Tag Archives: Melbourne

Victoria in Autumn

I had an opportunity to travel to the state of Victoria in Australia for 5 days in the Autumn this year. After two years of Covid and lockdowns in Victoria six times, it was very interesting talking to the people who have lived through this time of lack of social interactions and loss of business and jobs across the state. There is a feeling of loss about it all and how much people have missed out on seeing people and being barred from visiting loved ones who, under normal circumstances, would have been able to see each other. Gatherings were halted and people retreated to their homes. And now, even though the restrictions have been lifted, not everyone is ready to socialise again. There are masks on many, but not all wear them on public transport. Some youngsters said they had already had covid so were immune for three months so were not worried about getting it again, because their experience with the virus was mild and not a major issue for them, so if they did get it again, they were treating it as a flu-like virus.

Like a lot of older Australians, I am cautious and wear my mask in settings where there are crowds. I have not had Covid and I have also had a second covid booster and feel relatively safe and also a flu jab too. But I am not prepared to take any risks, and wear a mask in my job as a secondary teacher.

So on with the journey. I landed in Melbourne, the capital of Victoria. The weather was predictable, there was a coolness in the air but it was not very cold. I prefer to travel with a certain winter feel in preference for to a hot climate, especially a humid one.

I spent day catching up with my very good friends and preparing for the gathering I was here to enjoy. A significant birthday.

It was terrific seeing familiar people and meeting new ones.

The following day, I caught the VLine train – a country train as opposed to the suburban network. So for an hour I travelled north to a largish town called Seymour. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seymour,_Victoria

The area has industries surrounding horses, cattle, sheep and wine. The population is around 6 000, so a small but significant-sized town in Victoria. From there my friend who met me at the train, drove me through the countryside, west on Pyalong Road towards Kyneton. On that journey, we came across this lovely trestle bridge.

Historic Trestle Bridge is a Rail Bridge which was constructed for the Victorian Railways in 1890 by McDermott & Sons
along the Wandong-Bendigo line, south of Pyalong.

My friend who drove me to Kyneton, her grandfather, used to drive trains along this route and over the trestle bridge.


Lancefield was a lovely historical town with traditional buildings and great photo opportunities. Established round 1865. www.aussietowns.com.au/town/lancefield-vic

Really loved the garage with its old-world charm and clever marketing. He has embraced the history of the town and capitalised on the tourist interest in historic and rustic decorations. The only disappointment is that the Hay and Grain store was not! On the corner facing the street there were steep steps into a very small, new-age-style gift shop with incense, candles, trinkets, glass balls and soaps. Not what I expected. Just around the corner on the side of the building was an old wool press and that was all that showed any of the history other than the structure itself.

Wool Press in Lancefield
Lancefield Hay & Grain Store

After a walk around Lancefield, we had a lovely muffin and eggs and bacon for my friend and a cup of tea at the Aspy Cafe – which I might add was very tasty and fast to the table. It was lovely. The staff are friendly and efficient. #AspyCafe


The town was established as a supplier of goods for the goldrush in the 1850s and there is an example of the buildings of the time in

“Kyneton’s oldest surviving stone building, the Church of England Rectory, located at 61 Ebden Street, commenced in 1850 and is a rare surviving example of a pre-gold rush dwelling.”


Old Kyneton Rectory, Victoria, Australia – also now, luxury accommodation.
: Victoria in Autumn

The winter is approaching and all around Victoria the deciduous trees are colouring their leaves. Reds, and browns, yellows and orange. Beautiful against the often grey skies.


My next stop was the town of Trentham where some long time family friends live. Our parents were friends and as a result we spent time together as kids and have remained relatively close since. I really love seeing them, now all our parents are gone. It’s a link to our shared pasts and a welcome one.

The following information was copied from https://visithepburnshire.com.au/trentham/

So go have a read if you want. It’s a lovely village. With charm and history and it is just great to look at. It has a tendency to get snow often, sometimes enough to make snowballs.

