A visit to Walhalla

For the Queen’s Birthday long weekend Dave and I escaped to West Gippsland for a well-deserved minbreak. It’s a great place to go in winter because it’s cold but it’s green, hilly and gorgeous and there are lots of little towns to visit. My favourite town was Walhalla. Founded in 1863, Walhalla is an old gold mining town nestled in a valley in the Baw Baw Ranges. Spending the day there was like spending time in a different era. Cute and cosy cottages are built into the mountainside, the old hillside public cemetery watches over the town and the Goldfields Railway winds its way through the forest alongside a gushing Stringers Creek.

Our visit coincided with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations so we were treated to Devonshire tea in the town hall, people in costume and bagpipes (confession: I love bagpipes!). Next time we go we will definitely be staying the night in one of the lovely cottages or at Walhalla’s Star Hotel. I could easily spend a couple of days there soaking up the history. Here are some snaps of Walhalla but they don’t even begin to capture the beauty and atmosphere of the town.

P.S. If you look closely, you might just spot yours truly…

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A visit to the land of the long white cloud

We spent Easter in Auckland, New Zealand. What a lovely place to relax, enjoy the ample beaches and escape the inconsistent Melbourne weather! For somewhere only a few hours away by air it seemed a world away in terms of its beautiful landscape; the cool blue of the ocean visible from just about everywhere and land scattered with the lush green of ferns, palm trees and volcanic mountains. As I am something of a cloud enthusiast I was looking forward to going somewhere known as the Land of the Long White Cloud and I was not disappointed. On the day we went to Piha Beach a long white cloud hovered above the ocean and seemed to stretch as far as the eye could see. Gorgeous.

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The birds & the bees…

and the butterflies & flowers.

Dave and I have been taking a few day trips over the holidays and everywhere we go seems to be bursting with colour. There are butterflies everywhere, wild flowers, birds enjoying the bounty of wild fruit and busy little bees collecting pollen and making it all possible.

We’ve taken walks along the Yarra River at Warrandyte, through the Mt Dandenong Ranges at Olinda and one of my favourite places, Lavandula, the Swiss Italian lavender farm near Daylesford. Daylesford is another of my favourite places. We spent Easter there last year in an adorable little cottage and we still talk about it all the time. I think there is something special in the air around those parts.  It’s the perfect place for romance, lovely walks and amazing food, and it doesn’t get much better than that for me!

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