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Maldon Weekend Away
February 2006

Over the first weekend of February we took the opportunity to visit Maldon, one of our favorite places for what may be the last time.

Maldon is a beautiful historic country town in central Victoria about two hours from Melbourne. For us, a large part of a weekend escape to Maldon, is the getting there.

A little over half way is the small town of Malmsbury and we traditionally stop there coming and going. There is a Juvenile Detention Center in the town, but that's not why we stop.

Our reason for stopping there on our way through is the ducks and geese in the botanical gardens lake. Originally there were only two birds out of the water, but the word spread quickly.

As fast as Mario could hand out the bread they took it, even directly from his hand.
As he did this, even more birds were heading in, looking for a free feed.

The ducks and geese appear to be very use to being fed. Even when a small boy was chasing them, they only moved out of his way but remained focused on getting a share of the bread we had for them.

As we usually do, we stayed at our favorite Maldon Address: "Agatha Panthers Cottages"
The "Agatha Panthers Cottages" operated by Keith Harper and his wife Barbara. Keith, shown in the picture with us is a great host.

Their cottages are clean, well presented, comfortable and very reasonably priced.
Keith has a wealth of local knowledge with many ideas and suggestions for enjoying your Maldon experience.

The two side by side cottages, are similar and located in a very tranquil rural setting.

There is very little traffic along the country road with pleasant views from the verandas on each cottage.

The Blue Wren Cottage on the left is a single bedroom cottage that has a wonderful spa and private yard at the rear of the cottage. Great for couples wanting a quite night away from the everyday humdrum.

The Blue Wren Cottage shown here shows the veranda, parking alongside and the Agapanthus in bloom out the front.

Both cottages are comfortably furnished with all you need. The Blue Wren Cottage is decorated in blues with a nautical theme.

The comfortable seating, TV and DVD player of the Blue Wren Cottage. Both cottages have a good selection of appliances.

The eating area of the Blue Wren Cottage. While neither has normal oven, both have microwave ovens and there is a good BBQ available outside.


Some of the nautical decorations of the Blue Wren Cottage including the sextant.


The spa in the Blue Wren Cottage had plenty of room for two and is a great way to unwind at the end of the day.

This voyeuristic little character keeps an eye on you while you are in the spa and would even keep you company if the need arose.

The Kookaburra Cottage on the right is similar to the Blue Wren Cottage although it has an extra bedroom and family friendly features included.

As well as the extra bedroom, The Kookaburra cottage also has a washing machine and clothes line outside to make it a bit more family friendly.

One of my favorite attractions at Maldon is the Victorian Goldfields Railway based at the Maldon railway station shown here.

For The Victorian Goldfields Railway site:
"Click Here"

They say "The difference between man and boy is the price of his toys". The boys and girls of the Victorian Goldfields Railway had a heck of a train set.

For other Victorian Goldfields Railway pictures on our site: "Click Here"


After "All aboard" was called and the bell rung by the stationmaster, we were on our way to Castlemaine.

The Castlemaine Station is a fully functioning station still operating mainline services as well as the tourist trains of the Victorian Goldfields Railway.

The VGR steam locomotive K 160 being prepared to leave Castlemaine for the return trip to Maldon. This side of the platform is exclusively used by the Victorian Goldfields Railway.

The sign says "Muckleford not Knucklehead", although you may be right about the character standing under the sign. The Muckleford Station is the only station on the way between Castlemaine and Maldon, located about half way. Here I was waiting to join the train for the return to Maldon.

At the Muckleford Station they have a collection of old rolling stock including this old explosives wagon shown here.

I'm fairly sure, at least I hope it had been emptied of it's former cargo!

I thought these old carriages were for school children on excursions but I was told they were for livestock with four, not two legs.

They had quite a collection of old rolling stock stabled near the Muckleford Station.

The train hauled by K160 arrives at Muckleford Station to collect me on the return to Maldon.

A view of the train stopped at Muckleford Station taken from the goods shed on the platform on the other side of the rail yards.

The reason for me joining the train at Muckleford was so I could ride in the cab back to Maldon. It was hot, it was noisy, it was bumpy but I'd do it again in the blink of an eye, it was fantastic.

On this trip the fireman actually drove while the driver did his job. In speaking to them, the said it was a labor of love, and I believed them.

I very much regret that I didn't write down the names of the crew. The guy wearing the white hat, is probably a good guy, (all good guys wear white hats) he is the fireman who drove the train.

The guy in the blue hat, (all bad guys wear black or dark hats) seemed a great guy also and was the driver who did the fireman's job. Simple, does everybody understand? The chubby little bloke in red, with no hat and later sunburn, is yours truly!

After returning to Maldon the locomotive had to be turned around on the turntable for the next run.

The VGR has another operational steam locomotive, J549, although at present it's having new tires put on and is out of service.

Other exhibits at Maldon include this steam locomotive located near the turn table.

Behind the shunter is the tender for the steam locomotive J549 that is under refit at present.

This colorful diesel locomotive has been leased by the VGR as a backup loco and for use on Total Fire Ban days that prevent the use of the steam locos.
The VGR do have a similar diesel loco but it is currently leased to a rail freight company for main line use.

