Recently my artist daughter exhibited some of her paintings in an art exhibition at Coolart Homestead at Somers, on the Mornington Peninsula, 80 kilometres south of Melbourne. I went down for a look.
Coolart is a late Victorian mansion surrounded by formal gardens and a large wetlands area. The name Coolart derives from the word, ‘Colourt’ or ‘Callert’, the name used by the Bunurong people, the original inhabitants of the area, for nearby Sandy Point.
Verandas shade the the house from the hot Australian sun and keep the rooms dark and cool.
I was disappointed to find the tower was out of bounds, along with the old servants’ quarters, now used for storage and office space.
By the 1900s, the lovely formal gardens had been added to the earlier orchards and vegetable gardens.
A series of walking tracks throughout the park allow you to explore coastal woodlands, wetland areas and lagoons.
One of the tracks leads down to Balnarring Beach, which looks out over Western Port Bay.
In 1961, six pairs of of Australian White Ibis nested in Luxton Lagoon for the first time. There are now 500 breeding annually.
Coolart is free to get in and is open from 9am till 5pm daily. There is no cafe, though, so be sure to take your own food and plenty of water.
Examples of my daughter, Bernadette‘s art work.