Some of our day adventures are planned - and others are not. Since being based at Ballan (and nearby) there have been quite a few days when we've headed out in search of sunshine, not really caring when we ended up!
Friends recently celebrated an important birthday with the aid of a left/right rock and a time limit for driving. I was telling Nick and Erin about the rock when walking Bandit. It didn't seem they liked the rock idea, so I continued packing up once back at the van.
We had already planned to go out, though hadn't really chosen a direction or destination. Once in the car and ready to depart, I was asked where the left/right rock was! I quickly scrawled on a box and throughout the day there were calls to consult or ignore the box!
Where did we end up? Some very interesting places!
Given our later start, we stopped for lunch at Mount Greenock (an extinct volcano) Geological Reserve, site of the former Union Hill mine and somewhere that Major Mitchell had visited in 1836.
From there we visited the Avoca Chinese Gardens, created as a result of the town receiving a $350,000 grant. The garden "represents the important contribution the Chinese people made in the early settlement of Avoca and in particular on the gold fields". It was a lovely area, built on what had been the sale yards!
We explored some of the tracks within the Percydale Historic Area, a goldfield with evidence of old (and newer) mines. There were many pretty wildflowers as well as lots of quartz.
Daly's Cottage was beautiful in the afternoon sunshine - with it's front fence covered in pink roses. We couldn't see much through the bushes but the cottage is listed on the Victorian Heritage Database and is significant due to being relatively intact.
The dwelling was constructed of axe-hewn red gum slabs and still has remnants of the original bark roof.
We returned to Avoca for a very late afternoon tea by the river - not far from the Chinese Gardens. One of Elmer's tyres was looking flat, so Nick and Vaughan deposited some picnic gear and drove off to find a service station.
Erin had recent instruction in lighting the dual fuel stove, so our hot beverages were prepared while Nick was away.
We sat for quite some time, enjoying the peace - before heading home.