Australia
November & December, 1989



The only things that I have to reconstruct a journal for this trip are pictures, with no captions, and my faulty memory. I do remember that I went back to Australia, particularly Victoria, because I liked to country so well in 1988 when I did a bike tour (you can read about this in Bike Tours on this site). I was also very unhappy with my job and wanted to see if there was any possibility of moving to Australia; I soon found out that at 45 years of age I was too old for this to happen. I might note that was also true in finding a new job here in the USA after quiting my bank job. I have shown the time that I was there as being in November & December but that might not be correct, it is possible that it was only December. I know that I visited Melbourne and its suburbs for about a week and then went to Adelaide, Mildura & Paynsville for about ten days and then back to Melbourne for a total of three weeks. The exact number of days in each place is only a guess. I have combined all of the pictures of Melbourne and suburbs together from the beginning and end of my trip and have tried to group them in some reasonable way rather than when I took them. With all that said, here are those pictures with memory captions added.

 

 

 


Melbourne: This is Magnolia Court, the Bed-n-Breakfast that I stayed in while I was in Melbourne. It is across the street from Fitzroy Gardens and a short walk from Finders Station. Three pictures of Finders Station area. The first is Finders Station, the second is a shot of the light rail in the streets of town and the third is part of the train rail system.

A couple church pictures. The second is from the 1800s undergoing restoration (many of the historical buildings are or have been restored), the first is an active church probably also from the 1800s. Six pictures of the streets or buildings that interested me in Melbourne and Geelong. In the second picture from the right, second row, there is an older house undergoing restoration, then you see a new home in the next picture that has retained the same style as the old.

Port Phillip Bay: This is the main dock area in Geelong. The pictures above are from Geelong, a suburb of Melbourne on Port Phillip Bay, that I went to one day on the train. The first two pictures show the highrises in the center of Melbourne with a large number of boats in the bay foreground.

Port Phillip Bay Beach & Path:These ten pictures are of the beach along Port Phillips Bay. I almost certain that these pictures were taken during the week but it would be hard to find a beach in Southern California that was as deserted as this on any day of the week. There are also pictures of a path that I found and walked that followed the beach and then some small hills and thick brush (all of Melbourne was covered with this growth before being developed).

Royal Botanic Gardens: The three rows of pictures above are all of the Royal Botanic Gardens that is in a huge park, Kings Domain, that was within walking distance of my Bed-n-Breakfast. The first picture in the second row shows some black swans, not so rare, in a large pond within the Gardens.

Zoo: These four pictures were taken in the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, more commonly called the Melbourne Zoo. The first picture is near the entrance where the spring flowers have all been removed at the base of an elephant sculpture and summer flowers have not made an appearance yet. The next two pictures are at the monkey compound where the residents always appear to want their picture taken. A difficult picture to get while in the Butterfly House: a greenhouse-style walk-through exhibit for tropical butterflies. There were hundreds of them flitting around but my shutter speed is to slow to get a picture while they were doing so, I need to find some that had landed and taking a rest. I did not get a picture of the platypus that I saw; they where in a tank with a window that allowed you to see them but they swam past very, very fast! I also did not take a picture of a North American elk that I saw with his antlers in velvet. This is November or December (autumn) for North American elk they have velvet in the spring? I asked about this and one of the “keepers” told me that the first year the elk was in the zoo he had no antlers at all, then his internal calender shifted around and now they reappear in the southern hemisphere spring.

Zoo: A poor picture of a koala - they are never very active and prefer the shade during the day so it is always hard to get a good picture. But an emu walked over and gave me this “what are you looking at stare”. Above there is a red kangaroo, the largest of the many species, at his leisure in the shade. An echidnas that was rather shy, couldn't get him to pose for a facial portrait. The wombat that I waited and waited for to come out of the shade.


