Located on the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road the peaceful surrounds of the world-renowned William Ricketts Sanctuary offer is a perfect place for reflection. The sanctuary is home to more than 90 evocative sculptures, many of Aboriginal people, which lie half-hidden in the trees, rocks and undergrowth of the native forest.
Influenced by his time living in Aboriginal communities in central Australia, William Ricketts believed everyone should respect the inherent spirituality of the natural world. Many of his sculptural works reflect his commitment to this ideal, while others depict his response to the effect the European settlers’ had on the environment.
The foundations of the William Ricketts sanctuary, blending sculptures into the natural environment, create some accessibility challenges as the sanctuary is built on the side of a hill. The sanctuary is not big and can be explored slowly, however, manual wheelchair users are likely to need assistance due to the steepness of some sections of the paths.
There are three designated accessible parking spaces available. One is underneath the visitors centre on the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road. That bay is 3.5 metres wide with additional loading space available in the adjoining bus pull in area. This bay backs onto the Dandenong Tourist Road and is not suitable for rear loading vans.
Two additional designated bays are located at either end of the lower car park on the opposite side of the road. These bays are 6.4 metres wide. The use of these bays is subject to the ability to climb the long ramp from the car park to the road. This ramp has a maximum gradient of 1 in 4.5 over its lower half but the minimum gradient on the ramp is 1 in 8.
The right hand side of the driveway has a gentler gradient but it is still approximately 1 in 7.
The main entrance to the information centre has a standard door width of 750 millimeters.
The information centre contained a disabled toilet and baby change room facility. It is a unisex facility with wide entry door and large room with good maneuvering room. The toilet has a side grab bar and a bar on the back wall next to the cistern. The hand basin is roll-under with a lever type tap and large mirror.
The upper level contains the information counter and the lower level the souvenir items. The levels are linked by an internal ramp.
The main entrance into the Sanctuary is from the lower level which has a wide doorway.
From the information centre the path is initially flat with a hard bitumen surface. There is a short, 20 metre section, that is steep with a gradient of approximately gradient of 1 in 7. Once past that section the path remains at less than a 1 in 14 gradient right through to the log cabin visual display building. The entry to this building is wide and the left hand room provides good access. The aisle down beside the seating is wide and there is an area at the front for wheelchair visitors.
The paths immediately around the building are flat hard packed fine gravel.
At this point there is a choice to return back the same way or to take the sealed path to the gallery and upper sculptures. The path leading to the upper road has sections with a gradient of 1 in 4.
Just prior to the main road is a path off to the left accessing the “Brute” and “Long Beard” This path is also sealed and the gradients are less than 1 in 14.
The final section to the main road is steep with an approximate gradient of 1 in 5. The road to the main gallery is steep again with an approximate gradient of 1 in 4.
The road back to the information centre has gradients as steep as 1 in 10 with the final section approximately 1 in 7.
“Earthly Mother” is only accessible via steps but can be seen from the main road.
There is a toilet block above the information centre but it does not contain any accessible facilities.