Travel blogger, living in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges. My Weekend Notes articles are mainly focused on hiking in the Dandenongs.
Author on https://explorethedandenongs.com.au and the Australian family travel blog - https://wickedwalkabout.com
Published January 2nd 2016
William Ricketts inspired generations with his superb sculptures, set amidst cool temperate rain forest in the Dandenong Ranges. My first visit here was as a teenager; my Grandmother drove me up from the city, deposited me at the entrance and sent me into the Sanctuary. Since then, it has been a favourite place for me in the hills. Visit and experience it for yourselves...
Peace and tranquility,the William Ricketts Sanctuary.
William Ricketts bought the land on Mount Dandenong in the 1930's. Between extensive travels into central Australia and overseas, he created what has become a world famous display of nearly 100 kiln fired sculptures of Indigenous Australian Aboriginals.
A short video plays in what was part of William Ricketts' original home in the Sanctuary. Take the time to watch, it is a fascinating insight into the life and purpose of an exceptional man.
He continued his work until his death in 1993, up until that time he could often be seen in the gardens, wearing his favourite green beret. His affinity with the Aboriginal people and the wildlife is evident at every turn in the sanctuary.
The sculptures are all from individual people that William met on his travels..
A place of inspiration and beauty, somewhere every traveller ought visit. Billy Connelly famously visited the sanctuary in the 90's, proclaiming it to be one of his favourite Australian destinations.
EDEN CAFE, across the road from Ricketts Sanctuary, is an elegant cafe / restaurant that has been recently re-opened and has an extensive menu, created by a local family. The desserts are decadent and the coffee wonderful. Definitely worth dropping by before or after a visit to Ricketts Sanctuary. A few of William Ricketts sculptures are in the garden surrounding the cafe and colourful rosellas feed in the bird feeders. This is one of the oldest cafes in the Dandenongs.
Sculpture by William Ricketts in the garden of Eden Cafe, Mount Dandenong.