Monthly Archives: June 2015

Things to do these school holidays in Warrandyte and surrounds


Stuck for ideas these school holidays? We’ve put our heads together in the Diary office and also asked friends of our Warrandyte Diary Facebook page  to help us come up with these beaut suggestions.

Bounce into action

Are your kids bouncing off the walls at home? Well why don’t you take them somewhere where bouncing is actually encouraged and loads of fun! Bounce is a massive indoor trampoline park with more than 50 trampolines and giant airbags with slam dunk arenas, wall running and dodgeball courts rolled in. The kids will never got bored here and there is a café so you can chill out while the kids go wild. Or you can jump into the action too. Bounce is at 22 Joseph St, Blackburn North.

More: bounceinc.com.au/locations/blackburn-north

Go to the movies

Want something a little bit more relaxing? Croydon Cinemas is just around the corner! I know what you’re thinking: “I would love to take my kids to the movies but they’re so expensive.” Well, not any more! Croydon Cinemas tickets are really affordable – children’s tickets are $9.50 and adults just $12.50. There are heaps of great movies to see including Minions, Inside Out and if you’re kids are a bit older, Jurassic World. Croydon Cinemas are located at 1,3-5 Hewish Road, Croydon.

More: www.croydoncinemas.com.au

Load up on lollies

Of course you can’t watch movies without some yummy snacks, so head over to see Francesca and the team at Warrandyte Lollies and Treats for the most delicious confectionery that all kids will love. She has great sweets from all around the world including Hersheys and Ben & Jerry’s from America, Speculaas and Syrup Wafers from the Netherlands, Walnut Whips and English Cadbury from England, Quavers and Monster Muches from Scotland, and don’t forget the good old Aussie treats such as Sherbert Fountains, Liquorice Logs, and Timeless Drops from Sovereign Hill. They have an unlimited selection over at 207 Yarra Street, Warrandyte. How could you ever just drive past, especially with hungry kids in the back seat!

More: www.warrandytelolliesandtreats.com.au

Jump on a horse

If your kids are animal lovers, and in particular horse lovers, then we have two fantastic suggestions. Head to the Ponyland Equestrian Centre for an amazing horse riding experience where you can ride in a group through the beautiful native bush with experienced leaders – your kids will never get lost or bored. These horses are as tame as they come and they love people, especially kids. Ponyland Equestrian Centre is at 35 Osborne Road, Christmas Hills (make sure to pack the carrots and apples!).  Otherwise, Tandivale Equestrian Centre and Pony Club Holiday Program in South Warrandyte is going to be a big hit over the next fortnight. Even if your kids have never ridden a horse and they just want to have a go, the school holiday program at Tandivale covers it all. Your kids will learn the basic skills they need to groom, saddle and ride their own horse or pony for the day. The day runs from 9am to 4pm with a BBQ lunch provided. Give your children an experience they will remember these holidays at 88 Johansons Road, Warrandyte. Karen Paine and Marnie Kruyer sent Tandivale’s School Holiday Program into us over Facebook. Thanks for the great suggestion!

More: www.tandivale.com/holidayprogram.htm or www.yellowpages.com.au/vic/christmas-hills/ponyland-equestrian-centre-13672134-listing.html

Go 10 pin bowling

If you’re feeling like a little bit of competition these holidays then you should head over to AMF 10 Pin Bowling and challenge your kids in a game of this great activity that everyone in the family will love. They are running a special offer for these school holidays:  two games of bowling or laser PLUS 5 arcade tokens, shoe hire and a $5 return game pass for only $19.90 per person. What better time to head over to the Forest Hill complex or the Knox complex, so get striking! Thanks to Sheya Atherton who made this great suggestion and many others on our Facebook page. Check them out at our Facebook page

More: www.amfbowling.com.au

Head for the Dark Zone

Are your kids more into the athletic, skill and teamwork sort of activities? Then you should be in your car heading to Box Hill for games of Laser Tag at Dark Zone! Dark Zone is one of the only Laser Tag centres in Australia to offer the latest Helios Pro Laser Tag technology as well as having the biggest and best multi-level arena in Australia. Dark Zone offers the best variety of deals for all groups from kids events and birthday parties to corporate events and overnight lock-in. They also have many deals for these holidays. Head to 942-946 Whitehorse Road in Box Hill for a crazy, fun time.