I remember that I caught a bus from Melbourne, Victoria to Adelaide, South Australia and went through Ballarat, Victoria so the route was probably on Highway 8 also known as Dukes Highway Western. The travel time was about 9 hours and I remember that most of it was during daylight but we arrived in the early evening. I had a hotel reservation that was an easy walk from downtown but I don't recall anything about what I did that evening nor anything while I was there for two and one half days except what the pictures bring back to mind. So be it, here are those pictures.

Adelaide - Downtown: As you can see there are Christmas decorations up so I was probably there in December. The first picture on the left in the first row is the hotel that I stayed at which is not technically in downtown but only a short walk away. The last two are of homes in the older residential area surrounding downtown.

Montefiore Park: Montefiore Park is huge and contains Adelaide Oval (cricket grounds), Zoological and Botanic Gardens, Victoria Park Racecourse and much more. It surrounds downtown and North Adelaide where my hotel was. The first picture left first row is at the cricket grounds where the Australian National Team is playing the Indian National Team. They had been playing a match since I had arrived and I had watched some of it on TV while in Melbourne. For me cricket has all the excitement of watching the grass grow in the Oval, but occasionally there would be a play that got the fans excited and I would not know why. Then a look across the Park at downtown and two other pictures of the park looking toward the boundary and beyond. The second row has four more pictures of downtown, the Oval and Montefiore Park.

Torrens River: Five pictures of the Torrens River that flows through Montefiore Park between downtown and North Adelaide. The river has a dam at the western side of the Park which creates a long narrow lake within the Park that is navigated by pedal-boats and sightseeing boats.


When I was planning this trip I had decided that I would visit Mildura, Victoria on my return from Adelaide, South Australia. I was living in Upland and working for a bank headquartered in Ontario, CA; I had also attended Chaffey Junior College for two years so it seemed the thing to do. In 1881, the Chaffey brothers, George and William, purchased land (which at that time also included the present-day city of Upland) and the water rights to it. They engineered a drainage system channeling water from the foothills of Mount Baldy down to the flatter lands below that performed the dual functions of allowing farmers to water their crops and preventing the floods that periodically afflict them. They also created the City of Ontario and platted the streets, that included the main thoroughfare of Euclid Avenue, with its distinctive wide lanes and grassy median. Then in 1886 the Chaffeys went to Australia and selected a derelict sheep station at Mildura as the site for his first irrigation settlement; signing an agreement with the Victorian government to spend at least £300,000 on permanent improvements at Mildura in the next twenty years. They again platted the Mildura City streets, exactly the same as for Ontario, CA but now Euclid Avenue became Langtree Avenue. I made reservations for a hotel while in Adelaide because I knew that I would be arriving late in the evening. The bus that I caught was an express from Adelaide, South Australia to Sydney, New South Wales that stopped in Mildura. It was a 19+ hour trip to Sydney and the bus had two drivers with a place at the rear of the bus for one of them to sleep. Mildura was about 1/3 of the way to Sydney, or 7-8 hours, and we left around 4:00 PM putting me into Mildura near midnight. With all of that as background, here are the pictures that I took.

Mildura - Chaffey: The first two pictures on the left are of a statue of William Chaffey at the head of Langtree Avenue. There are no statues of the Chaffeys in Ontario or Upland that I know of, there was a Junior College named for them which is now a High School. I attended Chaffey Junior College however at a new campus which was in Alta Loma, now Rancho Cucamonga, CA. At the head of Euclid Avenue in Upland there is a statue but it is one of the Madonna of the Trail; the 12th one counting from east to west. This sign and small flower garden is directly behind the statue of William Chaffey and identifies Mildura as a Sister City of Upland. There is nothing comparable to this anywhere in Upland that I know of.

Second row, two pictures of the William Chaffey homestead. The first one is a postcard that I sent to myself from Mildura that also shows an Art Gallery and Theater that have been added to the original home that is now a Museum. I took the second picture; the scaffold in the front was for some repainting that was being done. The window is at the top of the stairway on the second floor – I'm a sucker for stained glass!

