15/06/16 We travelled to Hamilton in south-western Victoria to see long-lost gypsy friends, Ian and Lesley and mother Sue, ex-patriate Queenslanders who some time ago had chosen to relocate from the Sunshine State to the land of VB and circular football. They were our guides around the sites of Hamilton and surrounding towns – to the lovely little nearby town of Dunkeld for lunch one day; to the more upmarket and affluent Port Fairy on the Great Ocean Road for lunch another day. We liked Hamilton. It was a good sized rural city, large enough to offer all the services you need; but small enough to not yet require traffic lights in the city centre.
The volcanic past of the region provided some interesting geological features. At Penshurst, we stopped in at the Volcanoes Discovery Centre, housed in the old shire offices built from the local basalt.
We visited the Byaduk Caves, considered to be the most extensive and accessible set of lava caves in Australia.
Contrary to the universally held belief, Byaduk is in no way associated with the vending of poultry but is derived from an Aboriginal word for stone tomahawk. As fate would have it, Di saw her first Australian Shelduck on the outskirts of Byaduk. And not a tomahawk to be seen. Weird, huh?
As we came into Hamilton from the north, the country changed to park-like pastures shaded by huge Red Gums and dotted with sheep and cattle. That induction to verdant green continued south to Port Fairy. The scenery was absolutely beautiful. If I died and had to come back as a Merino sheep or Black Angus steer, that is where I’d want to spend my next bit of short time. They all looked too fat to even bother eating.
After five days in Hamilton, we said our goodbyes and began the next leg of our journey west to SA and WA.
“I enjoy waking up and not having to go to work. So I do it three or four times a day.” – Gene Perret