A fairy nice day

Had to share some photos of Anakie Fairy Park, where we spent Father’s Day.
I think it’s the old Dutch lady in me, but I just love classic kid’s theme parks. One of my earliest childhood memories is a visit to the Efteling in Holland. It had talking bins, a steam-driven carousel and a fairy tale forest. Anakie Fairy Park is like a very scaled-down version of it.
It was built in 1959 by Peter Mayer, a German immigrant. He and his family made many of the original displays by hand and they’re divine. Look at Humpty at the front gate!
It’s a treasure of a place, wedged into the top of Mount Anakie, with giant (real!) boulders everywhere you look. There are whimsical animatronic fairy-tale displays (mostly Grimms’) of the Three Bears, the Seven Dwarves, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Pinnochio… too many to list (apparently 22 in total but I lost count).
Sid, our youngest, hadn’t been there since he was a baby and he was beside himself with excitement, literally running from display to display. He has spent the last few days (on and off) in dress-ups, pretending to be an animatronic window display; sitting frozen on his little chair until one of us presses ‘the button’ (rigged up by our 8-year old) to make him move and talk. Very cute.
Had a hard time culling the photos as it’s such a photogenic place. The only bugger is the distance – 1.5 hours each way for us (just over an hour from the centre of Melbourne); but it’s worth the trip. My 8-year old describes the playground there as ‘the best in Melbourne’.
If you’re planning to visit, bring a picnic as there is no ‘real’ food for sale. We brought meatloaf and salad sandwiches, and honey banana cake. There’s an on-site fast food van that actually has very good coffee though. I’m a self-confessed coffee snob so you can take my word for it! They have on-site BBQs too, and plenty of seating.

Anakie Fairy park

16 thoughts on “A fairy nice day

  1. Thx Sas, this looks unreal. Never heard of it! On a foodie note, we have tried the lemon curd and Greek spinach and rice recipes. Both winners, although Ivy is now going through her fussy stage…grrr

    • You guys MUST visit Fairy park. Ivy (and you) will love it. I can relate to the ‘fussy stage’. Sid’s fussy stage has been his entire life… Rapt you tried a couple of recipes. Thanks Nez. Love getting recipe feedback!

    • Thanks Sophie. Lucky you, living (relatively) close to the Efteling, and Madurodam too for that matter! The Dutch, Germans and Belgians do their Theme Parks excellently. I also remember an amazing place in Belgium (possibly Genk) called Queen of the South; not really a theme park, more of an amazing Antiques place, very Anton Pieck. Maybe you’ve been there… *sigh*

  2. I LOVE Fairy Park! It was my favourite place as a child. I used to love the Snow White and Sleeping Beauty dioramas the best and was always a bit scared of the Aladdin one, and the magic was still there for me when I visited a few years ago with my eldest! The girls are old enough now, must be time for another visit.

  3. I cannot remember ever having been there, even though I have lived in Melbourne more than 40 years. I would love to go there one day with my grandsons before they are too old, which you can tell, when they don’t ask anymore to stop the car every time they see a playground.

    • Our boys still yell out ‘playground’ when we’re on long car-trips (think I’ll be very sad when they stop doing that), and I yell out ‘Op Shop’. Takes us ages to arrive at our destination…

  4. Myself and my two boys love that place. They are a bit old for it now, but still talk fondly about it. The playground is a winner! Definitely a well kept secret, and as you said, worth the drive from Melbourne.

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