Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Road Bridge Over Rail

On a recent touring trip to the goldfields in Central Victoria we followed the rail line from Melbourne towards Bendigo and found some beautiful old road over rail bridges. All along the line stonemasons constructed fine rail and road over rail bridges from bluestone many of them now heritage listed.

I just love them, they have so much beauty and character and are so much apart of our engineering history.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chicory Kiln's Phillip Island

Today we went in search of some of the old Chicory Kiln's on Phillip Island, as there are numerous brick towers dotted all across the Island. Many of these structures are in dis-repair but are rustic and still very appealing to the photographer so well worth seeking them out. We found many of them, some large, some small, some more rustic than others but all easily photographed from the road.

John and Soloman West were said to have built the first Kiln C1873 on the Island, the parsnip - like root plant grew well in the Island's rich volcanic soil. Chicory was grown on the Island for over  100 years and was one of the earliest crops to be grown on the Island.  The last operational kiln closed in the early 1980's, Chicory farming was very labour intensive and became uneconomical due to cheaper imports.
After the chicory was harvested with a chicory devil (a special fork) it was washed, sliced then roasted in the kiln's over a fire until dried. After being ground into a fine powder, it was used a  bulk additive to coffee and it was also made into a caramelised essence and was often used as substitute for coffee and was quite a popular beverage.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Jubilee Primitive Methodist Church c1816
 Chewton is another of the old gold mining towns in central Victoria an hour drive north of Melbourne on the Pyrenees Highway. Chewton is a very charming old gold mining village with many of the old historic building of that era remain today. One being Red Hill Hotel built in c1854 a hotel with a lot of history including a cellar which served as a local jail and morgue.

Old building long since loved

The smallest Town Hall in Australia c1860

Red Hill Hotel c1854

Old shops

Old Portable Police Lock-up c1860's

Old Independent Chapel c1857

In dis-repair

No one's home

Malmsbury Central Victoria

Old St Mary's Church at sunrise
  I loved our trip through Malmsbury, it was a return trip for me although it was a very long tome ago I used to visit there. The Malmsbury area was originally settled in 1837 as a sheep station but the area soon developed  as a travelers stop on the banks of the Coliban river. Where it is said that travelers would set up camp to await a safe crossing of the river on their way to the goldfields of the north around the 1850's. Malmsbury area is know for it's deposits of blue stone and was used in the construction of many buildings and bridges locally and throughout Victoria. One local construction was the Coliban River viaduct, built in 1859 for the Melbourne to Bendigo railway. Being 149 metres long with five arches, it is one of the most substantial engineering structures built in the 1800's. The Bridge today has been classified by the National Trust.

Malmsbury Viaduct, early morning

The stone Mansions' at Malmsbury built as a hotel and adjoining shops C1872, replaced the original building that burnt down in 1872.  It closed as a hotel in 1914 and was later used for accommodation amongst other things.  
The Mansions now sits idle

Blue stone station buildings

 Malsmbury Railway station was built in c1862, it is historically significant  as it is one of the earliest stations built in Victoria it is a heritage listed site.

Blue stone cottage
Old road house

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sunset accross the pastures

One of the things I miss most about on longer living in the country are the sunsets and sunrises, living now in a built up outer suburb we just don't get to see them all that often. But on our way home from our trip along the Great Ocean Road, after leaving Colac we could see that the sunset was going to be beautiful. The first small storm front had past through the area and the sky was full of clouds with the second storm front not to far away. We pulled off onto a side road so we could take some photos of the sunset before the next front hit. We were not disappointed the colours were breathtaking, as the sun slipped out of sight the colours became stronger.

The second front moves in

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Great Ocean Road Victoria

The Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is said to be one of the world's most scenic coastal drives and it's hard to see why. Wonder at some of the most beautiful natural attractions in Australia, ancient rainforests, waterfalls, light houses, the 12 Apostles , Gibson Steps, rugged coastline, beautiful beaches, abundant local wildlife and the magnificence Otway Ranges. A road trip along the Great Ocean Road gives many photo opportunities of the breathtaking cliff faces winding along the road from one of the many lookouts along the road. Our day started very hot 30 degrees temperature until early afternoon when a storm front came through, which made for very rough seas, strong winds, dark clouds, rain showers and rainbows. So some interesting photo's were taken.

Beautiful Beaches
Erskine Falls
Rugged Coastline
Cape Otway National Park

Stunning Beaches

Breathtaking Cliff Faces
Limestone Stacks
Spectacular Views

The 12 Apostles

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Split Point Lighthouse

While driving the Great Ocean Road on Friday we called into have a look at the Split Point Lighthouse at Federal Street Airey's Inlet. Affectionately know by the locals as "The White Queen" she is a welcome sight for ships that have rounded Cape Otway. She was originally called Eagles Nest Point when she was built in 1891 at Otway National Park. The white cement concrete tower has a Chance Brothers first order lantern and a 920mm focal radius lens. The still operating lighthouse is open to the public with guided tours available 9am-5pm in summer and 11am-3pm in winter.