Paronella Park and William Ricketts Sanctuary in Australia

Exploring Australia #1: Paronella Park and William Ricketts Sanctuary

Australia is an awesome and really huge country with a lot of tourist attractions and interesting places. If you want to know what to do and what to see here, keep reading my travel blog. This is the first part of my Australia travel guide and this time, we will have a trip to Paronella Park and William Ricketts Sanctuary.

Paronella Park Entrance in Australia

Where it comes to Australia you probably expect places like Sydney or Melbourne... Well, I will describe those cities, but for now, I would like to focus on some less known, but still very interesting places. Let us travel to Paronella Park and William Ricketts Sanctuary.

Paronella Park

If you come from Europe and miss its castles, while visiting Australia you should visit Paronella Park, where we can find the real Spanish-styled castle build in the 1930s by José Paronella. That awesome tourist attraction is one of the best places in Northern Queensland, 120 kilometers south of Cairns.

Lagoon and Waterfall in Paronella Park

Well, I said it's a castle, but I wasn't 100% honest with you - it was a castle. After few cyclones and several floods, the building itself got devastated and was abandoned for a long time and today only the walls remained. All that left is restored as much as it was possible, but what's left is very impressive, especially that it's in a middle of the rainforest.

There are a lot of things to visit here. You will find two waterfalls, a swimming lagoon, water fountains, walking path, tunnels, and stairs to climb. All of that in the middle of the awesome trees and plants, like in a fairytale. It's worth to add that there is a 34 dollars entry fee and it includes not only a day tour but also a night visit, car parking for a night is included.

If you have some time, I really recommend you to visit Paronella Park not only during the day but also at night, especially if you will be lucky enough to be taken by the owner itself. It was so magical wandering with the flashlights through the rainforest, listening to the history and visiting the hidden part of this place that you won't see during the day-trip.

Paronella Park inside, Australia

I slept in a car and in the morning I was able to eat the breakfast at the Paronella Park near the lagoon along with the accompaniment of wild birds, even before it was opened to the tourists, which was a great adventure! The owner of that property really is passionate about it, trust me. I was really hating to leave the park and if I would have some more time, I would definitely stay here even for a few days.

William Ricketts Sanctuary in Australia

William Ricketts Sanctuary

Another great and mysterious place in Austria, unfortunately far, far away from the Paronella Park. William Ricketts Sanctuary is located in near Melbourne in the state of Victoria. Let's start by describing who this William Ricketts was.

William Ricketts was born 1898 in Richmond and was a potter, sculptor of the arts and crafts movement. As you will see, his respect for the nature is very visible in his artworks, which can be found in Powerhouse Museum in Sydney or in the Seawinds Garden, Arthurs Seat, Victoria. His major work can be found in the sculpture park that was bought by the Government of Victoria in the 1960s and it's now called the William Ricketts Sanctuary.

The William Ricketts Sanctuary is for sure one of the hidden Victoria's gems, a perfect place for contemplation and reflection. It's an awesome open-air gallery of sculptures located inside the forest. Why it's a hidden gem? Even many people from Melbourne doesn't know about it and that's sad because it's a great tourist attraction and a place for everyday walks. You can find here a lot of Aboriginal people sculptures, mostly their hands and faces, and some of the Australian animals as kangaroos or possums.

William Ricketts Sanctuary

William Ricketts believed that we all (people, animals, and trees) are a part of a single organism that was created by God. He tried to defend the aboriginal people and the whole island environment and he saw himself as an Australian leader who will convince people to the same beliefs. He tried to prove that there is a harmony between Aborigines and Christians.

Tip: It's a good idea to walk along the William Ricketts Sanctuary slowly, as you easily can miss a lot of smaller sculptures that are hidden in many places. There is no entrance fee, it's totally free.


Australia can surprise a lot of travelers, especially with its hidden tourist gems like Paronella Park and William Ricketts Sanctuary. This was the first part of my Australia travel guide and if you like my blog for travelers or have any questions about this interesting places or Australia itself, feel free to leave me a comment in the section below.

Wojciech Kuźma

Hey there! My name is Wojtek and I am very happy that you came to my travel blog. I've been traveling the world for a few good years now and I still want more.

On my website I describe the adventures that have happened to me, you will also find here a collection of valuable tips for tourists and travelers. If you liked this article, be sure to leave a comment and read some more!

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Comments: 1
  •   14th September 2018, 15:50

    Both Park Paronella and the Sanctuary of William Ricketts are great places that so many tourists underestimate. He does not even know them! This text was translated automatically. Original text is below: Zarówno Park Paronella, jak i Sanktuarium Williama Rickettsa to świetne ciekawe miejsca, których tak wielu turystów nie docenia. Ba, nawet ich nie zna!

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