William Ricketts Sanctuary

William Ricketts Sanctuary is part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape in the traditional Country of the Wurundjeri People. Parks Victoria respects the deep and continuing connection that Traditional Owners have to these lands and waters, and we recognise their ongoing role in caring for Country.

Situated in a ferny glade in the Dandenongs, William Ricketts Sanctuary is a place of beauty and tranquillity, featuring extraordinary sculptures of people and animals half-hidden in the natural environment, just waiting to be discovered.

Interconnecting paths take you on a magical tour of cool temperate forest, lush fern gullies, and the 92 striking sculptures, perfect for quiet reflection and contemplation of the vision of artist William Ricketts.

An audio tour bringing to life the work and passion of William Ricketts is available for hire at the sanctuary for a fee of $5.

A gallery featuring additional works by William Ricketts, as well as information on the artist and his sculptures, can be found in the north-west area of the grounds.

Opening hours

William Ricketts Sanctuary is open daily from 10:00 am until 4:30 pm except Christmas Days, days of Total Fire Ban and Severe Weather events.

Entrance to the sanctuary is free.



Tours and adventure experiences in parks

One of the best ways you can get into nature is with a Licensed Tour Operator.

There are more than 400 Licensed Tour Operators across Victoria who are ready and waiting to help you experience and connect with Victoria’s spectacular parks and waterways.

Discover more than 60 different types of nature-based experiences including hiking, mountain biking, boating, four-wheel driving, indigenous culture tours, birdwatching, surfing, diving and so much more. 

Licensed Tour Operators know all the best places to go and will plan and prepare your visit to ensure you are safe and can enjoy your nature-based adventure to the fullest.

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How to get there

William Ricketts Sanctuary

Public car park located opposite the sanctuary entrance.

Need to know

William Ricketts Sanctuary

Change of Conditions

Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.

  • William Ricketts Sanctuary

    William Ricketts Sanctuary - Temporary Closure

    In June 2021, a severe cyclogenesis storm event impacted the Dandenong Ranges area, resulting in fallen trees and branches, blocked access to roads and tracks and damage to numerous assets. 
    William Ricketts Sanctuary was extensively damaged, with many sculptures, buildings, pathways and handrails destroyed by numerous large fallen trees.  Our highest priority is public and staff safety, and this site remains too dangerous to enter. 
    Immediately after the storms, Parks Victoria staff worked alongside emergency services to reopen roads and tracks to provide safe access for the community.  Parks Victoria rangers have since cleared more than 100 kilometres of roads, walking trails and picnic grounds in the Dandenong and Yarra Ranges.   
    The majority of storm impacted sites across the Dandenong Ranges have now re-opened, including all garden properties and the popular 1,000 Steps Walk.  This work has been further influenced by increased visitation (post-COVID restrictions lifting) and continued extreme weather events.
    Storm recovery works have also commenced at William Ricketts Sanctuary, with perimeter fuel break clearing and hazardous tree removal occurring within the Sanctuary’s 13-hectare bushland block and its public car park area.  Boundary fencing repairs have also commenced. 
    We are continuing to work on a plan to reopen the 2-hectare visitor gallery section of the Sanctuary, but it is going to take longer than other sites due to the sheer scale of the damage and the artistic and cultural importance of the sculptures. 
    At this stage, there is no specific date when the Sanctuary will re-open, but it is not expected to be before 2024. 
    Please refer to the Parks Victoria website for up-to-date information relating to closures and change of conditions.

    Attachments: WRS June 2021 Storm Damage Images (4,291KB)

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Sites

    Closures due to storm damage

    •      Valley Picnic Ground is closed to picnicking; visitors can use Boundary Road to access the park however         no vehicle access is permitted.
    •      Sections of Sassafras Creek/Menzies Creek walking track
    •      Wattle Track in Sherbrooke 
    •      William Ricketts Sanctuary
    •      Areas of Silvan/Olinda forest 

    Attachments: DR Storm Damage Works - Autumn 2022 Flyer (1,671KB)

Contact William Ricketts Sanctuary

1402 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road
Mount Dandenong VIC
13 1963
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