More: www.darkzone.com.au/beta

Visit chocolate heaven!

Are you and your kids chocoholics? Then Yarra Valley Chocolaterie is definitely for you! Enjoy free delicious chocolate tastings and watch some of their European chocolatiers create over 250 of their incredible chocolates. They also have a range of ice creams for you to taste and enjoy. If the kids are getting a bit tired then scoot over to their café where they specialise in amazing sweets. Once the kids have fueled up on chocolate then they can run around and play on the beautiful lawns and gardens. What’s not to love about a place where the kids are entertained and you get to indulge in chocolate? NOTHING! So get in your car and head over to 35 Old Healesville Road (Cnr Melba Highway), Yarra Glen.

More: www.yvci.com.au

Spin those wheels in a Go Kart

Those looking for a bit of an adrenaline rush, and you’re willing drive a bit further, should set your GPS sights on 55 Waterview Close, Dandenong South to experience Le Mans Go Karts Melbourne. With more than 23 acres and four massive tracks you’re bound to have a great day! Le Mans Go Karts provide you with all the safety equipment you need so don’t worry if you don’t do this often, you’ll be safe. With great prices and ultimate experiences, everyone in your family will love a day out at the track.

More: www.lemansgokarts.com.au

Get ready to be splattered with paint

Looking for a bit of fun with your kids where you can shoot them? Then Melbourne Indoor Paintball is the place to go. But don’t worry, it’s all in the name of good fun. Even though the drive is a little long, the experience and fun is totally worth it. The address is 25 Salmon Street, Port Melbourne, and just five minutes from Melbourne CBD. There are many exciting fields, fully carpeted and with a sniper tower and surround sound. What better way to entertain the kids for a day.

More: www.melbourneindoorpaintball.com.au/index.html

Read a good book in our beautiful library

Are your kids books worms or have always wanted a PlayStation? Then visit the Warrandyte Library at 168 Yarra Street for a quiet but fun afternoon. The library has such a variety of books for kids to choose from and now with the PlayStation kids can take turns playing fun interactive games. There are also DVDs for the kids if they’re keen to borrow a free movie. The library has some great holiday activities for the kids and staff are always happy to help them find books. So c’mon, book lovers, visit the Warrandyte Library. Sheya Atherton and Michele Petalas both suggested this one on our Facebook page.

More: www.wml.vic.gov.au/Page/Page.aspx?Page_id=848

Join the Circus Oz team

After a fantastic and funny show for the kids? Well you’re in luck because Circus Oz is back in Melbourne these school holidays from June 17 to July 12 at Birrarung Marr. The new show is reportedly one of the company’s best shows yet, full of fun, laughter, jokes, comedy and of course circus tricks. This would be a great show for any kids but especially for kids who are interested in the arts, gymnastics, dancing and acrobatics. Hurry! Tickets are going fast.

More: www.ticketmaster.com.au/section?tm_link=tm_header

A day out at the theatre

Looking for a more gentle, relaxing outing? One is certainly on offer at the Regent Theatre where The Lion King is on until July 3. Tickets are selling out very fast for this incredible show and before long they’ll all be gone. Don’t miss the opportunity to take your children to what must be one of their favourite movies recreated into an amazing live theatrical performance.

More: www.ticketmaster.com.au/Disney-Presents-The-Lion-King-Australia-tickets/artist/820969?tm_link=tm_homeA_b_10002_1

Visit Edendale

Rug up and take your kids over to Edendale farm at 30 Gastons Road, Eltham. Meet and feed some of the farm animals, try out the new activities revolving around patterns, pictures and textures or book into one of the wildlife or art school holiday programs.

More: www.edendale.vic.gov.au/Visit_Edendale/School_Holiday_Activities

Whatever floats your boat

Want to take your kids to some place fun where they probably haven’t been to before? Inflatable World is the place to go. They say it’s all about having fun, so bring the whole family and bounce on in to Inflatable World.  It’s not just for the kids – they encourage the parents to have fun too. Sessions are for two hours per single entry fee after which time you will be pooped anyway. You can play on the inflatable activities as many times as you like during the session and  supervisors are there to make sure everyone is safe and gets a fair go.

