Queens B/day W/end 2019 (Final Report)


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We were camped on the shores of Lake Lascelles at Hopetoun in the Wimmera region of Vic.

Monday morning arrived with no sunrise to speak of, but in the opposite direction over the lake there were some lovely cloud formations reflected in the still water.

I was taking in the lovely scenes before me and nearly forgot to get the fire going, the girls would have not been happy. I remedied that and then took a few more snaps.

In a matter of moments the clouds had gone and another spectacular winters day was upon us.

In one of Hopetoun’s back streets is the Corrong Homestead, it was built by the Mallee’s/Wimmera’s first settler Peter McGinnis for his wife and seven children. He considered the area around Lake Corrong ideal for his large flock of sheep, the house is the oldest in the region.

Lake Corrong, only a short distance from the homestead.

Peter McGinnis had many positive dealings with the local indigenous people, his family raised an aboriginal boy named Jowley (seven kids wasn’t enough!) after he was orphaned by a joint tribal battle close to his homestead. Jowley was considered the last of the Corrong tribe called Yarrikaluk, a clan of the Wotjobaluk nation and became known as Black Peter.

Beside Lake Lascelles a number of totems have been painted to remember the original inhabitants and some of the native wildlife that used to live there, there is also a painted reference to Jowley.

That afternoon we drove to the town of Lascelles roughly 30 ks to the east. Kristie hadn’t seen their silos plus there were a few other things to show her.

Outside Phil Riggs Drovers Hut Gallery, more of his amazing (quirky) artwork can be found.

I will feature more of his amazing talents shortly, but it is the silos that most come here to see.

They depict local farming couple Geoff and Merrilyn Horman, part of a family that has lived and farmed in the area for four generations.

Across the road from those, the local toilet block had been painted with some rural scenes.

We now headed south to Woomelang where a number of Phil Rigg’s artworks are featured. He constructs them by using corrugated iron as the main back drop he paints scenes on them as well as adding pieces of metal to create a sort of 3d effect, so clever, so talented.



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That last piece is called “Ducks On The Floor”, and then a couple more we saw around town.

Woomelang is on the main drag between Melbourne and Mildura so plenty of traffic passes through, more and more are now stopping as this little town punches above it’s weight for offering visitors things to see and do.

They have created a free camping area at Cronomby Tanks, basically in the heart of town. It has a very clean and new flushing toilet as well as fishing holes for those so inclined.

Around those water holes is a walking track that has at regular intervals panels of artwork depicting scenes from the town and regions past.

Harvesting has come a long way from the early days.

Only half a k from that free camping area is another interesting historical site, the Kerosene Tin Shearing Shed.

During the war when materials were scarce and at a premium, locals needed to construct a new shearing shed, so with a bit of Aussie ingenuity they flattened out all the kerosene tins they could lay their hands on and then built this.

Inside was all ridgy didge with a wool press and other paraphernalia from the towns sheep shearing times!!

Back at our van we lit the fire and settled in for the evening, I was again up and down as the day ended with some lovely colours over the lake.


On nearly every night the night sky and surrounding lights were reflected over the lakes surface. This evening as a number of campers and caravan park patrons on the far side of the lake had left, the light pollution was less so I captured this shot.


Tuesday was upon us, after another chilly morn we headed back towards Melbourne, our first stop being Wytcheproof. There we wanted to take Kristie (and the new van) right to the very top of the worlds smallest mountain!!

Two thirds of the way to the top there is an area where you can pull over, this is to allow those who may suffer altitude sickness a chance to acclimatise to the thinning air. We paused there having a cuppa before we made our final assault on the summit.



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At the top there is this sphere, symbolising the mounts significance or position amongst the worlds great mountains!

The sphere is made up of old railway spikes, and then a pic of the van to prove the mighty BT50 had the strength to pull our van all the way to the top!

At a height of 148 metres you would have thought there would be an impressive view Ha!, but not so as the surrounding plain is only 43 metres below the peak!!!!

In a local park we spotted this old pastoral hut from the late 1800s.

We drove through Logan on our way to Tarnagulla, This little church (now privately owned) and “The Aussie Pub in the Scrub” is all that remains from a sizeable gold mining area once known as Avoca Forest. The first licencee was Francis Logan so in time the Avoca Forest Hotel became known as the Logan Pub, it was built in the mid 1890s.

Tarnagulla is a fascinating old gold rush town, deserving of more than the ten minutes we spent there, but I wanted to show the girls this beautiful old church and a gold mine found right beside it.

The Wesleyan Methodist Church held it’s first service in 1865, having a seating capacity of 300 people. It was quite some structure for that time. Unfortunately in September 2000 a fire gutted the interior leaving the impressive external walls, spires and facade for us to still admire today.

Out the back the grandeur of the church was not replicated when they constructed the lavatory/latrine/dunny.

Imagine the ladies of the time in all their finery heading off to it, I don’t think even then it would have cut the mustard, so to speak!!

As I had mentioned earlier, right beside that church are the remains of the “Poverty Reef Gold Mine” initially you would think with a name like that, it wasn’t too successful but it certainly was.

The name of the mine relates to Poverty Bay in New Zealand where the original owners of it came from. They set up here in 1852, unfortunately they only retrieved 13.5 tons of gold (324,000 oz.) worth just under $601,000,000 in today’s money.

The unfortunate bit was a few of their mates declined to put in a few pounds to become part of the syndicate, wouldn’t you be spewin big time!!!!!!!!!!

Just up the road from there we stopped for lunch at Newbridge, there we saw this sign which at the time I thought was a bit over the top. It indicated that the residents of New York, London and many other major cities around the world had heard of the meat pies from this shop. Well we hadn’t and I bet neither had anyone else but hey, advertising and promotion is all the go today.

One other thing I will tell you about Newbridge, it is the birth place of Arthur Bayley. Who I here you say, well I hadn’t heard of him either but I’m telling you, he had an amazing life and was a real character.

He is known in Western Australia’s as one of there greatest heroes, his discovery of gold at Coolgardie is so famous they have a statue of him outside the Perth Mint.

The main street of Coolgardie is named after him, ballads and books have been written about him but Arthur Bayley is basically unknown everywhere else.

I will do my bit to change that in time, for he had a fascinating but very short life.

The final pic for this report is of Newbridge’s St Johns Anglican Church

And that’s that, the Queens Birthday long weekend for 2019 has come to an end.

Hope you enjoyed.

Regards, Col,


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Thanks Col, another inspiring journey through Victoria. Always enjoy your travels showing me places I haven't and most likely will never see. Thoroughly enjoy your images.