No cost for Port Phillip residents to explore Rippon Lea Estate gardens

City of Port Phillip
Port Phillip residents are encouraged to visit their free ‘backyard’ away from home in Elsternwick.

Following the reopening of Rippon Lea Estate gardens to the public after the relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions, Port Phillip residents are encouraged to visit their free ‘backyard’ away from home in Elsternwick.

The no-cost access to the stately gardens was made possible in 2019 under an innovative funding agreement between Port Phillip Council and the National Trust of Australia (Victoria).

Mayor Louise Crawford said the additional outdoor space was a win for the Port Phillip community.

“Port Phillip is one of the smallest and most densely populated municipalities, and while the benefits of nature to our health and well-being are well-known, this year has driven home the importance of getting outdoors, be it for exercise or a catch-up with family and friends. Rippon Lea Estate is perfect for a picnic or a wander through the gardens marvelling at the flora,” Cr Crawford said.

Port Phillip residents must show current proof of residency with photo identification to the National Trust before they are then issued with an access pass to explore Rippon Lea Estate.

The lush 5.6-hectare gardens feature a lake, extensive shrubberies and flower gardens, an orchard featuring historically significant fruit varieties, rose gardens and a fernery with streams.

“There’s a wonderful range of activities at Rippon Lea Estate for all ages, such as the upcoming Christmas Makers’ Market on 20 December and the Gruffalo Trail 2. Everyone will have a memorable day out,” Cr Crawford said.

After the success of last year’s Gruffalo Trail augmented reality experience, the Gruffalo Trail 2 is live at Rippon Lea Estate until June 2021. Families are encouraged to download the Gruffalo Spotter 2 AUS app and journey through the winding paths and gardens of the estate, spotting characters from the popular book along the way.

General admission to the gardens normally costs $15 for adults and $9 for children (4-15 years). This includes a tour of the historic mansion which is not part of the free entrance for Port Phillip residents under the trial.

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