More: www.inflatableworldoz.com.au/stadiums/oakleigh

Lots on in Nillumbik Shire

Nillumbik Shire Council has many events running throughout these school holidays. If your kids are interested in helping out with the environment and have a real green thumb then these are perfect: Backyard chooks for beginners, Stories of Place – Heritage Walk, Energy Freedom workshop 5 – solar electricity, Beekeeping – a taster, Set up and maintain a worm farm, and so many more. Don’t let your kids sit at home and do nothing these holidays, get them involved and actively learning while having fun in the outdoors.

More: www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/Environment/News_Activities_and_Events/Activities_Program

Warrandyte Basketball holiday programs

It has been another great term of basketball in Warrandyte and while the holidays are a fantastic time to get a little rest, they are also perfect if your kids want to stay active and participate in some basketball extension activities. There are some wonderful opportunities open to the Redbacks and Venom players, some of which are Warrandyte Basketball-based and some are offered by external organisations.

More: www.foxsportspulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?client=1-4089-0-0-0&sID=112048&&news_task=DETAIL&articleID=35114007

Grab a DVD and chill at home

Can’t take your kids out but can’t keep them entertained at home? Video Ezy at The Pines could be your best friend. They have a wide selection of movies for all ages including the new Cinderella movie, Paper Planes, Big Hero 6, Paddington and so many more. What kid doesn’t enjoy sitting and watching movies all day? NONE! So head over to Video Ezy and grab some movies for great prices and pop the kids down in front of the TV for the day and they’ll stay out of your hair.

More: www.videoezy.com.au

A big thank you to all the people who made excellent suggestions on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Break-ins on the rise


WARRANDYTE police and Manningham Crime Investigation Unit (CIU) are urging residents to be on the lookout for suspicious activity after several houses in Warrandyte were been broken into last month.

Detective senior sergeant Matt Volk from Manningham CIU says thieves from a specific crime syndicate have made off with $4 million worth of goods from 28 burglaries and there has been a huge spike in burglaries in the area over the past few months.

The break-ins generally happened during evenings between Thursdays and Sundays from 5pm-10pm. Houses in St Muir Drive, Oakland Drive and Pamela Court were targeted and significant amounts of cash and jewellery were stolen. The Warrandyte Cafe was reportedly broken into over the Queen’s Birthday Weekend as the Diary went to print.

These burglaries form part of a larger series with houses in Donvale also being targeted by thieves. Affluent properties are the specific focus of the thieves and in at least one particular case a resident was downstairs in her house while the intruders ransacked upstairs, making off with jewellery and irreplaceable family heirlooms.

A common tactic of the thieves is to come knocking on the door and asking for a stranger who does not live at the residence.

Recording descriptions of these people, including vehicle types and registrations, is helpful to police, and of most benefit when the information is reported at the time.

At a press conference held on May 26, Det Snr Sgt Matt Volk said “we’re urging the community to come forward if you see anything suspicious call 000 immediately”.

Police have stepped up patrols in the areas but need the residents of Warrandyte to be alert to any suspicious activity.

Police urge all residents to communicate with their neighbours and start a dialogue so that anything out of the ordinary can be quickly identified and the police called in for suspicious circumstances.

Police say many people are concerned about interfering or wrongly accusing people of a crime, however, the spate of burglaries has proven residents can never be too vigilant, so residents are asked to not hesitate in calling the police if something’s not quite right.

Meanwhile, some time overnight on May 28, a vehicle in Fossickers Way and another on Harris Gully Road had their side windows smashed and personal items, loose change and personal belongings were stolen.

Also, on at least three separate occasions in May, a red and black laundry bag containing soiled linen has been stolen from outside the medical centre on Yarra and Trezise streets.

Anyone with any information
on these incidents is urged to call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or Warrandyte Police on 9844 3231.

Traffic report due in August


TRAFFIC modelling of the Warrandyte Bridge road network will be conducted and a report handed down by the end of August, according to VicRoads regional director Adam Maguire.

An additional $140,000 has been committed in the 2015–16 budget to investigate ways to improve traffic capacity of the Warrandyte Bridge during an emergency, including widening and strengthening the bridge, Mr Maguire confirmed in a letter to Member for Warrandyte Ryan Smith.

