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Days 27 - 30 Charlton to Bendigo

sunny 24 °C


Day 27 Charlton to Bendigo
We departed Charlton and drove 108 kms to Bendigo intending to stay at the showground there however, when we arrived we were told that a large horse event was on the whole of the weekend and that on the Sunday, a large market was on so we decided to book into a caravan park instead and after phoning around chose one out at Maiden Gully.
After checking in and setting up our sites we drove into Bendigo and walked all around the city centre. There are some wonderful old buildings here which are the result of all the gold found in the area.
The first building we looked at was the Soldiers Memorial Museum completed in 1921.
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The old Post Office built in 1887 is now the Information Centre and next door to it is the Law Courts opened in 1896.
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One of the hotels in the city centre is the Shamrock – it is a very decorative hotel.
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We went and had a look at the Bendigo Pottery which is Australias oldest working pottery.
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Day 28 In Bendigo
This morning we drove into Bendigo to the markets at the showground. It is quite large and then we went to the Tram Depot and purchased a two day pass for the tram and an entry into the Chinese Joss House then caught a tram and went and had a look at the Joss House and the Chinese temple there. The attendant was very informative and we learnt a lot while we were there. This Chinese place of worship was constructed in the 1860’s. Originally part of Ironbark Chinese Camp, it is one of the few remaining original buildings of its type in Australia. The main temple is dedicated to Guan Di (Kwan Gong), the god of war and Prosperity.
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We got back on a tram and came back to Charing Cross stop and took a photo of the Alexandra Fountain there.
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Day 29 In Bendigo
This morning we drove to the Central Deborah Mine site and after parking there we caught a tram to the Charing Cross stop then walked through Rosalind Park to the Golden Dragon Museum and Chinese Garden. The museum is the home of Bendigo’s famous Chinese dragon Loong, the oldest imperial Chinese dragon in the world, and Sun Loong, the longest imperial dragon in the world.
The garden needs a bit of maintenance however the Temple and the museum were well worth the visit here. In fact, they were so good we found it was after 1.00 pm and we hadn’t had lunch nor even morning tea.
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We walked into the city centre and found a venue for lunch then caught a tram back to the Central Deborah Mine, collected Pommy Bob’s car and drove to the Catholic Cathedral to have a look at it. This building was commenced in 1897 but not completed till 1977.
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Day 30
Still in Bendigo. This morning we went to have a look at the “Great Stupa” being constructed on the outskirts of Bendigo. Work began in 2000 with the site being prepared. It is hoped to have it completed the end of this year. It will house the Jade Buddah which is currently on a world tour.
Great Stupa of Universal Compassion is the largest Buddhist monument in the Western world (50 metres high and 50m square at its base). It is being built near Bendigo, Australia and final home for the world’s largest gem quality Jade Buddha. There is a vast collection of Asian sacred relics and statues on display at The Great Stupa exhibition centre. Set in the Aussie bush The Great Stupa is already a popular domestic and international tourist attraction.
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The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace is the largest Buddha carved from gemstone quality jade in the world, created for the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion. The Jade Buddha is 2.7 metres high and weighs 4 tonne. It sits on an alabaster throne of 1.4 high. The size and beauty of the Jade Buddha make it a wonder of the world. It is considered to be priceless. The Jade Buddha has been on a world tour since March 2009. So far it has visited 61 cities in Vietnam, Australia, USA, Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and Sri Lanka. To date close to 7 million have seen the Jade Buddha.
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What will the Great Stupa look like when completed?
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We then drove to the Bendigo Woolen Mills. Unfortunately we were not allowed into the actual mill (Safety concerns like everywhere else) but we did look at products in the shop there.
Next stop was at the old WW2 Armaments factory which now produces the troop transport vehicles being used in Iraq and Afghanistan – Trackmaster. Again we couldn’t get in. (This time security).
We continued on to the Bendigo Botanic Gardens which whilst being nice and tidy were not too extensive. An interesting pine was there.
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Posted by Bobnhiroe 22:11 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Days 31 - 34

overcast 21 °C


Day 31 Bendigo
This morning we all went in the English Gentleman’s car to have a look at the historic town of Maldon. The first European exploration of this area was by Major Thomas Mitchell in 1836. By 1839 pastoral runs were established nearby.
Gold was discovered by early 1853 and by 1854 there were about 30,000 diggers in the area. The gold mining in the area continued until 1929 when the last mine then operating was wound up. The Union Hill mine has since reopened.
The present population of Maldon is about 1600.
In 1966 Maldon was classified by the National Trust of Australia as Australia’s first notable town.
We called into the Tourist Information centre and obtained some self guided walking tours of the town which included a lot of history and information about various buildings.
It’s a great pity that they allow modern cars etc to park in the main street which spoils the effect when taking photos. You would think they would line the streets with horses and carts instead.
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After walking the town and having morning tea on the way we drove up on Mt Tarrangower to have a look at the surrounding district (as well as the town of Maldon) from the lookout there.
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From here we drove into Castlemaine where we quickly walked around town had lunch then drove back to the caravans. We did some grocery shopping prior to leaving here tomorrow morning.