Cool country. Spud country. For a tiny town, Trentham packs a punch. Not just what it is famous for – but for its lesser known gems too.

A quaint village retaining many historic buildings and a charming streetscape also boasts drop-dead pretty gardens and shady tree-lined streets (not to mention the main street has even featured in several movies, but Trentham is too modest to boast of such things).

Situated half way between Woodend and Daylesford and located high on the Great Dividing Range, Trentham’s soil is fabulous for growing some of the country’s best spuds along with a veritable cornucopia of seasonal produce. From chestnuts and cherries, to heirloom fruits and olives, there isn’t much that won’t flourish in this rich volcanic dirt.

In June 2021 there was a damaging storm and Wombat Forest was decimated. Most of the forest is ‘new’ growth as opposed to old growth. The reason for this is during the goldrush years in the 1850’s there were huge demand on the forest for timber for shafts and tools for the gold diggers. So as a result not much of the forest in very old, and so was’nt strong enough to handle the huge winds.

Well that is the end of this little visit to Victoria in the Autumn. I highly recommend it.


We love this travel stuff. The early morning wake-ups after a night of fitful sleep. I thought I had set my alarm but actually hadn’t and did not realise until I have been up half an hour and it had not gone off. But there was no trouble, due to my magnificent organisational skills. We left the house at around 4:00am and picked up travelling buddy No. 3. Once at the airport we swanned into the Qantas Club and I had a lovely bowl of Muesli and a cup of tea.  The wait there was only an hour or so.

Melbourne Airport
Melbourne Airport

Our flight to Melbourne was uneventful, so was my attempt to photograph the Ukrainian Antonov aircraft parked on the apron of the airport with spotlights under it highlighting the three engines on each wing. Fascinatingly to me, I had watched it land, streamed by @tweetperth live through Twitter.  Really felt like a modern woman in that moment. Colossal machine. Most impressive.

Our next moment was arriving in Melbourne, grabbing our bags because there didn’t seem to be an option to check them through to Hobart at the bag drop in Perth. We didn’t ask anyone of course because, we didn’t care, and we had enough time in Melbourne to collect them and re-drop them for the next leg of their journey.

Back to the Qantas Club and more food.  Had a lovely salad with ham, pineapple, broccoli and Beetroot and potato Salad.  I added a sprinkling of chia seeds for added fibre and that was followed by two cups of tea and wait for it, a Brownie!

Now, I do eat sweets, I admit it. However, I love Brownies when they are made well, and if you have ever had a Brownie from the #Qantas_Club before, you would understand. They really are quite special.

The Brownie!
The Brownie!

More tea cosies!

Caught the train to Ormond via Flinders Street Station.  I was met at Ormond station by my lovely friend L, who then took me to the farmer’s market and we bought some veggies.  The next stop was the cafe pictured above, where we had poached eggs with dhukka on toast and I added bacon and tomato. After brunch we returned to her home in Ormond.  Its a lovely area, well established and plenty of trees.image

The day was very mellow, and after cups of tea and chats, we hung out the washing and toddled off to the shops to check out the sale at Myer.  Nothing interesting in the manchester department, however we needed a Christmas tree and some deccies. After the shopping, home again, washing folded and inside, then home.

Louise drove me to the Caulfield train station and I caught the train to Southern Cross station, changed platforms and caught the train to Moreland station.

The return journey was interesting.  I must have a trustworthy face.  I was asked by 3 people if they were on the right platform.  Turns out two were not.  I had the PTV app on my phone and was able to help each of the people who asked.  I then got into a long convo with a Chinese girl from mainland China about her Masters in Finance exam which lasted 6 hours!!! Her parents chose the major for her and she said she had no idea, so it seemed ok. But after a while she started to find it interesting and now thinks it was a good idea after all. Nice kid.

