Back from our trip: Geelong was balmy - lovely walking along the waterfront under the palm trees after dinner. Steiglitz - fascinating old gold mining ghost town - nearly got heat stroke from a walk we thought would take only an hour through a forest, wound up walking back along the road - no shade - took nearly two hours. Val's face turns alarming shade of red (sorry, no photos of that sight). Booked into a motel in Ballarat - number one priority: has to have a pool! Evening in Ballarat - pleasant temperature - we walk around and admire the 19th century architecture before and after dinner. Next day take heat-avoiding action - shop for needed cooking gear in department store (did I mention it was air conditioned?). Next night camp at our place near Castlemaine - hot; next day in Bendigo - hotter.
The most consistent aspect of our road trip was that it was HOT (have I mentioned that?), although we did manage to escape the heat via air conditioned car and motels, dips in motel pools and in a swimming hole in a river near our bush block, and spending a couple of hours in the superbly air conditioned Bendigo Art Gallery (which had a wonderful Cecil Beaton exhibition on). The daytime temperature in Bendigo hit 42 and was so dry, we didn't sweat - any moisture was burnt off the skin immediately.
New Year's Eve in Bendigo was exceptionally hot (it was still in the high 30s at midnight) and the fireworks were in danger of being cancelled due to the high fire danger. But they did go ahead, and we sat on the lawn on a hill below where the fireworks were launched - it was a great sight and sound show. We had only two minutes to walk back to the air conditioned motel room and a good night's sleep before heading back home today.
One important thing we've learned from our micro mini road trip is that we should not travel in summer when we go on our long road trip...
Sitting under a grass tree. This was just before we discovered that we'd missed a turnoff on our walk. If we hadn't turned back, we would have wound up on a track taking 3 days to walk, and it went nowhere near roads or reliable water.
More photos of our trip in my photo gallery. Click each photo to enlarge, or view as a slideshow.