Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Tucked away within cool temperate forest is this lovely picnic ground that feels miles away from anywhere yet is only 35km east of the city . As soon as you leave the suburban area and reach the unsealed road that takes you up to the homestead site it instantly takes stresses away from the fast paced world we live in and reminds you of all the simple things that we get great pleasure from, in the form of nature.
Doongalla homestead site is as the name suggests the former site of the homestead that was built in 1892 but was originally named 'Invermay' by the first owner, Sir Matthew Davies. The homestead consisted of 32 bedrooms and servants quarters and was situated on a parcel of the 279 hectare lot of land.
In 1908 'Invermay' was bought by Miss Helen Sisson who developed the garden and built the stables and renamed the Homestead 'Doongalla' which means place of peace and is very appropriately named.
Doongalla was sold in 1922 and burnt down in a bush fire ten years later in 1932 whilst the servants quarters and the stables remained untouched.
What's left today is the front steps of the homestead, the area of the servants quarters is now where the park ranger lives and where the stables were is now a picnic ground about 700 metres from the homestead.
Both of the picnic grounds are nice but I prefer the homestead grounds as there is a good outlook, a flat lawn area for the kids to play with a ball, plenty of tables to choose from depending if you want the sun or shade and you can always walk the 700 metres down to the stable picnic grounds to have a look.
There are heaps of great walking tracks leaving from the Homestead site with varying distances, have a look at this 7km walk here by Bushwalking Blog and other shorter ones noted by Parks Victoria here.
And as the general rule goes 'take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints' so future generations can appreciate it as it is. Enjoy your time at Doongalla. For directions from Melbourne click here. Please note gates close at 5pm daily.