Sunday, June 12, 2011


We were all meant to wake up at 6am - but failed.
Instead we got up at 8am and hurriedly got ready. We left at about 8:45am and headed towards Bendigo.
Bendigo is a city that is famous for one of the biggest Victorian era boomtowns due to the gold discovered in 1851. It sparked a hectic gold rush that was bigger than California. Bendigo Valley was discovered as a rich alluvial field where gold was easily extracted. 22 million ounces of gold has been extracted since 1851.

So we went down to the original mines, my camera was pretty crap in the dark but hopefully you get the idea. We were lead by a retired miner who reminded all of us of Prospector Pete from Toy Story 2.

It was pretty interesting, we also saw a few speckles of the gold that was left, and even fooled by fool's gold. We saw demonstrations of how the explosives worked, the machinery, the drills, toilets, lunch area, there was even a function room.

Fool's Gold

When they lit explosives, they had to walk out fast - not run because if you were to trip and knock yourself out then you'd be goners. One of the first drills were nicknamed the Widowmaker as it sent silica dust (glass) into the air which the miners would breathe and eventually choke on as the lungs were pierced by glass.


A miniscule speckle of real gold

We also saw manoeuvres of how they tested if the wall barrier was safe and how to predict signs of collapse. We were down to Level 2 which is 61 metres down and apparently there's more than 13 Levels - however they're all flooded now. Knowing how many underground tunnels and mines there were under Bendigo, I am so surprised that Bendigo is still standing!

On the way to Bendigo we also stopped by to buy 2 CD's as we only had half a CD (scratched) and the radio lost its frequency as we were too far out. I bought Adele, and thought Lady Gaga's new album would be entertaining. They didn't have much selections in the country, the guy suggested Wiggles to me. Lady Gaga's new album is a group of electronic poop and the songs all sound the same. I was disappointed.
I think I caught him in an awkward moment


Myer, one of Australia's department stores original location was here in Bendigo which was to my surprise. And boy, were their prices SO CHEAP! Even on sale, the big cities didn't compare to Bendigo's prices. I ended up buying a maxi dress with a hoodie (a little weird and witch like but I love it!). AJ bought a Country Road collared shirt for only $30, I think it was marked down from like 80.

We had lunch at a home made pie joint then went to the information centre. We saw glass blowing art there and then a reference to a close by winery.

Chrysler show was in town so everyone with their muscle cars

We headed over to Blangowrie Winery near Heathcote and tasted the shiraz, pinot noir, shiraz no.2 and rose. I didn't really enjoy any of them, but we snacked on gourmet cheese and tasting platters. The cheeseboard was my favourite! The blue cheese was so soft and creamy. YUMMMMMMMM! Surprisingly went well with apple slices and seedless grapes.

It was nearing 5pm so we had to get a move on as our drive was about 3 hours and check in closed at 9pm. So we trotted along through Puckapunyal (Army base), Seymour, Violet Town then we got to Wangaratta.

Sounds deserted and it kinda was. We checked into our motel then went to the local RSL for bistro food. There was only about 3 restaurants in the town. Bistro food was alright, AJ picked the best - the lamb shank was AWESOME! We had a few chats and giggles then went to the grocers.

We bought breakfast for the next day, and dessert. Kevin and I had sticky dates, AJ had caramel pudding and Chris bought a block of macadamia chocolate. We settled into our motel room and all watched Seven Pounds on TV.