Day 186 - Echuca to Mt Tarrengower (via Bendigo & Maldon)

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September 29th 2015
Published: October 8th 2015
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The excitement started to build as we left Echuca because we were headed for the Golden Triangle. The area bound by Bendigo, Ballarat and Stawell has had more gold nuggets found than the remainder of Australia! In fact, more than 90% of all of the gold nuggets in the world weighing more than 500 ounces have come from this one area in Victoria. History, Architecture and Gold - the Golden Triangle has something for everyone.

We had coffee in Rochester before arriving in Bendigo at lunchtime. We had heard that the Bendigo Regional Art Gallery was worth visiting and Lenny was particularly pleased when the entry attendant advised that they had a number of works of ST Gill, the noted goldfields artist. The building that houses the art gallery is a beautiful piece of architecture and dates back to 1887. It has seen various additions over the years but all of the work seems to blend wonderfully. As well as ST Gill, the gallery has a range of works from Australia's finest artists. A visit should be included anytime one is visiting Bendigo.

We could have stayed in Bendigo exploring for days but we pushed on to Maldon, Australia's first notable town, declared by the National Trust back in 1966. You would think that you were visiting back in 1900 because nearly the entire main street dates from that time. We also visited the Beehive Chimney, the only intact building left from the Beehive mine which operated from the 1860's to 1911.

A visit to Maldon is not complete until you drive (or walk or cycle) to the top of Mount Tarrengower. These days an annual hill climb for historic cars is held here but we visited to climb the fire lookout tower and to gaze around at the vistas (up to 50 kilometres away). There is a campground at the base of Mount Tarrengower and we camped there overnight.

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