What can you do in Ballarat on a drizzly day? An early morning walk along the Bunny Trail, and capture the sunrise around the Heritage Centre….that’s what.
Well never let it be said that a few drops, an unseasonable windy chill and wearing shorts ever stopped a couple of intrepid travellers from Queensland. Slightly underestimated the higher elevations of Victoria! However we pressed on!
The Ballarat Botanic Gardens are in full preparation mode for the Begonia festival in March, but the accessible parts were bejewelled with the most glorious dahlias; the Avenue of busts of Australian Prime Ministers is a reminder of those not remembered; the Adam Lindsay Gordon (the only Australian poet buried in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey) Craft Cottage has amazingly different and quality local hand crafts (Mother’s Day present solved!) ; and the statues, the educational walk and the conservatory all contribute to a delightful meander among the beds.
Murray’s connected to Prime Minister Joseph Scullen (1929-1932) through being related to his wife.
While I spent a good deal of time at Office Works for some offduty work stuff, Murray managed to find the cemetery, but not his rellie’s grave, but did discover the biggest, most diverse range of gluten free products at the local IGA. It made my heart sing to have so much choice at reasonable prices. A feast for the eyes and heaven for my insides.
Off we drove towards Maryborough. I have always been curious about Victoria’s twin town, as the Qld Maryborough holds fond memories for my mother – her first teaching position at the Girls’ High School, and is the home of Murray’s optometrist brother, Adrian, and family. We were intrigued by Clunes and its Booktown reference, then the glimpse of Talbot from the highway, bypassed by progress, and decided to pay more attention to them both on our return.
Maryborough was another remnant of a once thriving goldfields town. Petrol and a pie eaten in the car to keep warm in the parking lot of the magnificent railway station!
And so back to Talbot 10 minutes down the road where we bought a drink to wash down the pie. Sadly the corner mixed business store is closing its doors…a sign of lack of local patronage when larger, cheaper supermarkets wring the soul out of the small town locals. But an architecturally fascinating town. Thank you Talbot!
Clunes….what can I say? Bowled over by its Booktown theme. So much so, that I am dedicating the whole of the next blog to Clunes!
Ballarat Historical sites are many and varied and are testament to the wealth of a bygone gold era. Well worth a decent amount of time to visit.