I'm very lucky to live in the gorgeous state of Victoria here in Australia, and even luckier still I live in a region called Gippsland. Now Gippsland is actually a rather large area, consisting of West Gippsland, South Gippsland, Central Gippsland and (yes...you guessed it) East Gippsland. It is a rural area, which if you look on the map, covers pretty much the entire south east corner of the state of Victoria.
Here you will find such diverse country as mountains, rivers, farmland, rainforests, swamplands, National Parks, State Forests, beaches, the ocean and everything else in between. It's a gorgeous part of the world but weirdly I don't often venture out into it for fun. You know, just take my kids for a day out. We're a little boring really!
I do get to see a lot of Gippsland with my magazine job as it covers the entire region, so here I am extremely lucky. Anyway, today I thought I would rustle up the kids...which is no mean feat...and take them on a day trip to the historic township of Walhalla.
Now Walhalla is a teeny weeny town lodged in the middle of a groove in the mountains north east from where I live. It appeared in the mid 1800s due to a gold rush and at its peak had a population of 3,500. Now roughly 20 people live there, although it has a continual influx of tourists due to its remoteness, it's historical buildings and the old steam train which you can ride on through the narrow valley down to the Thompson River. This town is actually so remote you can't get service on your mobile (Oh no! Shock horror!!) and I am assuming Wi-Fi is completely out of the question. In fact they were the last mainland town in Australia to have electricity connected....which wasn't until 1998. Yes...I said 1998 not 1888 or 1908 ...but seriously, only two years before the year 2000. What the??
Anyway, here is a visual feast of our day.
My three boys. They look adorable but no doubt are thinking about how they can get into mischief. A LOT of mischief.
Little girl's very first train trip.
I know I'm biased...but how cute is my daughter!!
I think she's enjoying herself!
About to go over the Thompson River. The boys are literally about to explode with excitement. Either that or it could be the vast quantities of sugar they have consumed.
In summer my husband comes up here to the Thompson River with a big rubber tyre and his brother. Together they hop on the tyres at one spot and drift on down to where they leave one of their utes. It takes a bit of ute Ping-Pong, so to speak, before they can hop in the river, leaving one ute at their destination, then driving back up the road together to their starting point on the river and getting in here up stream before drifting down to the first ute. Later they then have to drive back up to the start point again to pick up the other ute. Confused?? Trust me...it works. Although they still haven't taken me yet I'm hoping that this summer I'll be good to go. Once my husband even had a little platypus swim along beside him, which is amazing because normally they are really shy. He said it backstroked around him for ages. For those who are unsure what a platypus looks like...just image an otter crossed with a duck.
My eldest and my youngest....10 years apart! Good grief!
How pretty is the Australian bush?
There was even a ragtime band awaiting our return! Ok...so it might not have been to herald our arrival...but it was pretty cool.
The old CFA building (Country Fire Authority), or should I saw Ye Olde CFA.
A local resident...a Rosella.
And a King Parrot.
Australia has awesome birds.
And just to prove I was actually there....
Judging by my expression it's been a long day and I'm ready to take the little terrors..I mean darlings...home.