How does one get around the world in just a couple of hours on a lazy Sunday afternoon? I got to see Croatia, Turkey, England, and even Israel! Alas, no I didn’t find a really cheap deal on webjet. I hopped in my car, drove about 10km up the road and visited the world famous Cockington Green Gardens. I didn’t need my passport and certainly didn’t get my duty free alcohol on the way, but it certainly was like stepping into another world. One where you know they don’t have to upkeep their garden with the Jones’ – they are the Jones’!
I managed to convince my housemate to come along for the experience, telling her I’d recently read that this place was compared to Disneyland. Unfortunately we were both a little disappointed that it definitely wasn’t Disneyland by any stretch of the imagination. There was no Goofy, no Donald Duck and definitely no Mickey Mouse ears in this land.
At $18.50 for an adult entry, it’s fair to say it’s a little on the pricey side for a day out for the family. But it’s one of those places that are certainly well worth a look on a sunny day. Hundreds of miniature houses surrounded by even more miniature figurines in humorous positions; a man fallen off his horse and into the bushes, the grim reaper at the local church cemetery and even a local passed out at the local pub aided by his friend. The detail in the houses, let alone the figurines is simply extraordinary.
If you’ve lived or are from the UK I can totally understand this would be a sentimental trip down memory lane. The gardens themselves are glorious, perfectly green and perfectly manicured that left us wondering how small a lawn mower was used on the gardens. I was left quizzically scratching my head wondering why the focus was so much on the UK when this tourist attraction is set in Canberra. I did ask the staff at the desk this, and was only told that it was inspired by something similar the owners had seen in the UK and felt like it was a missing piece in the Canberra market. Having just recently celebrated its 35th birthday, it’s still owned by the same family- 4 generations in fact. And it shines through that this place holds a special place in the caretaker’s hearts.
Leaving the UK section behind you are displayed with a magnificent international section, in which a selfie is a must in front of Machu Picchu, just in case you’ve missed out on the real thing. I was personally left feeling a little disappointed by the lack Australian representation in the international gardens (there is a couple), I realised that isn’t the point of Cockington green. To me, I see it as a celebration of strange and wonderful hobbies.
Only yesterday on Sunrise I saw a man that creates large sculptures purely out of hundreds of spanners. People find enjoyment in the most random and eclectic things. And Cockington Green by no means had an empty car park, so it’s certainly no surprise to me that it’s rated as one of our top tourist attractions.
But, be warned, after a visit yourself your next stop will most likely be Bunnings to see what you can make of your own little slice of paradise in your backyard.