The traffic modelling will look at the road network around the Warrandyte Bridge in both day-to-day and emergency scenarios and is expected to accurately represent current traffic conditions.

Mr Maguire wrote: “The model will be used to assess future traffic scenarios, whether due general traffic growth over time or resulting from any particular emergency traffic movement.”

Once complete, results of the study will be discussed with both Nillumbik Shire Council and Manningham City Council.

Member for Warrandyte Ryan Smith said he is pleased that after six months VicRoads has offered some concrete information.

“We now have a timeline and something to which we can hold the government accountable,” he said. “As a community we should be pre- pared to make a noise if the report or funding fails to materialise.”

Warrandyte Community Association (WCA) President Dick Davies has also welcomed the news.

“Up until now everybody had a solution to Warrandyte’s traffic problems but nobody had the data.

“We’ve been advocating for this for a long time and want to see the results. The more transparency we get from VicRoads, the better,” he said. Mr Davies also saw this as an opportunity for the traffic issues to be looked at holistically, combining emergency traffic management alongside the day-to-day issues.

“It might help bring us further up the VicRoads priority list.”

In related news:

  • The WCA is also supporting the proposed construction of the Northern Arterial Route. According to the 2014 Manningham Link Roads Improvement Strategy Plan, the Northern Arterial Route would extend Reynolds Road beyond Tindals Road to Ringwood-Warrandyte Road. VicRoads does not have a timeframe for the project development. The proposed North East Link is also a potential solution to easing congestion in north eastern suburbs as it would provide an additional major Yarra River crossing for Melbourne, however, the government has not committed to the project.
  • Discussions continue with Nillumbik Shire Council to determine future improvements along the Kangaroo-Ground-Warrandye Rd corridor to address congestions coming off the bridge, a spokesperson for the Minister of Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan has confirmed.
  • Warrandyte resident Jan Freeman has started a petition to address the bridge issue. She says the petition is calling for another bridge to be built within close proximity to the exist- ing one. For more information or to show your support for the petition, visit the Petition to fix the problem of the Warrandyte Bridge queues event page or the Fix the Warrandyte Bottleneck page on Facebook.

Blacksmith’s Hut moves


ONLOOKERS outside the Old Post Office Museum recently were amazed to see a trailer, loaded with a dismantled building, being expertly backed onto the site. The move was the culmination of several months work to save a small relocatable building from loss.

The Blacksmith’s Hut, a small timber and corrugated iron building owned by the Warrandyte Historical Society, was listed on
the Doncaster and Templestowe 1991 Heritage Study as being of at least local interest. It was thought to have been occupied by one of the Sloan family who operated as a blacksmith. It was located for many years behind the then butcher’s shop in Yarra Street. It was later moved to the Getson’s site (Community Centre site) when the Historical Society set up its museum there.

The hut was a centerpiece of
a functioning blacksmith’s shop where every Saturday the blacksmith would undertake repairs and blacksmithing. With the closing down of the site to enable the building of the new centre in the late 1980s, the hut was removed to land in Tills Drive owned by Shirley and Ted Rotherham where it was used for hay storage for many years.
 Fast forward to 2014 and the Rotherham house and land in Tills Drive was about to be auctioned. Manningham’s Heritage Adviser raised a last-minute warning that the hut would be lost if the Society did not act urgently. Frantic phone calls and an obliging seller and purchaser averted this fate and the hut remained on site while the Society sought ways to transfer it to the museum.

Finding a way, funds and permission proved time consuming over the first few months of 2015. However, problems were eventually overcome culminating in the dis- mantling of the hut on-site, loading it onto a trailer and moving it to the museum site in ‘flat-pack’ form. Heritage carpenter Matt Jeffries (aka Crackajack) was responsible for the successful move (aided by a number of willing volunteers) and will also be responsible for reassembling the hut on the museum site.

The Heritage Architect has written a new citation for the hut that says it is rare and relatively intact example of a homemade black- smith’s wagon/sleeping quarters with an attractive ‘domestic’ appearance, probably to encourage trade, which demonstrates a way of life and business for a single man during the 1930s Depression. It’s also important for its association with blacksmith Paul Sloan of the prominent Sloan family, who from the 1850s practiced various trades and businesses in the district, including William Sloan’s Yarra St butcher’s shop established in 1901. The citation considers the hut is of local significance and may well be of state significance due to its rarity.

