Written By Katarina @ cockatoo collection - March 16 2016
If you love the stunning, iconic Aussie cockatoos but only ever spotted them from a distance (like me), then Grants Picnic Grounds in the heart of the Dandenong ranges is the place to go.
Situated in the beautiful bush of Sherbrooke forest, in Kallista, Victoria is the Grants Picnic Ground, home to flocks of wild cockatoos coming for a feed. I came here with my husband and daughter to celebrate (very fittingly) the launch of the new Cockatoo Collection website – and we loved it!
You can see (and hear!) the cockatoos everywhere – whether you are having a picnic or just taking a stroll on one of the many bush walks starting from the carpark – but what makes Grants special is the bird feeding area where you can get really close to these stunning birds. They will be sitting on your arms and shoulders pecking away, giving you a unique chance to admire the beautiful cockatoos close up. You will see some pink galahs, crimson rosellas and the sulphur crested cockatoos are just about everywhere.
You can buy tokens for the bird feed from the cafe close by. Feeding the birds is only allowed in the designated area – there is a measured amount of bird feed available each day and a park attendant is available to answer any questions. I have never been a fan of keeping birds in captivity and although the birds have definitely learned to come for a feed they are still wild – worth while keeping in mind, as my husband found out as he was bitten on his finger!
The grounds seem to be on the tourist route and can get busy, but it’s easy to get away from the crowds. Just take one of the many walking tracks starting from the picnic area and you are in the middle of tall trees, cockatoos and magical bushland. Or if you fancy something more sociable have a spot of lunch in the cafe near by and a stroll in their lovely giftshop.
We all loved the chance to feed these beautiful birds. And if you live around Melbourne it is definitely worth a visit – for adults and kids alike!
How to get there:
Grants Picnic Ground is situated 40km east of Melbourne. Address: Grants Picnic Ground, Sherbrooke Forest, 70 Monbulk Rd, Kallista VIC 3791