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If you are an art buff that also enjoys the outdoors, these five superb sculpture parks are definitely going to be right up your alley. One word … Wow. The experience of seeing giant crafted structures incorporated into the natural landscape is a truly breathtaking sight.
Due to the expanse of space that is required, some of these sculpture parks are a drive from Melbourne but the experience makes it more than worth it. Plus, they are in areas with plenty to see and do so you can get a whole bunch of culture and some delicious food in while you are on your sculpture discovery journey.
These are our top picks of the beautiful bunch.
McClelland Sculpture Park
Over 16 hectares of untarnished bushland, McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery houses over 100 permanent outdoor sculptures. You’ll feel like you’re going on a lovely bushwalk with continuous treats in the form of fabulous sculptures. Located at the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula, it’s easy to stop off and be enveloped by the surroundings and art. Only 45 minutes from Melbourne, it’s an easy day trip that is an absolute MUST.
Top tip: Take the Elisabeth Murdoch Walk. She was very involved in the expansion of this sculpture park and the relatively newly established walk aids in the navigation of the park and provides very interesting information for the explorer.
Where: 390 McClelland Drive, Langwarrin
The Museum of Modern Art Heide has to be seen to be believed. With a combination of many art forms, it’s 100% worth a visit for all that it has to offer. The gardens and sculpture park are truly amazing. You will absolutely leave feeling rejuvenated, inspired, and wanting more!
The 15-acre property, formerly a dairy farm, houses multiple outdoor spaces to enjoy. There are over 30 sculptures placed in the space that are mostly by Australian artists with the odd international stand-out warranting inclusion such as highly-acclaimed Anish Kapoor.
Top tip: They also have not one but two amazing kitchen gardens to wander. But really, there are gardens of all kinds, all over.
Where: 7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen
Point Leo Estate
Point Leo Estate is a winery located on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula between Merricks Beach and Shoreham. With cattle, chickens, bees, vines and a veggie garden, they still found time to establish a fantastic sculpture park on their property with over 40 pieces.
Each sculpture is set against the backdrop of the sparkling ocean, with a cow or 10 thrown in the mix. They aim to create a hap-hazard artful joy at Pt Leo, with a mix of sculptural mediums and quirky placement.
Top tip: Say hi to the 100 head of Black Angus cows and make sure to visit the cellar door.
Where: 3649 Frankston-Flinders Road, Merricks
Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove is also located on the Mornington Peninsula. Renowned for its fantastic restaurant, Montalto also offers the best wander you could ask for with the property brimming with fabulous sculptures.
The Montalto Sculpture Trail takes you through the vines and up the hill that provides the perfect vantage point to survey the natural gallery.
With more than 30 pieces in the permanent collection, they also host the annual Montalto Sculpture Prize Exhibition each October, which sees the collection multiply.
Top tip: Stay for lunch.
Where: 33 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South
Herring Island adds a bit of adventure to the plate. Accessible only by boat, the island is located in the middle of the Yarra River only 3km from the CBD.
The lovely rugged landscape of the island makes you feel like you are miles away from the city.
The sculpture trail focuses on the history and landscape of Herring Island and all sculptures are environmental pieces constructed using natural materials such as stone and wood.
Top tip: The island is small so make sure you explore.
Where: South Yarra
The conversation between art and the natural environment is worth witnessing at all these destinations, so make sure you add one or more of these phenomenal sculpture parks to your itinerary.
words by emily carstairs
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