Day 32 Bendigo to Seymour
After refuelling at Bendigo we drove to Heathcote in time for morning tea a stroll up and down the main street and a visit to the Information centre.
We continued on to Seymour where again we visited the Info Centre then to the Vietnam veterans Commemorative walk and wall.
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This wall is made up of 106 digiglass panels over 2 meters high and over 25mm thick. The names of those Australian personnel who served are clear and easy to read whilst the photographs which appear behind the names are a history of the Vietnam War. There are over 60,000 names on the panels including that of Bob (Campbell RR). A separate “Remembrance” panel list the names of those who died during the war.
We had lunch then drove to the Town centre for a walk around and a little shopping before driving down the Yea Road to a lovely rest area at King Parrot Creek 20km SE of Seymour for the night.

Day 33 King Parrot Creek to Tolmie
After a quite cool night we drove to the town of Yea where most of the traffic that had been passing us turned south to go on to Melbourne. We stopped to have a look around did a little shopping after finally finding the local supermarket then continued on to the small village of Yarck where we had morning tea.
Onwards then towards Mansfield and on the way we were surrounded by lovely rolling hills with livestock on them and hills in the background shrouded in blue mist caused by the sun evaporating eucalyptus oils from the trees.
When we arrived in Mansfield we visited the Information centre and had lunch before walking the town which is quite large and well set out. There is a monument in the centre of town to the three Policemen who were shot by the Kelly Gang in 1878.
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Whilst walking around Pommy Bob found a nice set of sleepwear for sale but the shop didn’t have one in his size.
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Travelling on up into the sub snow country of the Victorian Alps we finally arrived at a small village of Tolmie where we have set up for the night in the local Recreation Area.
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Day 34 At Oxley
We left Tolmie intending to stay at Edi which was about 50 km north. The road to Whitfield which was on the way was absolutely magnificent. We climbed up higher that yesterday and the scene down into the gorge from the road which just hugged the mountain side was breathtaking. Just before Whitfield the road dropped into King Valley and this drive was great.
We didn’t stop at Whitfield but continued on the Edi and when we arrived, it was to find hundreds of caravans and tents all the way along the river side with barely breathing space between them so we decided to continue on to the stop we had planned for tomorrow night.
We arrived at the town of Oxley and after looking at a roadside rest area there continued on for another 3km to the Recreation Reserve and set up there for the night. We may spend two night here.

Posted by Bobnhiroe 21:30 Archived in Ascension Island Comments (1)

Days 35 & 36 Oxley to Ovens River near Bundalong

sunny 21 °C


Day 35 At Oxley
The overnight temperature was only 4 deg C so it was king of chilly to say the least. The sun came out and it soon started to warm up so we got in to the English Gengt’s car and drove to Wangaratta to have a look around, do some laundry and shopping.
Wangaratta is a fairly large place but apart from the business centre it doesn’t seem to have much else going for it.
We drove to Glenrowan which was where the famous bushranger, Ned Kelly made his last stand before being shot. He was subsequently hanged in Melbourne.
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Edward "Ned" Kelly (June 1854 or 1855 – 11 November 1880) was an Irish Australian bushranger. Kelly's legacy is controversial; some consider him to be a murderous villain, while others view him as a folk hero and Australia's equivalent of Robin Hood.
Kelly was born in Victoria to an Irish convict father, and as a young man he clashed with the Victoria Police. Following an incident at his home in 1878, police parties searched for him in the bush. After he and his colleagues killed three policemen, the colonial government proclaimed Kelly and his gang wanted outlaws.
A final violent confrontation with police took place at Glenrowan on 28 June 1880. Kelly, dressed in home-made plate metal armour and a helmet, was captured and sent to gaol. He was convicted of three counts of wilful murder and hanged at Old Melbourne Gaol in November 1880. His daring and notoriety made him an iconic figure in Australian history, folklore, literature, art and film.
In August 2011, anthropologists announced that a skeleton found in a mass grave in Pentridge Prison had been confirmed as Kelly's. His skull, however, remains missing.
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List of victims killed or wounded
Name Injury Date
Constable Fitzpatrick wounded 15 April 1878
Sergeant Michael Kennedy shot dead 26 October 1878
Constable Scanlan shot dead 26 October 1878
Constable Lonigan shot dead 26 October 1878
Aaron Sherritt shot dead 26 June 1880
Martin Cherry shot dead 28 June 1880
John Jones (11yo) shot (died) 29 June 1880
C. C. Rawlins wounded 28 June 1880
Superintendent Hare wounded 28 June 1880
Martha Jones (14yo) wounded 28 June 1880

