Melbourne to Bendigo
This week we snuck out of Melbourne on the excellent bike tracks and found hospitality in the central Victorian goldfields.
It is the end of a long and dry summer for this part of Victoria. The locals tell us it’s the worst they’ve seen it for a long time. The only green grass we have seen is in parks where they use sprinklers. The paddocks and bush are yellow, brown and crunchy underfoot.
We crossed the Great Diving Range when we left Melbourne and slowly climbed through the Macedon Ranges to the north. Hanging Rock, also known as Ngannelong by some traditional owners, was a highlight and we were surprised to learn that it was formed by volcanism more than 6 million years ago. In the video we mistakenly call it a volcanic plug. It is a different volcanic landform called a mamelon. Can you find out the difference in these terms?
The traditional owners of this area are from the Dja Dja Wurrung, Woi Wurrung and Taungurung peoples. They were forcibly displaced at the time of colonisation in the mid nineteenth century. This part of Victoria also has a golf mining history that continues to today and is a stronghold of Australian rules football, or AFL. Some of the earliest clubs sprung up from this region.
The summer heat continues to linger and we have had quite a few days over 30 degrees. This makes riding a sweaty business and we have to drink a lot of water during the day to avoid dehydration. Hopefully the weather takes a cooler turn as we head north to Echuca and into New South Wales in the coming week.