Another good day. 🙂

Bendigo and back

My mate’s wife and daughter are riding in this race and are doing really well. It was pretty warm yesterday for their rest day but was welcomed by the sore riders.


We drove to Bendigo and met with the our two riders and went shopping with their friend. The city is a lovely place with beautiful architecture.  The cathedral is huge.

Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bendigo is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst and seat of the Bishop of Sandhurst. The cathedral is located in the provincial city of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.

The large pipe organ, built by Bishop & Son of London, was installed late in 1905. Second tallest in Victoria.image



Passed some wonderful bushland and bridges on the Calder Highway.






Got paranoid about my one and a half hour drive from Tascott to the airport so even though I considered 6am kickoff as being adequate – I did not sleep as well as I have so was awake several times during the night.  I had set my alarm for 5:30 but woke around 4:15am.  I decided it was better to be there hours early than to arrive too late or to hit peak hour traffic. Local reports are that there are people who commute everyday from the same areas so leaving at 6am would be a good idea.

The house in Tascott

I started out at around 5:15 and drove towards the M1 Motorway.  The speed on the motorway is 110 for most of it and it drops to 90 and 80 in parts.  The cars act as if there is a race on and they thunder down the four lanes with speed and conviction. I tried setting my cruise control but it didn’t last long.  Cars in front were slower or trucks and I was continually adjusting and going around vehicles in an attempt to stay at the constant speed.

Arrived at the airport around 7am after having filled up the car and returning it.  Did the bag drop and went through security – got bomb residue tested and then went to the Qantas Club to relax.  Had a bowl of toasted muesli and a couple of cups of tea.  Decided the cups are too small, so I always make two now, with the one teabag.  Then I stack them to take them to where I am sitting. I was in the lounge for about 3 hours so was able to do all that I needed to using the wifi there.  Got to check my email and blogs and then I blogged more and ate more and just vegged.

Flew to Melbourne – hilariously short flight – one hour and five minutes.  Had a wonderful spinach and cheese Pide – so hot, so yummy.  Very tasty and just enough. I managed to get one movie in and this time it was Anne Hathaway and quite a light movie but interesting and it was gentle and easy and heartwarming. image

M collected me from the airport and I did not have to collect a car and it was lovely having someone at the gate.  I dont mind when there isn’t but I enjoyed having the meet and greet.

Weather here is cooler than I have experienced for the last two weeks but its not horrible.  Feeling pretty tired now after all the relly seeing.  It really has been good though catching up with so many.  I really think my family is well worth spending time with.

Drove around Melbourne to do some errands today and took a few shots of buildings and places we passed. Here they are.

Villier St North Melbourne

Villier St North Melbourne

Victoria Street, Richmond

This bridge has been used to cross the Yarra since before WWII at Chandler Highway

Bridge Road Hawthorn


Los Angeles to Melbourne to Perth – Day 43 of 43

We moved out of the WorldMark Suites at around  9:00am and moved into the Hilton Garden Inn across the road from the Qantas Freight area at LAX.

LAX from our hotel window.
LAX from our hotel window.

Stayed for the morning then off to the Westfield at Culver City where we shopped and had lunch.

Westfield, Culver City, Long Beach LA
Westfield, Culver City, Long Beach LA

Then back to the hotel in the afternoon and evening. We were lucky enough to arrive early enough for breakfast.

Left LAX around 10:30pm on Saturday.  The flight was 14.5 hours and then we landed in Melbourne. Got two movies in, St Vincent, and Hot Pursuit.  The second one was a popcorn movie – my classification, derived from the assumption that you could eat popcorn all the way through, even crunching over dialogue, and it would not detract from the conversation on screen.  Good fun, not very credible but it was entertaining. image The other was terrific with Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy, also Naomi Watts was enjoyable as a grumpy Russian prostitute. In fact it had a surprising, high quality cast,  and I would recommend it.image

All good fun.  Business Class is fun too.  See you all soon.  Boarding in two minutes. Catch ya out west.