Photos of the move uploaded
on the Society’s Facebook page invoked an immediate response with several people remembering it as being located on the river bank or playing in it as a cubby. The hut has obviously had several uses over its life and will shortly enter another phase in the grounds of the museum.

The Society possesses blacksmith tools and equipment that may
be able to be displayed once the hut is reassembled. Plans are currently being made as to the hut’s placement on-site and its future use. It is hoped the next phase will commence soon with the support and advice of Manningham council. The Society thanks previous and present owners for their forbearance in moving the hut and all the volunteers involved thus far. It, along with many others in the community, looks forward to seeing it restored once more.

Free food and a big heart


WHEN Judith Lightfoot read about a laneway in Ballarat where food is free to anyone who wants it, she thought, “Why can’t we do this in Warrandyte?”

So last month that’s exactly what she did.

Instead of a laneway she uses the Rotary op-shop, which she manages as a volunteer. Vandals wrecked her first attempt to give away food, so she moved her operation inside.

Now, there are food racks filled fruit, vegetables, herbs, bread and even baby formula.

The food has all been donated— it’s fresh and free to anybody who needs it.

“In this job you hear a lot of sad stories and people come in who need some assistance. It’s such a simple idea. People have extra [food] in their gardens. They can bring it in and share it.”

When the Diary spoke to Judith, the project had been going just three weeks and already more than 100 people had taken food. Donations were being dropped in every day, aided by a call out on the Warrandyte Business and Community Facebook page.

“It just makes me all warm and fuzzy,” Judith says.

Aldi is also donating food, as Rotary fits under their charitable guidelines. “We pick it up every Monday and Friday,” Judith says. “It’s such an adventure. We bring it back and make it look pretty.”

Judith, who is a former chef, says it’s really heart-warming to see all sorts of people coming in and taking the food—even if at first they are a bit shy.

“It needs to be taken while it’s fresh. So I say, ‘Grab something for the kids’ lunchboxes. Take what you need’.”

There are gold coin donation boxes to help people feel more comfortable taking the food, Judith explains.
“I get that people are embarrassed, so we just want to make it an enjoyable experience.

“Anyone’s welcome to it. Rotary doesn’t mind who has it. We can’t sell the food, and it makes us cry to throw it out.”

Judith is at pains to explain this initiative isn’t replacing the long-standing Warrandyte Food Bank, run by Margory Lapworth.

“This is new and it’s different to the food bank because it’s fresh food. We just need to see what happens.”

The #foodisfree movement started in Texas in 2012—with free planter boxes given to schools and community groups as edible gardens. Since then it’s spread around the world. Founder John VanDeusen Edwards estimates it’s operating in around 190 cities world-wide.

Anyone wishing to donate fresh food can drop it into the Rotary op shop, behind the Yarra street shops near the roundabout.

Chasing Chastity


IF anyone’s heard a cheerful “N’awlins” accent around Warrandyte recently, chances are you’ve bumped into the community’s latest sporting import.

Chastity Reed, former WNBA player and native of Louisiana, is the Warrandyte Venom’s newest star player. Having also plied her trade in Europe, Chastity joins Martino Brock as one of the two imports the club has secured for this season and she is loving the opportunity to play Australian basketball.

“Nicole Howard got in touch with my agent and we thought coming down here was a good way to keep me in shape, because right now is my off-season,” Chastity says.

The New Orleans-born basketballer was originally a footballer, until realising she would have a better chance of making an elite level in basketball. After moving to Dallas, she received a scholarship to college in Arkansas where her coach and her team’s style of offence allowed her to excel.

Now in the Australian basketball system, there are a few things Chastity has noticed.

“Over here, the players actually have better fundamentals. But overseas you probably find the more athletic players. It’s funny because I play tall in Australia, at the power forward position, but back home I was a guard.”

Adapting to Venom basketball is something Chastity has enjoyed and she hopes she can continue to make an impact for the remainder of her stay.

“I really trust my teammates already and I love the ball in their hands. I’m putting up some decent numbers and I don’t usually turn the ball over, so I think it’s going well.”

