Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Saturday Night in Maldon

A few of us "Boys" had entered for a Criterium. That's a bike race around a short city block, not more than 1 km around and usually run for 30 minutes to an hour. That was on the Sunday which seemed like a good excuse to get away for the weekend. The race was in Castlemaine which is reasonably large and well set-out on the grid system of town planning. On the way we decided that the little town of Malmsbury would be our late morning stop for my favorite pie and coffee. The whole township would be no longer than one kilometre long, but it has the best bakery. After some tom-foolery and a chit chat with the lady behind the counter, I discovered that she was the daughter of an old cycling colleague. Small world, huh!!!

Entrance to the Malmsbury Bakery outdoor Cafe area - Yes, Autumn is here!

A view from one of the tables in the outdoor tables.

Looking down the main street of Malmsbury.

Early Australian building materials consisted of
Bluestone, Timber and Corrugated iron.

We couldn't get accommodation in the town of the race which was Castlemaine, so we booked in at a B&B 17 kms out at a place called Maldon.

Palm House, built in the 1860s was our Saturday night stay, our room and the other three were all decorated of the era.

We've been there previously. It has several annual events to draw revenue into the town. In Europe, you'd call it a village. Maldon grew out of the Victorian Gold Rush era of the 1850s, as did many of the surrounding towns in the area. We visited Maldon in our classic car days. The Town runs the annual Tarrengower Hill climb for Historic cars - On this particular weekend the town was swamped by classic and historic motorcycles. Many of the riders looked like members of the band, ZZ Top.

The sign says it all. Maldon is in the middle of western Victoria's gold discovery region of the 1850s. I guess it was all very much the same in California's Gold Rush period.

A couple of photos for my blog-mate Jean who likes motorbikes

It's a very friendly town and people stop in the street to chat. The occasional smile and hello can open up a conversation that offers fond memories of a weekend away. We stopped to talk to a few of the motorcycle riders. We even stopped a man that we thought looked familiar and found that he was the brother of a fellow cyclist we rode with many years ago.

Captain John Mechosk found alluvial gold in December 1853 in the Bryant Ranges, now known as Mt Tarrengower. This find was the beginning of the Gold rush in this area and within a few months the local population had swelled to 20,000. In 1856 the new settlement was named for the town of Maldon in Essex, England.

Grand houses and buildings grew on the back of the gold rush and we were fortunate to stay at one in Maldon - The Palm House was established in the 1860s on the main road into Maldon and easy walking distance to the many shops and antique shops. We bought a few bottles of a lovely Rosé that Sue likened to the ones she has tasted in the Touraine.
We wandered around Maldon for the afternoon, intrigued by the originality of the town, it's under Heritage listing.

Dinner that night was at one of the few remaining pubs in town, the Kangaroo. In it's heyday, Maldon had numerous hotels and grog shanties, even it's own brewery.

After a wonderfully sunny afternoon, we oozed out of the Kangaroo pub with a bottle of port under "My" arm to be greeted by a torrential downpour. Those bluestone gutters were flowing with the rain waters and I could see why they were built the way they were.
Arriving home it was time for coffee and port, stories, fibs and jokes ending a great day in Maldon.

Good friends, good food, good wine, good times. I took the pics.,_Victoria   For more info on Maldon

Sunday morning, us blokes decided that we would ride to Castlemaine for our race - the weather was sunny but cold and the ride was enjoyable despite the heavy heads from the night before.

A great weekend was had by all.


  1. Sounds like a great weekend and fantastic photos. Like the motor bike and side car! Diane

  2. Maldon had so much more to offer in the way of photography with its charm. Maybe we need to get away to some of our country towns more.


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