During last week we took the new car for a run to the Victorian goldfields. We took advantage of a winter special on Wotif and stayed for three nights in a cottage at Hepburn Springs. On the drive up, we turned off the highway at Myrniong and had lunch at the bakery at Trentham, famous for its wood-fired Scotch oven and sourdough bread.
(click on photos to enlarge)
Here's the cottage at Hepburn Springs. It was a good size but the heater had trouble coping and there was no wood for the fire. Otherwise a pleasant stay.
After brunch the next morning, we headed off to Hanging Rock to see the setting of Joan Lindsay's novel.
The volcanic formations did create an eerie feel to the place, and the walks were a bit steep, but we managed to get up close. Then we had a beaut lunch at the cafe and trundled off to the nearby winery to get souvenirs. We also bought a DVD of Picnic at Hanging Rock and watched it back at the cottage.
Next day we visited some of the early goldfields towns. This is the main street of Clunes. We had lunch in the pub on the left.
The earliest gold mining in Victoria was apparently begun at Clunes in 1851 near this site, where the old diggings can be seen.
We took a lot of photos of old main streets. This one is in Talbot where there is an original shopfront with "Ironmonger and Tinsmith" still on it.
Here's the main street of Maldon, still with old verandah posts but spoilt a bit by modern cars.
Doortje can be seen in the doorway of this old place in Maldon. The verandah roof was a bit skew-whiff, so she was probably taking a risk (but the shop was selling chocolate)!
I was impressed by the wrought iron on the front of the pub, which I imagine dates from the gold-mining times.
We also visited the woollen mill at Creswick, and saw the carding machines in action - a bit bigger than my little hand-operated one!
On our way home we stopped in Bacchus Marsh and at the library they told us about this building, which features as the home of Catchprice Motors in Peter Carey's The Tax Inspector. Carey spent his early years there when his father had Carey Motors, and I assume the family lived upstairs.
We had an enjoyable three days, the weather was kind, and the car was a pleasure to drive.