The style of basketball isn’t the only difference for Chastity, who has also made observations about the more easygoing mentality of the Australian persona.

“In Australia people are more laid back and easygoing, which is nice compared with back home. In Europe, people are really harsh and will crucify you. I like it out here because it’s a really close community.”

Having previously played at the highest level in America, after being drafted into the WNBA in 2011, Chastity is under no illusions for her future basketball goals.

“I want to be back in the WNBA because I am sure that I can play at that level. I know the girls who are playing there now and I know that I can compete,” Chastity says.

“I also feel I need to find a team that suits me as a player. One with a solid half court offence set that suits my game. I just need to get in the gym and do more so that I am at my best.”

But for now, Chastity is focusing on making the most of her time here in Warrandyte. Her status
as an import runs out at season’s end in July/August, and her time abroad is something that she believes more should have the opportunity to experience.

“I think Australia, Europe or wherever should allow more imports, as many as possible. Staying with Jenny Trewella has just been fantastic, they have been really great to me and it’s just been a great experience.”

The camel’s kiss


PETE’S jaw dropped mid-sentence as the inquisitive creature’s foul-smelling breath intruded on the deliciously rich, earthy outback air.

“Quickly!” he said, breathing as I scrambled in the passenger seat to grab my camera from the dusty red floor of the Land Cruiser. “Zac” had decided to participate in the cheerful human banter, projecting his huge rubbery mouth through the car window to give Pete a fetid, sloppy kiss.

I am on a secluded four-day trek with renowned landscape photographer Pete Dobré, run by Camel Treks Australia, deep in the varied landscape of the South Australian Flinders Ranges. Venturing on a spectacular journey from the perspective of an outback pioneer aboard a single humped camel, 
I was keen to capture the iconic ranges, a photographer’s utopia with a showcase of abundant wild- life and astonishing landscapes.

From Adelaide airport, we drive north through the Clare Valley wine and gourmet food district, established in the 1850s by Jesuit priests fleeing Silesia (Poland) and religious persecution (definitely worth a stop for lunch and perhaps a sample of the local vintage if you are a passenger!). Six hours and 400km later we arrive at the edge of Wilpena Pound—a natural mountain amphitheatre home to the small township of Hawker, 12km from our final destination.

The road to Wonoka Station basecamp is a hard compact dirt road, meaning there is no need for a 4WD, although the driveway is over 10km long. The alternative is travel via coach from Adelaide, with Genesis Tour and Charter to Hawker, where staff will collect and shuttle you to Wonoka Station.

We are greeted by husband and wife team Karen and Paul Ellis and their two children. The couple operates Camel Trek Australia tours over 20,000 acres. Following the obligatory safety drill, the gentle giants seeming to mildly protest their chewing being disturbed, groaned and then (not so graciously) lay down while the excited, impatient riders climbed aboard.

We were off!

Travelling in string formation, with each camel tied to the one in front Indiana Jones-style and led by a “cameleer”, we ventured 5km to our first base camp for the next two days. The honey-coloured sand- stone blocks of Mayo’s Hut are well over 100 years old, but renovated to house weary travellers on the Heysen Trail as well as those on camel treks. Camp was already set up and from the delicious aromas wafting by, it was obvious dinner was underway. Treated to nibblies, wine and a three-course meal prepared in mouth-watering, rustic outback style (all dietary needs catered), we kick back around a roaring campfire to exchange lively banter until it is time to hit the (rather luxurious) swags.

We awake each day to a huge hearty breakfast, and with lunches packed in camel saddlebags, we hit the trail each day for a new adventure.

For four days our surrounding scenery is an enticing smorgasbord for the eyes. The constantly evolving landscapes alternate from ruggedly mountainous ranges and spectacularly harsh, golden rocky gorges to delightfully cool and relaxing bubbling creeks (after the rain), sheltered by ancient river red gums and then onto the deep, rich sandy red plains stretching across the horizon as far as the eye can see.

Camel Treks Australia presents a fantastic opportunity to experience the organic breathtaking landscape of the Flinders Ranges, with many tour options to discover. It caters for school groups, families, photographers and adventurers—there is a trek for everyone.

More cameltreksaustralia.com.au