The Geek had only one requirement of our trip to Victoria: we had to go on Puffing Billy! The line winds through the Dandenongs, on the north-eastern edge of Melbourne. Some parts of the trip are through remnant forest: I think these trees are Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans) and underneath are Rough Tree-ferns (Cyathea australis).
For some reason the camera filled up with an excessive number of train photos.
Though it was interesting to see the cinders being cleaned out of the box. Old books will often refer to cinder paths, so I presume this is what is meant. The pieces of unburnt coal are a bit coarser than the kind of gravel you see on paths.
My husband is not entirely lost to the joys of nature and took these photos of Waratahs for me (I was too short). I am guessing from the location and size that these garden subjects are probably 'Shady Lady Pink'.
The rich chestnut soil of the Dandenongs was like nothing I've seen anywhere before. Except possibly clinging to brushed potatoes!
Then we drove across northern Melbourne to Ballarat. Now it was the chance for our history enthusiast, the Twig, to enjoy himself to the utmost.
Yes, we did find gold. Some.
Our history fiend was wild again when we visited the site of the Eureka Stockade the following day. Click on the photo to read the famous oath taken by the diggers.
This memorial was erected in 1923 on the site of the stockade.
I was impressed with the gracious wording of the plaque; too often Australian history is seen as a war between "goodies" and "baddies". Black armbands and white blindfolds at twenty paces!
We can also highly recommend Eureka Street Fish & Chips, just down the road from the stockade memorial. After lunch, however, we had to head for Tullamarine. The Geek's iPhone, however, wasn't quite up to the task of getting us there...
We did eventually make it onto the plane, rather than under it.
And so ended our trip to Melbourne.