Nothing feels more refreshing than a weekend well spent out of the city in the fresh air. A couple of weekends ago we planned a little weekend escape out of Melbourne. Our weeks can be very busy so it was nice to take have quality family time exploring new sights. Ford Australia very kindly provided some fab family wheels to test out for the weekend. The all new Ford Escape Titanium which proudly has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating. What a way to test it out then to take the Escape through the Dandenong’s and to the snow at Mount Donna Buang! So off we went on a little weekend escape.
Driving through the Dandenongs is always so beautiful. It feels so far away, yet only an hour or so out of Melbourne. There are so many quaint little towns to visit on your drive through. Our first stop was The Piggery Cafe. If you have not heard of or visited I highly recommend the drive. A perfect spot to take the kiddies I can only imagine how beautiful it would be on warm day! With a large open grass area there is plenty of room for the kids to run around and a few games to keep them entertained. There are also the resident pigs Bubble and Squeak who were happily frolicking in the mud whilst we were there! We indulged in burgers and the most tastiest chips, I even snuck in a glass of rosé! After you have feasted on a delish lunch don’t forget to grab some fresh bread to take home with you!
After stepping out of the warmth Piggery Cafe it was absolutely freezing outside! We said a quick goodbye to Bubble and Squeak as the rain had started to set in. This is where the amazing hands free-power tailgate is handy. Genius for these situations when your hands are full with kids, hot coffee and shopping bags. Just give your foot a little wave under the bumper and up the tailgate opens! All loaded back in the car we set off on the next part of our drive around the Dandenongs.
Next stop Cloudehill Nursery. Cloudehill Nursery is like a hidden gem. A beautiful garden to wander, have a bite to eat in the restaurant and browse plants for home. Now I definitely do not know much about gardening. I do however love looking at all the pretty flowers and garden designs. You pay a small fee to enter the garden but can stay in the garden as long as you like. You can even wander through the neighbouring property and check out their garden. If you do plan to go with a baby it is not really pram friendly. Thankfully the rain had eased and sunshine made its debut as we wandered. Aria was kept well entertained getting excited over all the different statues. I can only imagine how pretty Cloudehill Nursey would like in a month or so time once everything has bloomed.
After a long day out we headed to rest up and plan our next days adventure. The long car trip home was made much more comfortable with both the girls falling asleep, gotta love when that happens! Pure bliss.
On the Sunday we ended up having a complete change of plans. Through some friends we heard there was snow up on Mount Donna Buang. Just enough for the girls to play in! So call us crazy and completely unorganised we packed up the kids the next morning and drove to Mount Donna Buang. A drive we should have planned to leave a lot early for. Stuck in bumper to bumper traffic waiting to get up the last 3km up to Mount Donna Buang felt like forever! But as you start to get that little glimpse of snow fall along the roadside we all got pretty excited! Eventually we made it up and what a pretty site it was!
Snow had been cleared from the road making it was an easy drive up into the slushy muddy, snowy carpark. Cue boots being the most appropriate footwear choice. From there you could park your vehicle and take a short few minutes’ walk to where all the snow fun was. A clearing path had been made so it was easy to walk-up, we even took the pram. There was even a little kiosk to grab a hot drink and some snacks.
It was a beautiful sunny day and temperature was around 3 degrees. A great day for the girls first time in the snow, they certainly had a lot of fun. I highly recommend Mount Donna Buang for young families at this time of year (snow depending). There was no snowboarding, no skiing and limited spots to toboggan. Just a big mountain of snow coverage, lots of snowmen and lots kids having fun with snowballs! We just layered up in clothing, heavy jackets and appropriate footwear. Although I will say some waterproof gloves would have made building snowmen and throwing snowballs a lot easier! We can’t wait to take them back next winter for a weekend stay at the snowfields!
The Ford Escape
As a family of four with two young children and a large dog (he didn’t come on our escape) one of the things we require is ample room. With boot space big enough to fit the double pram, which it certainly did fit. The kids seats buckled safely in the back with plenty of leg room. With added little features like drop down trays to make long car trips more bearable for all. With snazzy technology features like Apple CarPlay, sat-nav, panoramic sunroof, a touch screen communications and entertainment system you couldn’t ask for more. It navigates like a dream with Auto Stop/Start Technology from city traffic to windy hillsides. Driver Assist Technology for hands free parallel parking system that guides the car into a parking spot with ease. A family that requires a medium sized SUV the Escape is worth a look.
For more information on the family friendly Ford Escape and to book your test drive visit here http://ford.to/2vlkDLQ
Thank you Ford for coming on a weekend Escape with us!
This post has been written in collaboration with Ford Australia and Danielle Vella.
All words are my own.
I do not endorse nor promote products I do not believe in or use myself