K157, another K class locomotive that is similar to K160 although I believe this loco is a static exhibit and being used for spare parts for K160. After riding in the cabin of K160 it's sad to think that this loco wont run again, although it hasn't been cut up or destroyed like so many others have been.

Around the town of Maldon, Victoria, Australia.

In 1966, Maldon was declared a Notable Town by the National Trust and I believe that the buildings in the shopping center are heritage listed.

Entering the town is like going back in time to a much more relaxed and calmer era. Trees and old style buildings line the main street of Maldon.

Another old style stone building that appears to have been extended at sometime, using sheet iron.

The Maldon Hotel, part of the streetscape and social center of Maldon and the surrounding community.

I have worked for a bakery that operated the biggest single site dispatch center in the southern hemisphere. This little bakery in Maldon, is another world away, but their bread is among the best I've tasted.

Horses and horse drawn vehicles would not be out of place in a photo of these shops in main street Maldon. Cars and modern vehicles look more out of place than horse drawn vehicles would here...

I saw this timber in a shop in Maldon. The gentleman who ran the store had cut the timber himself from fallen trees in the area. If we were not moving to the US, I would have bought this piece and turned it into a table. Beautiful timber like this is hard to find.

Some of the signs on the shops in Maldon advertise brands and products that have long ago disappeared from the market.

More old style shops in Maldon's shopping center.

A shopping mall here seems as strange a concept as loud rock music during a golf tournament!

One of the premium shops in Maldon is the Teddy Bear Shop. Inside there are teddy bears of all shapes and sizes. Obviously, everybody other than a rough and tough truck driver, would find them irresistible.


One of Maldon's leading citizens is Jasper from the Teddy Bear Shop.

Jasper is the "Good Will Ambassador" for his people, and the town of Maldon.


He wasn't in the shop when we visited but his owner directed us around the back where we found him sunning himself.

After being called, Jasper came out for a meet, greet and a bit of attention.

An old style cottage in Maldon that has been turned into an art and craft shop.

The gardens and presentation made it very inviting.

In the main street of Maldon there is on old horse trough. It's not only decorative, it's used by these horses that draw this carriage, giving tourist rides around Maldon.


Close ups of the horses that draw the carriage around Maldon.


The horses accentuated the "old world charm" of Maldon.

Maldon has many old style churches including this one shown here. Some of them have been turned into other things such as restaurants and shops.

The Maldon Post Office. A building that was built years ago, long before the sheets concrete and plastic styles of today.

The Kangaroo Hotel, Maldon, another of the hotels and community focal points in the town. The TV antenna is a compromise for contemporary creature comfort!

Another old style building in Maldon. This building has been extended at some time using the same style but different building materials than the original section.


Some more of the Maldon locals around the town.

The kangaroos in the right hand picture were across the road and down a short distance from the Agatha Panthers cottages where we stayed.


Not far from town is Mount Tarrangower. The lookout tower that was built in 1924..

The sky was really that blue.


One the right, Ken pauses on the way down, after taking in the views from the observation deck near the top of the tower.

A view of Mario, Conda, myself and our rental car from the tower taken by Ken from the landing he was pausing on in the previous picture.

A view of the landscape from the MT Tarrangower lookout tower.

More of the local landscape from the look out tower.

More of the local landscape from the look out tower.

A picture of the town of Maldon from the lookout tower.

Another picture of the town of Maldon from the lookout tower.


Mario and Ken, on the way down from the observation deck of the Mount Tarrangower Lookout Tower.


Flowers and tombstones, common companions sharing the tranquility in the early morning.

In keeping with the mining heritage of the area, a mining scene set up in the yard of one of the houses in Maldon by someone with a little imagination.

Maldon is in the center of Victoria's goldfields. This old line dredge has been left behind from mining operations that have moved on.

Like the line dredge in the previous picture, this barge likewise has been abandoned after the gold ran out.

Bendigo: Central Victoria, Australia.

A weekend away to visit Maldon also provides the opportunity to visit Bendigo, a near by town that is also part of the Central Victorian gold fields.

Not far from Maldon is the city of Bendigo and the home of Bendigo Pottery. Since Conda arrived in Australia she has been collecting and adding to her collection each time we visited.

Bendigo Pottery have their own website that
can be reached using the link below :


The pottery pieces shown here are some of Conda's own collection that she has been collecting since she arrived in Australia.


Some of the Bendigo Pottery on display in the show room.

I believe it's very reasonably priced, and we usually come out with less money than we go in with!!

They also have seconds on sale at bargain prices.

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More of the range of Bendigo Pottery's products on display for purchase.

Although Conda prefers the blue and white Bendigo Pottery, it comes in a wide variety of colors and styles.

More of the historic buildings at Bendigo Pottery and Tourist Complex.

Some of the old buildings at the Bendigo Pottery and Tourist Complex.

Original Moliagul Store - This store was relocated in 1975 from the historic town of Moliagul, home of the famous 'Welcome Stranger gold nugget'. * This text was "lifted" from the Bendigo Pottery Website.


Wooden Jib Crane - This crane was originally used to load and unload product and supplies on rail trucks which once came onto the site via a railway spur line.* This text was also "lifted" from the Bendigo Pottery Website.