Mildura - Murry River: I took a river tour on the P. S. Melbourne, a side-wheeler sightseeing boat that does a short up/down river trip for tourist. It was originally built in 1912 as a river work boat, restored in 1965 it continues to serve with its original wood burning steam engine. Two pictures of the river as we were underway. Then in the picture on the right you can see a pipe and pump that draws water from the Murry for irrigation. There are many of these along the river and it is the same system that is used along the Sacramento River in Central California.

A stern-wheeler pleasure boat that we would consider a houseboat but here it is paddle wheel driven rather than by an outboard. Two pictures of a lock that we went through on our short river cruise. The Murry has been dammed to create many lakes to retain its limited flow and locks installed to maintain navigation of the river.

Mildura - Working Man's Club: The Working Man's Club was formed in 1894 and was originally housed in a converted residence. The current building was constructed in 1937 when it was determined that the existing facilities had outgrown those built in 1908. This is only a portion of the bar that was built in 1937. It is a T-shaped bar that covers an area 85x65 feet with a total circumference of 298 feet with 27 beer taps – at the time it was built and when I was there it was a Guinness Record Holder as the Longest Bar in the World. I have read that they remodeled themselves out of the record in 1995 but don't know what they did. You must be a Member to gain admittance to the Club which includes the bar, dinning room, billiard room, table tennis room, a library, bottle department (liquor store) and outdoor bowling green.

I left Mildura by train on the third day and arrived back in Melbourne where I stayed overnight at the Magnolia Court B-n-B. The following day after lunch I caught another train to Moe or Moewell where a friend worked and then she and I drove through Gippsland to Paynesville for a weekend at her parents home. The driving route was nearly the same as what I had bicycled in 1988 but everything always looks different from a car than a bicycle seat. I also saw a lot of the area around Paynesville that I had not see before which I was able to get pictures of and post them here now.

Gippsland Coal: These are pictures of the power plants and coal strip mines in the Gippsland area that provide Melbourne and its suburbs with electricity. I didn't hear anyone complain about the coal fired power plants while I was there nor any talk about closing them down and going to solar. There is an environmental movement in Australia but nothing near the craziness of the USA.

Gippsland Dairy:Dairy lands in Gippsland surround the power plants and coal strip mines. I would guess that the cows generate as much greenhouse gases as do the power plants but there isn't any talk about moving them further away from Melbourne as has happened in Southern California – Australia has a different culture. It is a lot like the USA in the 1950s with some British Liberalism tacked on but generally a conservative society.

Paynesville - Lakes Entrance: These pictures are of Lakes Entrance which is really not an entrance to a lake but rather the entrance to an estuary. The second and third pictures are to the left of the first one to show a panorama. The Tambo and Mitchell Rivers flow into Kings Lake nearest the entrance with Victoria Lake stretching along the coast behind sand dunes that separate it from the sea.

Paynesville - Victoria Lake: These pictures were taken while crossing Victoria Lake from Paynesville to a dock on the sand dunes. The first picture is leaving Paynesville dock and the last is arriving at the dunes. From the dunes dock it was only a few hundred yards walk to Ninety Mile Beach. Ninety Mile Beach on the Pacific and along the sand dunes that separate it from the Victoria Lake & Kings Lake estuary. The first picture is looking east and the second is to the west; I walked along the beach for maybe 300 yards and saw not one footprint other than my own – unbelievable!

Paynesville - Lake Tyers: These pictures were taken while in the Aboriginal Settlement lands of Lake Tyers just east of Lakes Entrance. The kangaroos that live here love bread, just plain white bread, and are relatively tame however the bigger and older males can be somewhat aggressive so some care need be taken. There was no prohibition against “feeding the animals” at that time, it may have changed now.

Epilogue: I enjoyed my three weeks vacation a lot, learned that moving to Australia was not realistic and became even more convinced that I had to quit my banking job. I did quit the following March 31, 1990 and didn't hold another “career job” until I retired in 2005.