Archive | April 2014

Glenrowan….Ned Kelly’s last siege and capture

On the way home from Bright we decided to go to Glenrowan. This is where Ned Kelly, probably Australia’s most famous (or infamous) bushranger was caught in the siege finally caught The Kelly Gang. These days the freeway diverts traffic away from Glenrowan but it’s well worth getting off it to go into town. There is a self-guided walk around town pointing out all the major points of interest. Each stop explains its part in the siege. There is also a museum devoted to all things related to the Kelly Gang.

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Australian’s are fond of ‘big’ things ie big Banana, ram, Koala, Lobster and many, many more. This ‘big’ Ned is in the town centre.

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The re-creation of Ned Kelly’s capture after being shot. He wore the metal shield around his torso and head but left is legs unprotected so that’s where the police shot him.

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The Museum and Tourist Centre.

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Bollards are placed around town on the self-guided walk to re-create the characters involved in the shootout and capture of Ned and some of his gang members.

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The train station has been re-built. This is where Ned and his gang were transported to Melbourne to face judgement.

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The jail cell where Ned was kept while transport was organised to Melbourne.

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http://www.cv.vic.gov.au/stories/sites-in-glenrowan/

Weekly Photo Challenge: On top

When I travel I love to go to lookouts to get an overview of the city. The world takes on a whole different perspective from up high. The first three photos were taken from the Sydney Tower viewing deck.

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Looking from the Tower across Sydney Harbour to the Heads.

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Looking across to the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sydney Football Stadium (Allianz Stadium). The ocean is on the horizon.

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The famous eastern suburbs.

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This photo was taken in Queenstown, New Zealand from the Skyline Restaurant.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/on-top/

Bents Lookout on Mt Buffalo

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The lookout gives some of the most spectacular scenery in Victoria. Looking down you can see the sheer cliffs made from granite. When you look across to the north you see the rolling mountains and valleys.

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These huge boulders look like they have been stacked. It’s amazing what time and nature does.

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Hang-gliders launch themselves off the nearby point. A lot of them launched in the time we were there.

Mt Buffalo Chalet

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The grand, old chalet (it is more than 100 years old) has been closed since the 2007 bushfires prevented access to this part of Mt Buffalo. They have finally decided to open it as a day visitor centre (therefore having no accommodation) with a café, information centre and activity centre for the nearby ski fields. Unfortunately some parts of the complex will be demolished but I imagine they are the parts that cannot be saved.

It is fenced off but we were able to walk around the carpark and to the lookouts. There is an old stone hut on the edge of the carpark that was used in the past. The view from the seats on top of the granite are amazing. I can only imagine what it’s like from the windows of the chalet.

The chalet sits on top of a granite plateau part-way up the mountain. A few hundred metres away, on the edge of the plateau, many hang-gliders launch and fly down to the base of the mountain. It’s also popular for abseiling and rock-climbing.

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Brown Brothers Winery

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Brown Brothers is one of Australia’s best-known wineries. Located in the north west of Victoria, near Bright in the Great Dividing Range, they have won many awards for their wines over the years. We went there one Easter when we were staying in Bright. Their cellar door is one of the largest I’ve visited, with so many different varieties to choose from including shiraz and cabernet. I like their ports and dessert wines.

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Sydney – Taronga Zoo (the zoo with a view)

A few years ago some friends and I decided to go to Tooronga Zoo, after the conference we were attending ended. We didn’t have all day to spend there because we had to fly home mid-afternoon. We gave ourselves a couple of hours to take in as much as we could.

The journey from the city to the zoo starts with a ferry from Circular Quay to the Taronga Zoo wharf. Upon disembarkation we boarded mini buses to take us on a short drive up the steep hill to the main entrance. They were renovating the entrance when we were there so we went in the nearby temporary entrance. Starting up there was clever because you work your way downhill towards the exit rather than uphill.

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This cheeky gorilla refused to look at anyone. He kept his back to us the whole time. No amount of cajoling would make him turn around.

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The Taronga Zoo Wharf

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Admiralty House is the home of the Governor-General.

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The little specks you can see on the bridge under the clouds are people doing a Harbour Bridge Walk.

Caffe La Via

Caffé La Via has been on my friend’s and my dining list for a few months now. It’s a nice little Italian restaurant in busy Glenferrie Rd, Malvern. The décor isn’t really Italian and it was a little bit chilly inside but a nice glass of Yering Station chardonnay cured that quickly. I like eating out on Monday nights because you get to try a restaurant or café when they are not busy compared to a weekend. Some parts of Melbourne become ghost towns after 5pm on Mondays. A lot of eateries don’t open after the busy weekend which is understandable but they are missing out on an opportunity.

Cafe La Via Spinaci
This was my dinner – Spinaci. It is hand-rolled gnocchi, tossed in extra virgin olive oil and garlic with baby spinach, cherry tomatoes and finished off with bocconcini. I loved it. It was quite light and very tasty. Tossing it in the olive oil gave it a really nice flavour.

Cafe La Via Jojo burger
My friend ate the JoJo wagyu mince burger. It’s a grilled wagyu pattie served on a brioche bun, with cheese, beetroot relish, grilled pineapple and served with chips. The fat chips were made from a really nice potato and were very tasty.

La Via on Urbanspoon

Norfolk Island…Ruins of Kingston

The Second Settlement of Norfolk Island was designed to be a living hell. Only the worst of the worst convicts were transported there with little hope of making it back to mainland Australia. Their punishment was to do manual labour from sunrise to sunset with no proper tools. They would get flogged for trivial offences. The prisons and related buildings were built close to the water and the buildings on Quality Row (houses for non-convicts and government offices) were built further up the hill to provide maximum surveillance and lessen the chances of successful escape by convicts. Some of the buildings have fallen to ruin over the years but you can still see the walls of the prison.

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The entry to the Civil Hospital.

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In this building we watched “The Trial of 15”, a quite-funny play about the history of the convict past. Fifteen different characters from the island’s early settlement to the arrival of the Pitcairners give evidence, thereby revealing the history of the island. I wasn’t surprised to learn that the play has been running for several sessions every week for more than ten years. Unfortunately we couldn’t take photos during the play.

Norfolk Island cemetery

The next stop on our tour was the cemetery. This is actually the second cemetery. The first one was built near Emily Bay (not far from this one) during the first settlement. Being on the edge of the ocean means there has been a lot of damage over hundreds of years by the winds.

There are some fascinating (and tragic) stories behind a lot of the headstones. We saw the graves of some of the mutineers from the Bounty and their descendants. There were a lot of young deaths but I saw one where a man had lived to 105 years old.

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This photo clearly shows the ravages the wind coming off the ocean can do to trees. It fascinated me

Norfolk Island’s Officer’s Baths….an engineering marvel

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We had only just got back on the bus tour of Kingston at the Commissariat when we stopped again what felt like a few metres up the road. I couldn’t see anything to look at but the driver was quite animated as he led us to the Baths. It was obvious he is really proud of what they have achieved.

The Baths are an engineering marvel because they help supply fresh water to Kingston. It is believed that two stonemasons were deliberately convicted of crimes in London so they could be transported to Norfolk Island to help the residents address some of their engineering needs.

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The bath is an underground passage with a domed ceiling made of stone. Fresh water from a dammed creek in the Soldiers’ Gully flows through the conduit to the Officers’ Bath. The fresh water then passes below the Quality Row and cascades into the stream, which flows through the Common into the Emily Bay.