Blogs from Victoria, Australia, Oceania


Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne April 6th 2022

Last night when Bernie was cleaning his teeth the smoke alarm in our room went PEEP, PEEP and then stopped. Then, just as we were settling in to go to sleep, the smoke alarm went PEEP, PEEP and then stopped. Hmmn, it probably means that the battery needs replacing? However, the ceiling was too high to be able to disable the alarm to ensure a good night’s sleep so we settled in regardless. Fortunately, we didn’t hear anything more from the smoke alarm until 6.20am this morning which was sort of about time to get moving for the big drive home anyway. After a shower and a quick breakfast, we packed the car for the final time and checked out. Shannon, our tour guide from last night, was in the reception area and said that the ... read more
Apostle bird, Mungo Lodge
More roadworks!
Sculpture, Balranald

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Castlemaine (Australia) January 4th 2022

Years after prosperous gold mining days passed, Castlemaine established itself as a town with a thriving agricultural, arts and tourism industry. Lots of interesting historic buildings to discover during this time with Emma before she left Australia to return to Norway. Theatre Royal - Behind the 1930s facade is one of the longest continuously operating entertainment establishments in Victoria. Imperial Hotel - 1861. Another hotel built with an interesting mansard roof and extensive cellars. Telegraph Office - The first telegraph communication was on 1 January 1857. Albion Hotel - Once known as the Albion Hotel it is now called the 'Empire'. Williams' Buildings - E D Williams redeveloped this site as his grocery and general merchandise business expanded. Oriental Bank Chambers and Bank of NSW - The Oriental Bank Chambers 1862 was subsequently a printing works, ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Maldon (Australia) December 23rd 2021

Maldon has been perfectly preserved since its mining days and is Australia's First Notable Town - classified by the National Trust in 1966. The settlement was initially known as Tarrangower. A townsite was surveyed in 1854 but the location was rejected and ignored by locals. Consequently the de facto township established by the diggers was surveyed in 1856. It was named Maldon after Maldon in Essex, England. The Beehive Chimney was completed in 1863 and, today, is the only one still standing in Victoria. It provided a draught for the steam boilers at the mine. The Beehive reef was discovered by Cornish miners who named it after a swarm of bees which were, at the time settled on a nearby post. It was like walking onto a film set - Emma also showed images of the ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » Essendon September 4th 2021

Today we finally make the long trip home... well that’s assuming our beloved Qantas doesn’t cancel on us at the last minute …again. We decide it would probably be a good idea to make the most of our last few hours of freedom given what awaits us in Melbourne - locked down except to get food, or to exercise for no more than two hours a day, all within five kilometres of home, and a curfew. I’m not too sure what time the curfew kicks in. Our flight gets in quite late - I hope they don’t make us sleep at the airport. We head down to Elizabeth Quay which is on the banks of the Swan River next to the CBD. It was only opened in 2016 and looks to be an entertainment type precinct ... read more
Bell Tower, Elizabeth Quay, Perth
Love tokens at the base of Bell Tower, Elizabeth Quay, Perth
Bell Tower, Elizabeth Quay, Perth

Oceania » Australia » Victoria August 24th 2021

My brother suggested the title of this, the last entry of our “Dash to the Bash” blog, and it is entirely accurate so I am using it! As we approached the end of our holiday we kept hearing reports of an alarming increase in Covid cases in NSW and that gave us a terrible fear that, potentially, borders to Victoria could close. We needed to go home and we needed to do it soon. As a friend said to us “the stable door is beckoning”. We felt we had two options: travel from Qld through the Northern Territory down to South Australia and across to Victoria which would have added 5,000km odd to our distance travelled, and then with no guarantee that we could actually enter S.A. or Vic. Or; to travel through NSW within a ... read more
8210821.2 heading west
8210821.3 heading west
8210821.4 heed the warning

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne August 20th 2021

Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria Melbourne We were close to the Melbourne Remembrance Shrine and Observatory so where was Alex taking us. Well he took us to the beautiful botanical gardens as part of his Surprise Down Under programme. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens has been a treasured part of Melbourne’s cultural life for more than 170 years, it was founded in 1846. These beautiful Gardens are home to amazing and diverse plant collections and we were able to discover just part of the 38 hectares. There is no entry fee & it usually would be buzzing with people but with the current lockdown regulations in Melbourne we almost had the place to ourselves. We wandered through the different areas admiring all the wonderful trees and plants including the Cactus Garden, Fern Gulley & the Bamboo ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne May 23rd 2021

Looking for kangaroos with Westerfolds Park is a metropolitan park situated in an eastern suburb of Melbourne. It was 7am on Sunday morning in U.K. (4pm in Melbourne). Alex our heygo guide had brought his girlfriend along today, it was nice to meet her, they make a lovely couple and a great team as we hunted the kangaroos in this beautiful area. Westerfolds is classified as a metropolitan park and conserves habitat within the Melbourne urban environment. The park nestles into a hilly bend in the Yarra River. In 1846 the land was purchased from the Crown. In the early 1930s, the Turner family bought the property. After World War II many of the dairy farms and orchards in the surrounding area were subdivided for... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » Essendon May 20th 2021

Today we head home. First stop this morning is the Murtoa Stick Shed. We read that until the outbreak of World War 2 Australia typically exported around sixty percent of its wheat to Great Britain and Western Europe. The War thus caused a glut, and the Stick Shed was thrown up in only four months in late 1941 and early 1942 to store some of the excess. We watch a short video presentation before entering the structure. It’s jaw-droppingly massive - 265 metres long, 60 metres wide, and nearly twenty metres high at its highest point. The roof is supported entirely by 560 slender mountain ash poles, which are thought to have been salvaged from Victoria's infamous 1939 bushfires. According to the ever reliable Wikipedia it’s often claimed to be the largest “rustically built” structure on ... read more
Murtoa Stick Shed
Rupanyup silos
Murtoa Stick Shed

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Horsham May 19th 2021

Issy had a restless night. As predicted, she bumped her head on the wooden case around the fluorescent tube above our bed every time she sat up. I think she might have sat up quite a few times; I hope she doesn’t have concussion. I wonder if she’ll remember who I am. Given that I snuck outside to knock on our window last night after telling her that the hotel was haunted, it might be better if she doesn’t. I’m very careful to follow the detailed instructions on how to use the shower to avoid setting off the hotel’s fire sprinklers. I hope that the water I can eventually feel on my head is indeed just coming from the shower head, and that the whole building isn’t instead currently getting a drenching because I missed a ... read more
Paringa silo artwork
Giant (?) bath, Renmark Hotel
Renmark Hotel Museum

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne May 17th 2021

Melbourne Art ‘Travellers’ 19th April The Travellers celebrates Indigenous presence and the meeting of cultures through migration. It comprises ten large-scale sculptures, each approximately 7.5 metres tall and collectively incorporating 3.7 kilometres of stainless steel. Nine of the ten figures are motorised and at regular intervals move along the length of Sandridge Bridge, sited near a former Aboriginal meeting ground and near the landing point where many early migrants stepped ashore. Built in 1888, the bridge is the third to occupy this site, the original constructed in 1853. Each of the ten figures comprising the work represents a phase of arrival, as historian James Jupp has defined these. The figures, graphic and abstracted in form, are Gayip (Aboriginal period); First Settler (convict period); Melbourne Beauty (go... read more

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