Posts Tagged ‘Yarra Valley’

Rolling Rust

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

A rolling stone gathers no moss” said the Latin writer Publilus Syrus and this is true of rolling stock (railway carriages plying a nation’s rail system) too.
The very opposite of this ancient proverb lies before our eyes in the once mildly busy shunting yards at Healesville’s railway station. Old train carriages, once the pride of the Victorian Railway’s fleet, lie waiting their turn for restoration by Yarra Valley Tourist Railway volunteers. In the meantime, they march toward “unrepairable” – their patinas attract our attention.
The regular train service in Healesville stopped long ago – 1981 to be exact. How do I know? Because my father was the last serving Station Master at this station and I was present the day the last train rolled into the railway station – a sad day for the community and for rail enthusiasts in the state of Victoria.
For many years after the last train service the station and rail line were virtually abandoned, however, through the efforts of many enthusiastic volunteers, the rail line has been partially re-opened and tourists can now take a short journey from Healesville to the nearby Tarrawarra area. The memories of this beautiful trip are still vivid – out of the station, over the crossing, across the Watts River then up the incline all the way to the beautiful brick tunnel then down the other side toward the Yarra River flats and on to the Tarrawarra Monastery station.
A variety of rolling stock is now located at in the Healesville railway yard. Some of it is serviceable but most of it is in need of time, money and labour all of which is in limited supply.
The old carriages (and even older buildings) may not attract the attention of passersby however, if one stops long enough, the beauty of the blended mix of Mother Nature and Man Made is worth capturing on “film”.
Negotiating the worn rails and ballast we savour the contrast of faded paintwork and rust on the old carriages and delight in the angles created by nature and steel. Safe in the knowledge that nothing is going to move we get up close to wheels, springs and levers.
Like two excited children we delight in the opportunity to be “down in the pit” (off platform), surrounded by the smell of old grease and diesel – a “train spotter’s” Nirvana.
For those interested in anything to do with railways a visit to the Healesville railway station and the Yarra Valley Tourist Railway headquarters is a must. Don’t neglect the neglected and, if you would like to see the railway return to its former glory days become a volunteer or donate some monies to this worthwhile cause.

Click on the FS icon in the bottom right hand corner of the gallery for full screen view:

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Views over the valley. Australian wildlife – happy Princess. Simple supper.

Monday, September 7th, 2009

The restaurant was quite this morning.  Being a Monday it meant the weekend crowds had returned to work.  It was nice to have a quiet dining venue from which to enjoy the view of the Yarra Valley as we enjoyed our light breakfast.

We decided to take in the Healesville Sanctuary  today.  The sanctuary is a must for tourists visiting Victoria and I took the Princess there on her first trip to Australia in 2006.  She was keen to return to see the koalas, kangaroos and many other Australian wildlife species and I was happy to indulge her. I grew up in the town of Healesville  and I worked at the sanctuary during my early years.  It is a wonderful place to visit – very peaceful and a lot of fun.
So, after breakfast we returned to our room and packed the items we needed for our day out – cameras, raincoats and the necessary things that one takes for a day out in the countryside.

The drive to Healesville from Balgownie Estate  takes all of 15 minutes but we took our time and enjoyed the beautiful scenery that lines the road.  Rolling hills, vineyards, huge paddocks and a mountain range the borders the valley – a sight that is very easy on the eyes.

We arrived at the sanctuary around 11.00am and, with no queues to battle we were inside in no time.

One of the special aspects of the sanctuary is the natural bush setting.  The walk around the sanctuary is just as much fun as seeing the variety of Australian wildlife.  The native trees and ferns line the pathways and it creates a feeling of being out in the Australian bush.

Being witness to the Princess enjoying herself made the day very special. She loved getting up close to the wildlife and I had to keep moving her along to ensure that we got to see more than the koalas!!

We took plenty of photo’s and stayed at the sanctuary until closing time.  I am sure the Princess would have happily slept with the kangaroos or koalas if she was given the chance but we had a more comfortable place to stay.

After leaving the sanctuary we took a drive around the town of Healesville before picking up a few grocery items and a light dinner.

We returned to the hotel around 7.30pm and freshened up before driving around the corner (literally) to my sister’s house.  The Keedle family had invited us to join them for a post dinner chat and a drink before we departed.  We were happy to take them up on their offer and joined them around 8.00pm with a nice bottle of local wine in hand.

It was nice to catch up with them in their new house and we enjoyed a few laughs before returning to the hotel around 10.30pm.  We packed our bags for the tomorrow’s departure then retired to the very comfortable bed.

We had a great day out in and around the Yarra Valley.  Great scenery, some nice walking and excellent spring air to fill our lungs.  All good. We drifted off to sleep rather quickly.

We are off to Adelaide tomorrow.  As the song says: …..we’re bound for South Australia”.

Until our next blog – take care and have an awesome day – we dare you!! (quote from our dear friend Jeff Konemann .

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Celebrating A Century

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Our accommodation package included breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant so we dined there this morning after waking around 8.00am.  We slept well and rose to the beautiful morning view of the Yarra Valley.

The breakfast selection comprehensive but we kept our intake down to a respectable level and returned to the room around 9.30am.

Today was a very special day – the celebration of my Nan’s 100th birthday and we timed our departure from the hotel to ensure we arrived on time for the party.
My family organised a small function in the nursing home where my Nan resides and quite a few extended family members and friends gathered to celebrate this wonderful lady’s incredible milestone.

It was a real honour to be able to spend a few hours in the presence of a living centenarian.  Nan took the whole thing in her stride and she outlasted some of the guests!  We thought she would tire after an hour or so but she was still going when we were cleaning up.

During the celebration we opened and read congratulatory messages from the Queen, the Prime Minister and a variety of state and local member’s of parliament.  Very special.

Nan blew out the candles on her birthday cake and “posed” gracefully for the many photo’s that were taken during the day.  She is a real inspiration and I hope I have inherited some of the incredible genes!

After saying our farewells to the many family members that attended Nan’s celebration we took a roundabout route back to the Yarra Valley and enjoyed a late afternoon nap in our room – very nice!

We consumed a reasonable amount of food at Nan’s function but we decided that we needed take in a light dinner so we drove into the nearest town (Yarra Glen) and ordered a minimum serve of fish.  The Princess fell in love with flake (shark) during her first visit to Australia and each time we come back we make sure we have at least one serving.  Tonight’s flake was very nicely done.  We took it back to the room and complimented our “shark revenge” with a drop of Australian shiraz.  A nice way to end the day!

Today we celebrated and we were inspired.  We hope your own day was one of celebration and inspiration.  Roey and The Princess

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