We had lunch in a very nice little café then returned to Oxley and the vans to put away fresh food purchased in Wangaratta then continued on down the road to the town of Milawa where we visited the Cheese factory there. Did some tasting but didn’t buy anything – well, we didn’t, the Pommy fellow did though.
Back to the vans. The boys are out on their motor bikes again and there is a lovely horse and cart going around.
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There is a lovely gum tree near our caravan.
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Day 36 – Parolas Bend on the Ovens River
Our car wouldn’t start this morning, almost flat battery. Luckily one of the other campers had a jump start unit and we were able to get going.
We drove into Wangaratta and bought a new battery after they tested it as faulty. Well, we’ve had it for just on 4 years so it has done well.
Onwards then through the village of Peechalba to Bundalong then back to our overnight campspot at a freebie on the banks of the Ovens River at Parolas Bend. There are many campers here but a long way between each group. We walked for over a km and still there were more ahead.
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There are a lot of boats on the water – It’s the Easter long weekend which explains why so many campers and boats are here.
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There was a rather weird cloud for a brief period while we were having lunch.
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We collected quite a lot of firewood so a good campfire for tonight.
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Posted by Bobnhiroe 21:34 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Days 37 to 39 Running Creek to Beechworth

overcast 21 °C


Day 37
We departed the beautiful spot on the Ovens River and drove into Rutherglen. We stopped at Campbell’s Winery to make some purchases and to have a look around.
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We drove on to what was supposed to be the evenings stopping place, however it was too close to a major highway and too noisy so we had lunch while the English Gent recalculated where we might stay. He made a decision and programmed his GPS Unit, but, a few kms down the road he paid no attention to it and made up his own route to his selection for the night. It was a good decision as the scenery along the way was magnificent – rolling green hills and the green very emerald in colour.
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We stopped at Yackandandah and had a good look around the town – it is very touristy. Took a photo of a very busy looking shop and some autumn coloured trees.1CEDFE332219AC68178596A915246FC9.jpg2014_Apr_2..ackandandah.jpg
On then to our evening stop – a rest area at Running Creek. The views from here are beautiful.
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Day 38
Day 38 At Nug Nug Campground
We awoke this morning to find that it was overcast but the views into the valley at our Running Creek Rest Area were magnificent. Took some photos with our vans in them.
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We climbed up out of the valley only to descend again into Happy Valley”. The scenery around here was just as good as yesterday.
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We arrived in Myrtleford and had a good look around town which included filling the gas bottle which services our gas heater which is most important up here in the Alpine region.
While we were getting the gas bottle filled a vehicle was in the service station with a n umber plate which read “NUG NUG” and when the English Gent enquired of him he was the caretaker of Nug Nug Campground and he gave a price which suited us so that is where we have ended up for the night. It again is very beautiful.
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Day 39
This morning we drove from Nug Nug to Beechworth where we will stay for the next 4 nights in a caravan park. The entrance drive is lined with trees displaying lovely autumn colours.
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We had morning tea on the banks of the small lake in the town. Hiroe just had to have a play in the kids playground. There were a lot of ducks here as well.
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After booking in to the park we had lunch then drove into the town centre to have a quick look around and to do some grocery shopping.

Posted by Bobnhiroe 22:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 40 At Beechworth

overcast 20 °C

Day 40 At Beechworth
Todays Blog will only cover the one day as we have done a lot.
First stop today was at the Visitors Centre to obtain some maps and advice regarding tomorrows ANZAC Day activities then we started on our self drive tour of the area.
Next stop was at Woolshed Falls which although not extremely high was a very nice picturesque site. I took quite a few photos including one of the English Gent showing off at the edge. Woolshed falls was where early gold miners used the water in extracting the alluvial gold in the area.
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We returned back down the road a bit then turned off on the Gorge Drive a one way, 5km drive which was constructed in 1926 to provide access to the scenic countryside near Beechworth. Just past One Tree Hill there was a quite good area to pull over to take photos of the countryside.
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Next stop was at the old Powder magazine which was built to hold gunpowder for mining operations. This is a National Trust Building.
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Onwards then to Spring Creek Bridge which was built as part of the scenic drive.
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Newton Bridge was built by Scottish stone masons in 1875 to replace an original wooden structure. The granite keystone bridge is built without the use of any mortar. When it was built it was considered the best bridge in the Colonies.
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A water powered mill once stood at the head of the falls on Spring Creek. Built in 1875, it supplied the townspeople with flour and timber. The tail race or channel (2.4 metres deep and 410 metres long) visible below the bridge, was cut through solid granite over a two year period in the late 1860’s, enabling the area upstream to be sluiced for gold.
Back to the vans for lunch and as we were departing for our continuing tour, 9 caravans belonging to other members of our caravan club were just arriving to join us.
We had a look at the lovely public primary school in Beechworth which is still serving the community.
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On the to the village of Stanley and up onto Mt. Stanley (1046 metres), for magnificent views of the whole area. The mountains around about look absolutely fabulous. An Interesting sign on the fence around the communication towers warns to watch for falling ice in the area.BA9C2B532219AC6817E41DF2E0540829.jpg
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Posted by Bobnhiroe 00:40 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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