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Monthly Archives: August, 2012

On the headland overlooking the bay

Just the most delightful resting spot at Victoria House B&B Portland western Victoria, at the start of the Great Ocean Road. It was like staying with the captain of an old-time seagoing yacht, moored in a garden, with vintage wardrobes and luggage to boot.

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Across Victoria from north to south

Drive, drive, drive, drive, following the NavMan machine stuck on the windscreen (which we call NavGirl for her clipped Australian accent), from the Murray to the coast at Portland, and then this … the windswept and intimidating Cape Nelson lighthouse where we gazed south towards Antarctica for the first time.

Then this … wind turbines marching off along the ridges and sending green electricity surging through the wires of Victoria. Up close they’re very impressive, a little bit scary, reassuring (after all, they’re a renewable energy source) and maybe contentious (not everyone thinks they’re fantastic). I remember my first glimpse of the coast of Ireland was of an enormous wind farm near Cork and I realised that I was witnessing a sign of the times. We passed other wind farms as we drove along the Great Ocean Road … but that’s for another day, let’s find the B&B in Portland and a little history.

Paddling on the Murray

First sight of a paddle-steamer on the Murray … impressive machines, even more impressive river. And in the Shamrock Hotel, the most impressive list of Palmas yet … now that we’re in Victoria, we’re learning about this local delicacy: a crumbed, deep-fried chicken breast, lathered with tomato paste, then covered with cheese and grilled. 78 varieties!

Iconic wineries near Rutherglen

This delightful timber chest of drawers (above) appealed to me at Tuileries resort, vineyard and restaurant, Rutherglen, before we set off down the highway to visit two long-held favourites in the winery stakes, Campbells and Buller. Campbells (above left and right) looked great and impressive in the misty July morning and we happily purchased; Buller (bel0w) was more understated but the keen young sales assistant captured our attention with the Fine Old Tawny, the brilliant new conical bubbles bottle and a variety of red which was new to us: a Mondeuse. Note to self … chase after this wine and get some more. What a find!

There we were, enjoying a drink …

… in the 19th century pub, the Victoria Hotel at Rutherglen, when we happened to glance at the label on the bottle of the local brew, Beechworth Cider, and discover that some thought went into making it. Not a bad drop, either …

On the road again …

First inland beach I’ve been to, at Wagga Wagga on the Murrumbidgee River, southern New South Wales. Quiet, peaceful, even with the river running close to flood levels. And they have a life-guard platform, or is it a viewing platform? Next stop Rutherglen in Victorian wine/vine country. Big reds, yum …

In Orange …

And near Orange, not far from Mudgee, the childhood home of the OTHER great Australian poet and journalist, Andrew “Banjo” Paterson:


Here is the monument to the poet who created the Man from Snowy River

In Mudgee, not far from Orange …

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It’s the boyhood home of one of Australia’s greatest poets and journalists, Henry Lawson …

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Favourite thing about this place … 2

at the Magistrate’s House

Some things stand out, others are always important, but this shower was impressive … top pressure and a full delivery. Name me one more vital thing on a frosty morning in the central western New South Wales town of Orange? We stayed at Marie Eedy’s “Magistrate’s House” in Anson Street.

Some of the gorgeous furniture

What it was like inside …

In the garden …

… and outside.

Favourite thing about this place … 1

Two rooms

On our long journey south from Brisbane to Melbourne in July, we stopped at B&Bs along the way. I photographed my favourite thing — the one main thing — I loved in each place. Here at the Tudor House in Glen Innes, New South Wales, it was the timber finishing in the expansive guest rooms. So simple, but elegant.

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