Queens B/day W/end 2019 (Part One)


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Hi everyone,

This year Jen and I, with our daughter Kristie headed to the north west (Wimmera Region) of Victoria, we left late Friday after Kristie had finished her teaching duties.

On the way we stopped at Bridgewater on the Loddon River for a cuppa. We thought we had lucked in at the Bakery for it was this establishment in 2018 that was voted Australia’s no 1 baker of Vanilla Slices (Snot Blocks) pity they had all sold out by the time we got there!

We had our break beside the river where these interesting carvings were located.

The first reflection of our trip.

It was then heads down and bums up as we drove into the night, finally arriving at Lake Lascelles at Hopetoun around 8 pm.

We choose a spot beside the lake, hoping that in the morning we would be happy with our position.

A clear sky at sunrise meant it wasn’t a wow wee spectacular scene, but one that still made braving the chilly morning worthwhile.

And yes we were happy with our camps location for the next three days/nights.

After thawing out around a lovely fire, I took the girls for a drive to see the sites of Hopetoun. Not a big town but it does have a couple of historic buildings and a few other things worth seeing.

It was first settled in the mid 1840s, more from that period later, our first stop was out the front of Hopetoun House built in 1891. Now privately owned, this is all you can see but it does show how prosperous the town was at that time.

Right in the heart of town is their first cemetery.

On the main street is a lovely detailed mural which depicts the history of the town and region.

On the west side of Lake Lascelles is another piece of art that shows the early history of the region. It is a three dimensional scene superbly created by a local artist Phil Riggs, more of him and his artwork later.

Right in front of our van we had a superb location for lunch.

The brief from the girls for this weekend away, was one of plenty of down time and relaxation. No probs I thought as that’s just the way I like it Ha!!!!!!

As the next day had some rain forecast (Sunday) I convinced the girls that an afternoon drive was the go as there was a unique landform I wanted to show them. Roughly a hundred ks to the north in the Wyperfeld National Park is a natural land feature called the Snowdrift, a huge very white looking sand dune.

Like most of north-western Victoria, the Wyperfeld area was a shallow sea from about 25 million years ago until fairly recent times. The current landform took shape as the sea gradually retreated, leaving a vast expanse of sandy sediment which, as it dried, was formed into sand dunes during the period of 40,000 to 15,000 years ago.

Unfortunately when we were there late in the day, the sun had passed to the west so it didn’t have that snow white look to it.

I raced the girls to the top, the boy’s still got it, but only just!



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It was so serene strolling across those ancient dunes.

On the way back to Hopetoun we briefly stopped at Patchewollock to take a quick pic of their silo, we had been there only a few months previous.

At camp late in the day, some wispy clouds built up which had me hopeful of a nice sunset.

The scene beside our van as the build up started.

It was a cold night and our fire was punching out some serious heat but the colours that night had me spending quite a bit of time away from it.

Before I show you more of the colours we saw that night, I want to show you something that had me baffled, why and I mean why, do some people travel to such places, and then lock themselves away and not witness such beautiful spectacles that nearly everyone around the lake saw that night. I know it was cold but nearly every camp had campfires and you could rug up and pop outside, yet this couple saw absolutely nothing.

Got me stuffed why they had driven there and camped where they did!!

Across the lake and then a bit to the right.

And then a bit later.

It was hard to get up early the next morning as it was sooo Piccadilly, but I did and again was rewarded.

There were some lovely colours over the lake as well.

Slowly the cloud dissipated, I reckon the heat from our fire had a fair bit to do with that Ha!

Rain was forecast for later that day so we headed off to make the most of the mornings fine weather.

We took Kristie to the north east corner of Lake Hindmarsh, there a short distance back from it is a grave and memorial for one of the regions very first pioneers, Margaret Jardine.

The detail of her life is explained on a board at the site, a very moving read.

Margaret’s story is an amazing one, at 17 years of age she left her family in Ireland and on her own made her way to Melbourne in 1854. She had no education, couldn’t read or write but was a hard worker, she then made her way to Harrow in the states west and got work as a cook. She met her future husband there and was married in 1861 They then ventured further north and took up a sheep run at Lake Hindmarsh, in what was at the time a very remote and isolated spot.



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In the nearby town of Rainbow there are a number of murals depicting what life was like in bygone days.

There are many others, most I have shown in previous reports, whilst there we visited the towns most prestigious historic home built in the very early 1900s, Yurunga Homestead.

Again I have shown it before but thought it was worth showing you a couple of pics from this visit.

We then popped out to the Pella Church, located in the middle of nowhere, it shows that things were more prosperous then than what they are today..

The first thing we showed Kristie was this very old dunny!! she wasn’t overly impressed but when she saw the old school building and then chapel that it serviced, she did think the short drive here was well worth it.

We then headed for Lake Albycutya, on the way we stopped at Yaapeet, not a real lot there but this bus shelter/community/function centre!! was nicely decorated with some murals depicting the early history of the region.

A drier environment now and a rising salt table meant that many mature trees around the lake had now died. With the rain closing in it made for an eerie experience strolling around the dry lake.

Heading back to the main drag we came across Tumbleweed Heaven, this was something that Kristie hadn’t experienced before.

Back at camp we battened down the hatches as all hell seemed about to be unleashed on us.

We located the fire just in front of our awning, rugged up and then sat back and watched mother nature do it’s thing.

The second and last report from our trip will be shown soon.

Col, Jen and Kristie