Not interested in art? You'll still appreciate the serenity
The McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park situated in Langwarrin, 40kms south of Melbourne CBD, and just a short drive from Frankston, is perhaps one of Melbourne's lessor known art spots, but worth visiting for a number of reasons.
The Gallery was established in 1971 under the terms of the Will of Annie May (Nan) McClelland in honour of her brother Harry McClelland, an artist and philanthropist who owned the property and played an instrumental role in the development of the arts community in Victoria. If you'd like to read more on the gallery's history, you can do so on the organisation's website.
Expect to find over 70 works by both local and international sculptors and artists in outdoor gardens, with an additional three indoor exhibition spaces accommodating a variety of artistic pieces including sculpture, painting and photography.
My family and I took an overdue visit to the gallery on a week day (opens Tues to Sun 10 am to 4.30 pm). We enjoyed lunch at the popular licensed café, with beautiful views of the site's landscaped gardens and lake populated by local birdlife. Whilst there is not an abundant of dishes to choose from the lunch menu, I selected their lunch special of beetroot, walnut and goat's cheese risotto with truffle oil, a simply delicious choice, one of the best risotto's I've had. My son raved about his iced chocolate!
Our discovery of the park's circuit bush walk, with sculptures scattered throughout its journey, was by far our most unexpected enjoyment. Our walk took us approximately an hour, each bend revealed a new exciting art piece to see.
Sculptures are varied in material; one sculpture made from recycled bicycle tyres, another created using Japanese trees, a metallic tube art piece playing music which echoed through the surrounding trees, and much more.
We found the circuit to be well shaded on the warm day we'd chosen to visit, with seating areas to rest throughout.
Even if you are not particularly interested in modern art and sculpture, you'll still appreciate the site's serenity and beauty, found in such an unexpected location. A highly recommended visit that both young and old will enjoy.
Did I mention that a visit to The McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park is completely FREE? You can choose to leave a donation if you wish.