dandenong Tourist Road is the internationally renowned William Ricketts Sanctuary. The sanctuary is not only one the Dandenong’s more iconic experiences, but one of the most inspiring and tranquil places on the mountain.

A quiet gentleman who had spent much time living with aboriginal communities in central Australia, William Ricketts created the sanctuary as a place for quiet reflection and replenishing the spirit. He believed that all Australians should adopt Aboriginal philosophies, respecting the spirituality of Mother Earth and all things in the natural world. Some of his works throughout the grounds also depict his feelings on the takeover and devastation of white man into the natural environment.

Within the sanctuary grounds, there are over 90 different sculptures depicting the Aboriginal people engaging with the earth in a pure forest setting. Carved into rocks and tree trunks that dot the paths that flow throughout the property, the themes in his artwork reflect his philosophies of connections with human, nature and the earth.

Credit to Visitdandenong.com.au

Upon entering the Sanctuary we were greeted by these sculptures.

Some alcoves and arches.

Some water features.

If you are interested, here are more of the sculpture that can be seen in the William Ricketts Sanctuary. Just click on the images to enlarge.


  1. Travelling sa sarili backyard ay nagpahintulot sa akin na matuklasan napakaraming magagandang lugar na hindi ko alam na umiiral malapit sa bayan ko. Maybe this will become the travelling of the future, a new trend

    1. Teresa says:

      Maybe… but Italy is such a great country with many things to see and do so you are lucky!

      1. So is Australia I guess…you are lucky too

        1. Teresa says:

          I don’t know…I think it is human nature to like something that you don’t have haha

          1. Oo nga

  2. restlessjo says:

    What an amazing place, Teresa 🙂 🙂

    1. Teresa says:

      I agree. I was even surprised myself.

  3. chava61 says:

    I got to visit this amazing place during my last visit to the Greater Melbourne Area in 2019. It definitely felt like I had traveled to another place. It was a first time visit there by my local hostess and I am sure that it won’t be her last!

    1. Teresa says:

      Going to this place is a real treat. I think I had been here when the kids were still little some 20 years ago. Thanks for coming along.

  4. This sanctuary looks so peaceful and the sculptures are fantastic. You captured them in your photos beautifully. I’m so glad to hear that Australia is promoting traveling in your own back yard. What a great idea! Thanks for showing us your change of scenery.

    1. Teresa says:

      My pleasure to share it with you. Just a timely challenge because I just went there yesterday. Thanks for your kind words.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is a truly amazing place, Teresa, one i would love to visit. The sculptures are fantastic. Thanks for sharing such wonders.

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks so much it really is amazing!

  6. Toonsarah says:

    I would love this I am sure – amazing sculptures in such a beautiful setting! Thank you for sharing it with us 🙂

    1. Teresa says:

      Such a pleasure sharing this.

  7. smkelly8 says:

    Just incredible. I’m adding it to a list of places to visit.

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks a lot 💚

  8. Tina Schell says:

    We are in a similar place (COVID-wise) here in our state as well Teresa. Most all of my friends have had both vaccine shots and we are meeting now indoors with no masks. A small thing but it feels almost normal! Spring’s arrival has done much to help us out of our pandemic doldrums as well. Loved your choice for the week – what an exotic and beautiful spot.

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks Tina. And good that situations are slowly changing for the better. Have a good week!

  9. maristravels says:

    An amazing place. Those sculptures are wonderful. I think they were shown on TV many years ago as I seem to remember seeing them. Brilliant.

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks so much. He was a great sculptor.

  10. lolaWi says:

    very interesting place, T! 🙂

    1. Teresa says:

      It is like an oasis, full of ferns in the mountains.

  11. Amazing sculptures. Those photos really want me to go there. It will be a long time before travel to Australia is possible again.

    1. Teresa says:

      I know I.J. I am still anxious even though they say that we may be able to travel soon even just in the different states of Australia.

  12. Leya says:

    Wonderful place, Teresa! I would gladly go if I could.

    1. Teresa says:

      One day Ann-Christine!

  13. pattimoed says:

    I’m sorry we didn’t visit this place when we were in Melbourne in 2019. It looks wonderful!

    1. Teresa says:

      It is not a well advertised place for tourists but it is very educational and depicting Australia’s first people.

  14. JohnRH says:

    Wow. Unique place. Well done.

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks John…it is a special place.

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks 🙏🏻

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