Monday, April 25, 2011

The Fairy Park, not the Fairie Park

The Anakie Fairy Park was a regular part of summer holidays in my childhood. I just presumed that everyone had been there, pressed their runny noses against the glass of a little hut before running along the path to the next instalment. But don't go expecting a park that is all about fairies and princesses, this is a park dedicated to fairy tales and the Brothers Grimm statue is the first thing you walk past as you start your walk up the hill.



When Mr H informed me recently that he had never been, it was added to the list of things we needed to see while on our Staycation. It ended up being the first thing we did.

Anakie is about an hours drive from the Western side of Melbourne. The Fairy Park is in the middle of nowhere. Literally a hill amongst the paddocks that during the 1950s some crazy man decided to make a children's wonderland. Others have continued his dream and the Fairy Park is a real treat for small children and their parents.

If you are an ultra hip, early adopter who ventured there in the 1970s, then you will recall you used to have to beg your parents for 20 cents to put into each little hut, the puppets would then start singing and moving and telling the story of the fairy tale they represented. Your parents just may have made you run to the next one if they saw someone else about to put 20 cents in, and made you squeeze in and listen with the other kids. Other parents did this too, so if you were at the front you had to stand your ground and not be pushed aside by the bigger kids.



Hansel and Gretel in case you hadn't noticed the Gingerbread house

This is no longer the case, it is all now push button and you can push that button as many times as you like. This means that there is no rushing required, yet Popps and Immy ran from one fairy tale hut to the next, just too excited to see what else lay hidden around the corner.

The hill is dotted with about 25 little houses, which cover the most popular fairy tales, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Three Little Pigs etc. Jack and the Beanstalk is built up the side of a rock and there are little hidden treasures everywhere for young kids. The Princess and Frog Pond was a huge hit for Popps.


When you make your way to the bottom of the hill again you head straight to a park that again has kept the best of the original stuff and just improved it. A castle has been built around the entire park with hidden play items all over the place. There was so much there that as I tried to snap photos the girls just kept running off to explore the next area and I have been left with a collection of photos of the Fairy Park, minus the kids.





One of the original things from the playground is still a huge hit with all the kids


In the end I gave up, sat down and admired the view of the nearby farm and vineyard.

Two to three hours is plenty of time to explore the Fairy Park, we took the pram for Immy but she didn't really need it and managed to walk the whole way herself, but it is a hill so some small children may still need a hand to hike up. Though we took snacks, I hadn't prepared lunch, there is a cafe but the offerings are limited and the park is an excellent place to unpack a picnic or there is a huge area with chairs and tables to eat at.

The view from the park. As I said, in the middle of nowhere.



We went on a Sunday during school holidays and the crowd was no problem at all.

Add the Fairy Park to your list of things for kids under 8, I hope you enjoy it as much as us.

PS This is not a sponsored review, just in case you were wondering. I received nothing but lovely memories for attending.





11 comments:

  1. We went there a few years ago (when it was just two kiddos) - and they thought it was a blast. I must admit, it wasn't *quite* what I was expecting...but it was a great day (except I got lost driving back out again...but perhaps that was just me!!)
    xxxCate

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  2. What a cool place - we've never been. Will need to visit next time we are in melbourne. The girls would love it x

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  3. Great photos, Did you know that a few weeks ago some one stole all the money from the wishing well! It made the Ballarat news!

    the girls looked like they were in heaven with all the fairys!

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  4. Oh my goodness, I've never heard of this place and it looks AMAZING!! Bliss would LOVE it, thanks so much for sharing!

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  5. Did you just do a review for Little Melbourne today? I have been to a similar place in NSW Hunter Valley called Hunter Valley Gardens and it is so much fun! It is surrounded by gorgeous gardens and wineries. It is kind of out in the middle of nowhere but there is loads of other things placed out in the middle of nowhere with it! We just had a bit of a staycation ourselves. We got to celebrate Easter with hubby for the first time in 10 years after he changed industries. I hope you enjoyed the Easter break.

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  6. oh my girls are desperate to go back to the Fairy Park....We must organise a day, it's so kitsch and daggy that it's awesome!

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  7. Louisa, you must go. Seriously just pack the lunch and head off, you will love it. As Katef says, the kitsch and daggy look is really fun for adults while the kids are just so excited to be there.

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  8. Oh Gorgeous Baby, I didn't write this review for Little Melbourne, but I have given them approval to link to this post for people wanting more information about the Fairy Park.

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  9. I've never heard of the Fairy Park and it looks amazing. What a great day out!

    Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro.

    PS: The link to get here was broken, so I'm not sure how many visitors you'll get. I had to fix it manually to find the page.

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  10. Im sold! This looks like fun, kind of like a similar place that used to be in Port Macquarie waaay back. I think it closed around 2000. We are in Melbourne in December, this will be a good like Tourist tick for us
    www.mummyheartsmoney.blogspot.com

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  11. Thank you very much. I am planning to take my kids on Wednesday and it was really very informative.

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