Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Last Saturday, Shannon and I went up to Bendigo on the advice of one of her coworkers. The word was that it's the quintessential Australian town. In retrospect, I can see how that is. It's a lot like a small town in Middle America. At the time, we were both sort of asking ourselves, "what the hell are we doing here?" but that may have had more to do with the heat than anything. After the heat finally broke in Melbourne, we went inland where it was still hot, because we are not smart people.

Anyway, it was a pretty cool little town, quiet, but with some cool architecture to take in.

One of the views from the observation tower atop the highest hill in town.

The down has a lot of Chinese history, going back to the gold rush in the late 1800s. There is a museum in town that discusses the gold rush a lot, but gives very little mention (albeit, some) to the idea that the Chinese were there first, and the European settlers took it over. Sounds sort of familiar. But, for their troubles, there is a Chinese garden, which seemed mostly nice, but had no shade, and thus, got little attention.

Also, there are 30ish wineries in the area, so on a cooler day, that could be a good draw. We checked out one (eight minutes after it opened, thank you) and found the wares to be satisfactory.

People drinking the recycled water was clearly an issue. Note the babbling brook in the background.

When we decided that we were done with 44 degrees, we headed southwest to gold country. There is a reserve where a significant amount of mining took place back in the day. If the pictures we saw in the museum are any indication, the workers didn't have to dig very deep to get it. What might you find these days in the gold mining reserve? Well, a lot of nothing, but it was actually quite cool. We believe it to be the most "outback" that you'll find in Victoria (The Garden State), but we'll keep exploring and report back.

I presume because of the immigrant influence that came for gold, there are a number of creatively named crossroads (and seriously, not much else) in the reserve. Naturally, I had a favorite.

From here, we went south, and drove across the Great Dividing Range to get back to Melbourne. It was quite pretty and lush. We pulled into a waterfall that had been reduced to a trickle. We aren't sure if this is a sign of drought, or a typical mid-late summer occurrence, noting that Yosemite Falls turns off routinely, too.

Still no success seeing any (living) wildlife. The scorecard for this trip was one bloated, stinky, dead wombat. Better luck next time.

1 comment:

Joseph D'Antoni said...

There's a really big madison and criterium there every year. It should be coming up shortly.