The Goldfields Art Galleries
While the goldrush has slipped gently into history, you can still capture the optimistic spirit of its pioneers. The Goldfields region abounds in picturesque botanical gardens and impressive regional art galleries born from the optimism of the pioneers.
The Bendigo Art Gallery is outstanding. Local surgeon Neptune-Scott bequeathed his 19th century French Collection which shows Sisley, Harpignes, Courbet, Rosseau and Hortlear to the gallery. Such acts of generosity were not uncommon in these times. Many wealthy mining magnates were collectors of Australian and European Art and they would often bequeath them to the local galleries. Australian artists represented in this region include George Lambert, Rupert Bunny, Ray Crooke, Clifton Pugh and Fred Williams. The Gallery houses the largest Louis Buvelot collection in Australia.
The contents of the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery are equally impressive. A key feature is the Lindsay Gallery where works of art by Lionel Lindsay and other members of the family are on display. The only surviving item from this artistic family's house in Creswick is their sitting room which you can also see in the gallery. Paintings of Eugene Von Guerard portraying Ballarat in the 1850s and those of Waiter Withers, E. Phillips Fox and other early Australian School Painters are also on display.
At the Gallery at Castlemaine you can see Frederick McCubbin's Golden Sunlight which was donated by Dame Nellie Melba. You can also admire the works of Tom Roberts and E. Phillips Fox who underline the importance of the Heidelberg School in the development of Australian art. And that is not to mention the several Margaret Preston's you will discover here.
Collectively these three Victorian art galleries hold some of Australia's key art pieces and other works which portray early regional scenes are valuable historical references and certainly worth noting.
You will discover many outdoor works of art in both Ballarat and Bendigo which also mark the exuding confidence of the goldrush.
Just north-west of Yarram is the famous Tarra Bulga National Park.
It takes its name partly from the Aborigine Charlie Tarra who accompanied explorer Paul Edmund de Strzelecki through the area in 1840. Strzelecki's party would have perished if not for the hunting skills of Tarra.
The park is the veritable jewel in the crown of what the locals call Tarra Territory". The park is comprised of two sections - Tarra and Bulga. These lush areas of rainforest are all that remain of a great forest of trees which at one time covered all of Gippsland. Noted for their towering mountain ash and thick cover of ferns, both sections of the park are linked by the Grand Ridge Road.
The Park has plenty of walking tracks, a picnic area and a host of wildlife, including the remarkable lyrebird.
Clunes and Talbot remain shadows of their former selves. At Clunes you can see some fine old buildings and an historical museum. Today the streets of Talbot are quiet, save the occasional 'old timer' leaning against a gate post of an old cottage.
Albury/Wodonga is the ideal spot to enjoy the surrounding countryside, visit the upper reaches of the Murray near Corryong, fish the streams and the dams, or sail or waterski on Lake Hume. There are also international standard golf courses and lawn bowls to keep visitors entertained.
The PS Cumberoona takes visitors on a leisurely trip along the Murray and there are plenty of shady picnic spots along the banks.
Historic Montrose Cottage & Eureka Museum, 111 Eureka St, BALLARAT 3350, Phone/Fax: (03) 53 322554.
This tiny but beautifully proportioned cottage provides a window into the life of a middle class, Scottish family on the Ballarat Goldfields at the time of the Eureka Rebellion. Includes Montrose Cottage, Eureka Museum, Gift Shop and Tearooms
For those interested in history Beechworth is literally a goldmine, it is registered by the National Trust as a Historic Town .
White man first settled here in 1839. Gold was first found here in 1852 when Beechworth quickly became one of Australia's richest gold fields, yielding 4,121,918 ounces in the first 10 years. The Chinese played a large part in the growth of the area introducing vegetable and tobacco growing. As the Chinese outnumbered the European by five to one there was always tension leading to the rioting Buckland Valley. A less savoury part of our history the Chinese were bashed, robbed and killed. The Chinese burning towers, and hundreds of graves, are a sad reminder of the hard life and difficult times faced by the early Australians.
There are magnificent buildings, some twenty-five of them are listed on the Victorian Historic Buildings Council Register. They truly reflect the fortunes that were made - and spent - during the gold rush days.
Beechworth is in the heart of the Kelly Country, both Ned and his mother were caught and spent time in Beechworth Goal. Stand in the dock of the Court House on the spot where Ned Kelly was arraigned before being sent to Melbourne.
The fine granite facade is all that remains of the original Oven's District Hospital, dating back to 1856, once the largest between Sydney and Melbourne.
Beechworth is nestled in the foothills of the Australian Alps. It is a thriving country town with central location to the snowfields and a wealth of the district's features and attractions.
Accommodation in Beechworth caters to all tastes and budgets. From Motels, Hotels, Guest Houses and Caravan Parks, also catering for back-packers and family and group accommodation a speciality.
Only a 30 minute drive from either Wodonga or Wangaratta. By car, Beechworth is 3 1/2 hours drive north of Melbourne and 6 1/2 hours south of Sydney along the Hume Highway.
Beechworth is alive with activity, there are bric-a-brac and many art & craft galleries, antique and unique speciality shops.
The Beechworth Stage Coach, offers a unique way to visit the Town and Panoramic Gorge Tours, Day Trips & Picnics.
Or tour the town on foot and enjoy the local walks, information and maps providing guidance on the many historic sites and relics from a golden past are available most places.
The country around Beechworth is full of reminders of the gold rushes.
Beechworth is not just a well preserved old gold town it is a thriving country town whose central location to the snowfields, and the wealth of the district's features and attractions, make it an ideal base from which to explore North East Victoria.
