“This is no ordinary property; it’s a gem full of secret gardens, eccentric animals and country charm.”
“It’s hard to tell people what this place is all about,” says owner Nick Smith, “It’s easier for people to just come here. And when they do, they’re surprised.”
Surprising is one word that does sum up Panorama Garden Estate, hidden down a dirt track off the Mornington Peninsula freeway with surrounding farming properties along the rolling green hills. But this is no ordinary property; it’s a gem full of secret gardens, eccentric animals and country charm. Nick has dedicated over 20 years to transforming the property into a lush paradise, but has only recently opened its gates for tour groups to share the tranquility and to explore.
And there’s plenty to explore – with 18 pockets of hidden gardens buzzing with bees and over 10,000 plants, a picturesque lake, walking tracks and wooden bridges, it’s easy to spend hours meandering the 55-acre property. There’s more than what meets the eye: waterfalls, gullies and boardwalks through fern gardens.
It’s a sanctuary for animals, too, with two rare white kangaroos to spot languorously enjoying the sun, as well as a joey poking its head out of its mother’s pouch. There are deers leaping in paddocks, a rainbow of native birds as well as peacocks, turkeys, ducks, goats (named Trumpet and the girls), chooks, alpacas (Coco is leader of the pack) and four very friendly dogs.
If you’re lucky, Lulu the sheep and Molly the lamb may follow you on your journey around the property and show you which plants are the tastiest, which are usually the things they shouldn’t eat – straight to the veggie garden!
The view from the property is phenomenal and on a clear day you can see all the way across to the Bass Strait and Port Philip Bay and the mountainous Ying Yangs. Panorama Garden Estate also has a putting green for the golf enthusiast, a fairy garden for children and a range of look-outs to capture the stillness of the surrounding nature.
So yes, it is surprising, and also beautiful and relaxing. You may have your own words to sum up the experience, but boring won’t be one of them.
By Shannon McKeogh
Panorama Garden Estate
a: Boneo, VIC 3939.
t: 1300 138 488.
First published on The GAB