Melbourne after Tazmania

Trip Start Jun 27, 2006
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Trip End ??? ??, 2007


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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

After Tasmania we went back to Melbourne...Reinder and I stayed with one of the ozzies from the hiking trip and his family. They were very gracious hosts. In Melbourne we had an "Overland Track Reunion" picnic by the Yarra River. That day was part of the week long "Moomba Waterfest" where all activities are centered around the Yarra River. We got to see the famous "Birdman Rally" where participants try to fly off a platform using homemade flying devices (no motors allowed..absolutely hilarious...most people plummeted directly into the water without any real flight time) and several waterskiing events.
 
While in Melbourne that week Reinder and I visited Ballarat, an old gold mining town west of Melbourne. All of the staff at Ballarat are dressed in costume and the entire town is essentially frozen in time...back to the 1850's gold rush. Each building was open to the public for perusing. The visit included a trip underground to an old gold mine which was quite different. The day was exhausting but very interactive and fun. It reminded me of a trip to Williamsburg Manor I took with my grandma when I was younger.
 
So what else did we do in Melbourne? Well lots more...mostly of the touristy nature. But the one other trip worth mentioning was our 3 day hiking trip down to Wilson's Promontory which is a beautiful section of wilderness south of Melbourne. Wilson's Promontory is unique in that it combines the ocean with forest. Several parts of the track  border the turquoise waters of the Bass Strait and the camping grounds sit just several meters from the beaches. Because of the Overland Track, we were pros at packing light and efficiently. The hike itself was quite interesting as some parts were lush and others a bit more barren as a major bush fire swept through the area 2 years ago. It is surprising though how much regrowth happens in 2 years...the burnt trees and green undergrowth make for a very interesting contrast.  We saw heaps of wildlife in (Of course we went snorkeling) and out of the water at the promontory. On the land we saw several beautiful native parrots, a cobra snake, a white lipped snake, wallabies, echidnas.
 
 
Gosh this has been a lot of writing. So after Wilson's Promontory, Reinder and I headed back to Melbourne where I caught a plane a few days later for Sydney. And that is where I am now but not for long!
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