Sunday, February 03, 2013

A Country Experience on a Melbourne Weekend

I arrived home from my Saturday morning cycling smash-fest on Beach Road when Sue announced, "I've this crazy idea - do you want to do a B&B this weekend?"
"Hmmmm OK, where?" I said.

Well Sue announced that she had found this B&B in Maryborough smack dab in the middle of the 1850s gold rush district of central Victoria. Now keep in mind, I woke at 6.00 am, joined the crew for an 80 km rather brisk ride, and was told to have a shower, pack a bag and drive 200 kms to a town I've never been to.
We did have a stop along the way around 1.30 for lunch at a little hamlet called Wallace. What sort of name is that to give a town - it's a name you give to an elderly gentleman with a tweed coat, a flat cap and a cane, oh yes and maybe a monocle.

The dining room at the Wallace Hotel
For lunch I had a Cottage Pie - I wonder if it was lamb?
Some very weird, but interesting decoration adorned the dining area.
A stag horn chandelier with the stag head on the wall, some gnomes, the letter W.
Go figure - I don't get it!!!!!
Today Maryborough has a population of close to 8000 but during the gold rush, it is said it was well over 30,000 in the mid 1850s. Wool and wheat became the local produce after the gold ran out.
In 1840, the Simson brothers who were squatters settled in the area and it became known as Simsons but when gold was discovered, the Gold Commissioner James Daly gave the town its current name of Maryborough after his home town in Ireland.

The Bed and Breakfast known as Bella's.
Our bedroom as were the others, had antique French furniture. Lovely to look at but oh, my back next morning.

I must say that on entering Maryborough I was pleasantly surprised by some of its grand buildings. The Courthouse, Post Office and especially the Railway Station. They all show the influence of the Gold Rush days.

I read somewhere (Wikipedia) that Mark Twain had passed through Maryborough.
In 1895 American writer Mark Twain visited the town and remarked about the station upon his visit.
Don't you overlook that Maryborough station, if you take an interest in governmental curiosities. Why, you can put the whole population of Maryborough into it, and give them a sofa apiece, and have room for more. You haven't fifteen stations in America that are as big, and you probably haven't five that are half as fine. Why, it's perfectly elegant. And the clock! Everybody will show you the clock. There isn't a station in Europe that's got such a clock. It doesn't strike--and that's one mercy. It hasn't any bell; and as you'll have cause to remember, if you keep your reason, all Australia is simply bedamned with bells.
The Courthouse
The Post Office
All country towns throughout the world commemorate their  fallen soldiers.
We had dinner at the Supreme Court Hotel which is now a restaurant, coffee house and function house. They had the biggest steaks and a superb list of local wines. The wines are from the local Pyrenees district and our steaks were washed down with a very nice Cabernet Merlot. Sue couldn't eat all of hers due to the size of it - I finished mine off easily........

Huge steak with mushroom sauce - always my fave.
And a local wine always helps make the meal special.
Sunday morning was started with a big breakfast in the grand dining room of the B&B - fresh fruit followed by eggs bacon and mushrooms on toast. We left not long afterwards to the 1st Sunday of the month market at the local harness racing track. What a disappointment!!!!!

The market was a little lack lustre to the point that I didn't take many photos but we did actually see some harness racing.
We were expecting similar markets that we've seen in our travels in France - local produce, a farmer's style market. This was more of a car boot sale, lots of junk that the sellers don't want and the buyers, well us, also don't want. Oh well, off to our next destination.

This is what Mark Twain waxed lyrical about - Maryborough's station.
It actually was quite marvelous.
Although there is some modern changes, many of the original features are retained.
I don't imagine the ticket office is used anymore with people booking on-line (with the Internet that is)
This is what the seats inside the carriages were like - with leather and carved woodwork. I guess the teenagers of the day were not into slashing seats and graffiti.
We mentioned earlier about Mark Twain describing the Maryborough Railway Station and the town folk certainly take pride with the building. Much restoration has taken place over the years and now it holds a cafe and an antique shop. You almost feel that you have walked into the past.

The dining rooms in their prime.
And the platform in the late 1800s or early 1900s.
We had a great weekend travelling around the central goldfields of Victoria but it deserves more time and some of the sights we did enjoy unfortunately we didn't have space for in this post.


  1. Looks like a good weekend after a long ride :-) It looks quite historic, but obviously nothing dates back to the buildings you see in Europe. French markets have obviously spoilt you!

    Hope the back has recovered, some beds are diabolical. That steak looks fantastic, I am sure I would have found room for it as well.

    Keep well, Diane

    1. Diane - Australia does have its indiginous history that pre dates euro occupation in Australia but our architecture is relatively new by standards. That's why we enjoy France and Italy.
      As for beds - nothing beats your own.

  2. No matter if some one searches for his necessary thing, thus he/she wants to be available that in detail, therefore that thing
    is maintained over here.
    Also see my page > diets that work fast for women

    1. I am so sick of these leeches that prey on our websites.

  3. It is always nice to get out of town. It seems like you had a lovely weekend except for a bad mattress.

    1. When you away from home, everything is an experience.
      A bad mttress is little to be of a concern Nadege.

  4. Replies
    1. No bikes but beware - I'm feeling the force and you should be very afraid young man.

  5. Love that train station. Here we see antler chandeliers often enough. I keep hoping though that if we go to the next room over we'll see the deer's butt. Never happens.

    1. That's a very intersting thought about the view from the other room.
      Thanks for commenting and visit again soon Murr.


Love to get feedback so no reason to be shy - have your say.