A Couple of Days in Bendigo

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.

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Emerald and Puffing Billy.

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.

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Tarra-Bulga National Park, Victoria

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.

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Aireys Inlet, Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Relatives of mine live in one of the world’s magical spots. I may be exaggerating but that’s how it affects me. Aireys Inlet is on Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road, about 120 kms north-west of Melbourne. I’ve been dumping myself on them periodically for years, to clear out the cobwebs of the city and take advantage of the cliffs, the beach, the trees and birds and the quietness of nature, not to mention the free accommodation and some very nice cooking.

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