I hadn’t been across to the west of Victoria for twenty years. The last time, I was in between houses. I had left one and had space before getting into the new one, so to fill in the time, I took the Great Ocean Road and then the Princes Highway across to Adelaide, coming back inland. It was an interesting experience: no address, no mobile phone at the time; floating free.
Years ago, I drove up to Marysville, situated in the Yarra Valley, two hours north-east of Melbourne. It was a very pretty place then, but was caught up in the devastating bush fires of February 2009. Forty-per-cent of the Murrindindi Shire, of which Marysville is part, was burned, with the loss of 101 lives, and the destruction of homes, properties, animals and wildlife. The day the fire started, 7th February, is now known as Black Saturday.
For some reason, I’d never had a good look around Bendigo and thought it was about time I did.
Bendigo is a prosperous city, 90 minutes north-west of Melbourne, begun when gold was discovered in 1851. The original finds were the first of 9 billion dollars worth of gold found in the Bendigo area, making it the seventh richest gold field in the world.
I was able to find a motel right in the middle of town, and so left the car in its spot and spent the two days I was there mostly on foot.
I’ve featured several heritage mansions in the past but I think the queen of them all would have to be Werribee Mansion. Part of the Werribee Park Estate, it’s an insight into how the other half lived when the other half had so much money they didn’t know what to do with it. Continue reading “Werribee Mansion, Melbourne.”
There comes a time when you absolutely have to get out of your house away from routine and what feels like duty and into the real world. Last Thursday was one of those days.
I headed up into the hills, to a nice little village with the delightful name of Emerald. It’s one of the stopping points for the Puffing Billy Heritage Railway. The century-old steam train runs for 24 kilometres on its original track through the forests and farmland of the Dandenong Ranges, from Belgrave to Gembrook.
Continuing my exploration of Victoria’s Gippsland, I decided to check out the historic gold-mining town of Walhalla.
After my exploration of the villages along the South Gippsland coast, I stayed at Yarram, a short distance north of Port Albert. It’s a spotless town, with the wide streets that Australian country towns have, and all amenities needed to make it, I would think, a very comfortable spot.
After a very busy Christmas, I took a couple of days break in South Gippsland. Even though I grew up in West Gippsland and have lived in Victoria all my life, I’ve never really explored south-east of Western Port Bay before.