The horse and cart may be a modern addition, but the Post Office is old.
I’m open to suggestions here. What’s Australia’s prettiest small town? My bet is that it will be a short list. There are very few Australian towns worth visiting for their appearance.*
Plenty have spectacular locations by beach or forest, some have arty-crafty communities, trendy shops or lively festivals, but hardly any have attractive streetscapes.
So it was a rare treat to duck off the Hume Highway and find a place in northern Victoria where residents have gone to the trouble and expense of preserving some heritage. It seems to be paying off for them. Continue reading
We like Big Things in Australia. So of course Glenrowan needs a Big Ned.
We decided to take a few days to make a touristy road trip of our drive back from Melbourne to Sydney, stopping off at the attractions in towns along the way.
We hoped people in towns now bypassed by the highway would appreciate our interest and our custom.
Glenrowan, 184km north-east of Melbourne, was the first stop. Continue reading
A car may come along, but it probably won’t.
Like most right-thinking people, we ate and drank more than was absolutely necessary over Christmas. Fortunately we did it in an area with ideal places to walk off the damage and the guilt.
I’m not talking serious hiking here, just gentle morning strolls on beach, country lanes or rail trails. Continue reading
Happy New Year, people!
Internet and mobile phone coverage has been limited in our corner of the world, even though the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia, is just an hour’s drive out of Melbourne.
Thank you for your patience while I’ve been on blogging holidays. I don’t know whether I should be encouraged or disappointed to return to cyberspace and discover that the number of visits to this site was about the same during my absence as when I was working hard to find good stories and post regularly.
The Peninsula is an Australian gem, well known to Melbournians and less well known to tourists. That’s their loss and our gain. I’ll have more to say about it soon.
For now, here are a few shots from my morning walk. I was very lucky with the light – there was just enough mist hanging around the trees to catch the sun’s first rays.
It was an excellent start to my year. I wish everyone many mornings like this during 2013.
Distance runner Craig Mottram gets cycling tips from Simon Gerrans.
I try not to let Facebook know everything about me, but somehow it has found out about my interest in cycling.
So every time I visit I get a sponsored pop-up ad telling me about the ‘Alpine Ascent Challenge’. It intrigued me enough to click on it. I was inspired.
I have keen cycling friends in Holland who challenge themselves by riding the mountain stages of the Tour de France. Mont Ventoux, Col de Madeleine and ‘the assassin’, the climb up the Col de Tourmalet in the Pyrenees, attract thousands of amateurs every year. They’re not for the faint-hearted or weak-kneed, but I cherish the hope that some time in the not-too-distant future I’ll put in the training hours/days/weeks and have a crack at one of them.
I didn’t know there were rides in Australia as tough as the European classics for those who want to give their legs and lungs a serious workout. Continue reading
I’m a notorious skinflint traveller. If there’s a bus, I don’t take cabs; if there’s a 2-star hotel, I’ll look to see what the one star one offers; if there’s something going cheap, I’ll look for something that’s free. I know that there are more important things to spend money on – like coffee, food and alcohol.
A free science lecture on the big screen at Federation Square. It was about the likelihood of Earth being destroyed by an asteroid, but nobody seemed unduly concerned.
And of all cities, my home town Melbourne is in my mind supposed to be free. In the good old days I could eat at Mum’s and she’d do my washing for nothing.
I hadn’t spent a day or a cent there for years, and there were a lot of new developments to catch up on. The Melbourne Museum, new facilities at the mighty MCG, the Ian Potter Centre and Docklands have all been installed since last I was in town. My mission was to see them for nothing, or next to nothing. Continue reading
“Where have you been the past ten days?” dedicated fans of RT’s LOTR are asking. The answer is, I’ve been doing the Great Victorian Bike Ride, joining 4500 other lycra loonies, including my son, in a 590km spin across the lovely state of Victoria, from Yarrawonga to Dookie, Euroa, Nagambie (you have to love Australian place names) and eventually to Marysville.
It was often a challenge, even for the young, fit and thin. So imagine my pain.
The organisers bill it as ‘a week in another world’ and it’s true that, though there was mobile phone coverage everywhere we went, internet access was too limited to post anything from the road. I didn’t have the energy for it anyway. We rode, we pitched the tents, we socialised, we ate, we drank, we went to bed. The following morning we pulled on clammy cycling gear, queued for the warm toilet seats, crawled back onto the bikes and did it all again. Continue reading