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