Directions were lousy but we made it to Ballarat!

Trip Start Jul 01, 2010
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Trip End Aug 17, 2010


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Where I stayed
Wyndham Resort Ballarat

Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Saturday, July 17, 2010

After a great flight aboard Air New Zealand (highly recommended airline) we arrived at Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport.  Scenery is already very different, much flatter in appearance and the trees are different again.  We checked out our Thrifty Toyota Camry and promptly realized that the directions of the Wyndham Resort might not be all that accurate.  After a couple of U turns (getting good at those) we were back headed in the right direction.  We made it to Ballarat and the directions failed us again.  Ugggh, just a little frustrating.  After lots of luck and great guessing we did eventually arrive at the Wyndham Resort - which I'm sure in the light of day will be interesting as it is a historical building. It has an indoor swimming pool, a golf course, a lake for fishing in and lots of great old rooms that can be used as games rooms.  Even cooler - it has a full size Snakes & Ladders game on the ground outside - that should be fun.   We'll upload pictures later from the local McDonald's which is evidently a free hotspot.   I'll buy a drink or something - McDonald's food is not my favourtie.
    Tonight we went out for pizza for dinner and the waitress was from Canada. This was kind of neat as she was returning for a visit this summer (their's not ours). We left her a tip, which down here just seems to confuse people as she came running out to return the money we left on the table.

Sunday July 18

    Jeannette and Emma are just about done with their colds and now Ben and I have picked them up. We are suffering a little, but decided today to go to the local wildlife park. I must admit I wasn't expecting much, but it was really cool. Kangaroo's were just about everywhere and you could feed them by hand. We really didn't see much of Ben or Emma after that. Besides getting up close and personal with Roo's they also had Koala Bears that they brought out for us to see up close. They are much more interesting than on TV. They seem very inqusitive and definitely have their own personalities. The girl who brought him out was a little nervous because she hasen't had him out in a while, but he was fine and she relaxed. It seems they are very carefull not to distress the animals in any way as this would be against Australian law. They also had crocodiles, huge tortises, tasmanian devils and many other creatures.

Monday July  19

    Today we went to a place called Soverign Hill close to Ballarat. It is like Pioneer Village in Toronto, but bigger and based on a gold rush town. It was very well done with many stores and people in costume manning them. It did a great job of showing how these people lived including the Chinese that came over to find their fortunes. We went for a horse drawn carriage ride around the town, Emma and I sat up top with the driver. We also watched them pour a $137,000 gold bar, kind of cool until you find out they do this every two hours.

Tuesday July 19

    Today we drove into Melbourne to see the city. It is a large city. Hard to drive in especially on the wrong side of the road with roundabouts. We walked around downtown after parking. There is a river through the downtown which makes for nice scenery. Many historic buildings are everywhere and they are beautiful. We then walked up to the Victoria Market whish is huge. It covers four city blocks and has everything. When we were done at the market we took the free tourist bus back downtown and went to the Aquarium. This was well done. The penguins were fun. They had three or four large aquariums that you could literally walk through. Very cool. After tha we were tired and hungry, so we went out for dinner and drove back to Ballarat.

Wednesday July 20

    There is an old mountain range to the south of us called the Grampions which we decided to visit today. Very picturesque views. We hiked to MacKenzie Falls which was pretty neat eventhough there wasn't much water flowing over it. Apparently there has been drought conditions here for about ten years, well not anymore as it has rained three or four times this week (mostly when we were away driving or sleeping so it didn't bother us). When we were leaving the Grampions driving through Halls Gap we saw a baseball pitch with probably fourty wild Kangaroo's on it, so we stopped and took a picture. Sorry about the pictures, but we have to find a good internet connection. Cheers.
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Comments

Karenlee on

Sounds like you guys are having an amazing time! Can't wait to hear all about it in person. BTW, Martin got me on his bike, a trip to Barrie, can you believe it!!!!

bheyl
bheyl on

No way, on his bike. Did he get you drunk first?

Barb & Wayne on

I do hope that you get better soon, nothing worse than being sick on a holiday.
Anyways, just to let you know Kansas has made it to the second trimester (Yahh) and everything is going well. The weather has been really hot and humid here so we are hoping soon to get a break in the weather. Wayne says hi and we still wish we were there with you.
Have fun!!!!

Karenlee on

We are really looking forward to the pictures. I'm sure we can photoshop Martin's face over a Roo.

Ellenharry on

Great pic's on the previous travellogs. Thanks for the phonecall, we were hearing about the quakes, it was good to hear your voice. Keep on having a wonderful adventure, never mind the odd cold. Thanks for the travel reports, much appreciated. All is well here, we are having a good, hot summer. with our love Mom&Dad
.

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