Australian Botanic Garden, Shepparton

Put your hands in the air if you fit any of the following:
Nature-lover, environmentally aware, recycler, re-user, lover of anything to do with sustainability. Well, that’s most of us. So, here’s something pretty exciting – a botanic garden built entirely on top of a landfill site.

You read that correctly. A botanic garden, high atop a landfill site. It’s seriously amazing. It’s been a long time coming because no-one has done this before and there are so many things to iron out. But through dedication and community support, the amazing team of landscapers and gardeners have done it.

The hilltop site takes in a panoramic view of the Shepparton area. It’s built with re-used materials and planted out masterfully in Australian native plants. It’s still a work in-progress, but how often do you get to see the beginning of something so significant?

There are a range of cycling and walking paths to explore, from the river paths to the hilltop track. All are accessible and vary in length. There are also themed gardens around the park, like the Refugee Garden, which celebrates the ‘melting-pot’ that is created by the welcoming of refugees to the region, and the Children’s Garden –which promotes play and sensory experiences.

Beechworth Historic Walking Tour

Beechworth is bushranger central. At least, it was in the 1800s. That’s where this walking tour takes you back to – the heady and dangerous days of the frontier and goldfields in Victoria’s high country, centred in Beechworth. It’s Ned Kelly and Harry Power country, and the streets come alive with the aid of a professional guide. They’ll fill in the blanks and point out the large and small points of historical significance.

Walking down the streets of Beechworth, where buildings have remained largely unchanged since they were constructed during the gold rush, and listening to stories and characterisations that give voice to the moments we learnt about at school is an immersive experience. Imagining the likes of Ned Kelly walking through the door of the pub or being escorted from the courthouse is easy when the story is told so vividly.

Tours run daily and are well worth the small price, which also provides entry to the Burke Museum, Ned Kelly Vault and Courthouse.