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Merv's mystery bus trip

Thank you to our official photographer Carmel Sanderson who has done an excellent job documenting this very enjoyable trip. 

Thirty-one members and friends gathered at 8.15am at the Grovedale Community Centre to meet the bus to take us on a magical mystery tour. There were lots of smiles in spite of the early hour!!

We first travelled through rural countryside (much of it badly needing rain). Our first stop was Lake Wendouree, located in central Ballarat next to the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and near Victoria Park, where we stopped for morning tea lakeside in beautiful sunshine.  After too much cake and chocolate, we crossed the road and entered the beautiful botanical gardens and the Begonia Festival. 

The Robert Clark Conservatory featured the breathtaking display of over 500 rare begonia plants, showcasing the beauty and diversity of this beloved flower. The Gardens cover 40 hectares and are divided into four distinct zones. The central part of the Gardens features the traditional, 'gardenesque' style, open parkland on either side are known as the North and South Gardens and the area alongside Lake Wendouree as the Lake foreshore precinct. 





A short drive later, we arrived at the Golden City Paddle Steamer boat yard. The Lake Wendouree Museum and Golden City Paddle Boat are operated by the volunteers of the Golden City Paddle Steamer Museum Society Inc.

This is a replica of the original Golden City Paddle Steamer, as it makes it's way around tranquil Lake Wendouree. Here it was “all aboard” for a very interesting one-hour cruise around the lake. We enjoyed beautiful views, bird life and listened to the history of the lake, while relaxing to the beat of the paddles. Lots of pushing and shoving to get us all into this shot after the trip.





Then it was time for lunch. A very pleasant venue and good food, hot and served promptly too. Quite an achievement for a very busy hotel restaurant.

After lunch, it was “all aboard” the bus via a very interesting rural route to the best museum of Australian memorabilia that this editor has ever seen. This is owned by a dairy farmer who has been collecting artifacts from all around Australia for very many years. The displays were huge, dust free (would you believe?), spread over multiple rooms and featured clothing, hundreds of metal seats recovered from farming implements through the years, Masons’ regalia, crockery, glass ware, ancient food tins, restored cars and trucks and so on.   

It should be noted that we were very privileged to be invited to view this collection as it is not normally open to the public.  We were treated to afternoon tea with the hosts then headed for home after a very enjoyable day.