Stay a while and dine in the fine restaurants, coffee shops or gourmet deli's or just enjoy the daily fresh delicacies of the Beechworth Bakery.
Drive back in Time - Feb
Golden Horseshoes - Easter
Harvest Festival - May
Garden Heritage Festival - Nov
Melbourne, city (1991 pop. 2,761,995), capital of Victoria, SE Australia, on Port Phillip Bay at the mouth of the Yarra River. Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, is a rail and air hub and financial and commercial center. Wool and raw and processed agricultural goods are exported. The city is heavily industrialized; industries include shipbuilding and the manufacture of farm machinery, textiles, and electrical goods. Included in the Melbourne urban agglomeration are many coastal resorts.
Settled in 1835, it was named (1837) for Lord Melbourne, the British prime minister. From 1901 to 1927 the city was the seat of the Australian federal government. Melbourne has campuses of several universities, including the Univ. of Melbourne (1853), Monash Univ. (1958), and La Trobe Univ. (1964). Melbourne Technical College, the Australian Ballet School, the National Gallery, and the Victorian Arts Centre are also in the city. Melbourne is the seat of Roman Catholic and Anglican archbishops. The botanical gardens are a notable attraction. The Melbourne Cup Race is run annually at the Flemington Racecourse, and the city hosts a Formula One Grand Prix race. Melbourne was the site of the 1956 summer Olympic games.
Just an hours drive north-west of Melbourne lie the Goldfields. With a heritage as rich as the ground on which it stood, this was once the home for tens of thousands who flocked here over a century ago in search of instant wealth. And while the goldrush has passed quietly into history, you can still capture the spirit of the pioneers in a region of ornate Victorian architecture, grand streetscapes and picturesque botanical gardens.
The Great Ocean Road VICTORIA
Take an unforgettable journey along Victoria's Great Ocean Road, the world's most inspiring coastal drive. Follow its winding trail through the lush Otway rainforests, to the breathtaking, windswept drama of the Shipwreck Coast. For much of the way the road clings to the coastline, twisting and turning, with every bend revealing a sight more spectacular than the last. See the grand architecture where the ocean has carved mighty arches, caverns and coves from the rock. Then follow its trail past soothing estuaries and gentle bays.
The Goldfields Botanical Gardens
In Ballarat a Scotsman, Thomas Stoddart, donated 12 Italian marble statues. You can see them scattered through the Botanic Gardens. Also located here is The Flight from Pompeii as is the Robert Burns statue, one of Ballarat's landmarks. The stately streetscape of Pall Mall in Bendigo is introduced by the delightful ornamentation of the Alexandra Fountain, named after Alexandra, the Princess of Wales.
When tiny Malmsbury was surveyed in 1863, nine hectares were set aside for Botanical Gardens. The town received thousands of plants and seedlings propagated for distribution to State gardens by the famous botanist - Baron Ferdinand Von Mueller - the man responsible for establishing Melbourne's grand Botanic Gardens. They contain the best example of only four known specimens of the strawberry tree in cultivation in Victoria.
Nearby, at Kyneton, are the Kyneton Botanical gardens where you can see a Chilean Wine Palm, so rare it has a National Trust classification. These gardens also have a delightful collection of oak trees.
Other gardens that will delight you in the area include the Phillip Gardens, Maryborough which features a central lake that was once a dam. St Arnaud has the Queen Mary gardens, Ararat the Alexandra Gardens and Eaglehawk the Canterbury Gardens.
But the most splendid gardens in the region can be seen at Ballarat and Castlemaine.
You will see a statutory pavilion in Ballarat's botanical gardens which was built a century ago to house a collection given to the city.
Imposing trees and perfect lawns covering 40 hectares surround Lake Wendouree. Many of the trees you'll see are over 120 years old and feature on the National Trust's Register of Significant Trees. The gardens are famous for their begonias and the town hosts an annual begonia festival. Another attraction of this festival is the splendid floral carpet made from over 100,000 fresh flowers.
At the Castlemaine Gardens you can see one of the oldest known cultivated trees in Victoria - an English oak, planted by His Royal Highness Prince Alfred in 1867.
The town of Dunolly celebrates its historical origins during the Dunolly Gold Rush weekend each year. And so it should, being the district which has turned up more nuggets in its time than any field in Australia. A visit coinciding with these events is an experience
LOCAL BEACHES AND WALKS AROUND YANAKIE SHALLOW INLET Hourigan Camp Lane Walk - This section of 'The Prom' offers visitors long sandy beaches after a pleasant stroll through a sheltered gully. By walking quietly along the track, you may see and hear the various birds and animals in their natural habitat. The beach offers sandy tidal flats, where at low tide the channel is clearly visible and on high tide a vast sheet of water consumes the Inlet. The area forms part of the Shallow Inlet Marine and Coastal Park and is popular for fishing and windsurfing. From Millar Road (see map) turn into - 'Hourigan Camp Lane', a short unmade road, and drive to the carpark. Once you pass through the small gate, you are in Wilsons Promontory National Park. Follow the track along the boardwalk to the beach. Distance: 400metres/10 - 15mins one way - an easy walk. Lester Road - at the end of this road was the site of the original guest house for those wishing to travel further into the Promontory. From this location, people would wait until low tide, then set off driving around the beach of Shallow Inlet, along Cotters Beach, finally making their way down to the 'Darby River Chalet' (now demolished). Here you will find a lovely beach side picnic area near the caravan park. Adams Road - after a little climb down to the beach, you will find yourself at the lower reaches of the Shallow Inlet channel. This vast area is the nursery and breeding ground of several fish species.
Phillip Island - Penguins, Koalas
Great Ocean Road - Must See
Sovereign Hill, Ballarat