Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Anzac Day & A Drive In The Country ...

Yesterday was Anzac Day ...

ANZAC Day - 25 April - is probably Australia's most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as ANZACs, and the pride they soon took in that name endures to this day.

It is a day where we stop and remember what it was those brave people fought for, where there are ceremonies at most war memorials, where flowers are left in rememberance, where members of the armed forces get together ... it is a very special day.

It is also a public holiday ... yippee !!!

We had a wonderful day ... here's what we did ...

We (being Chicky and myself ... Hubby was asked to do some over-time at work) met a group of friends at Lilydale at 10.30am ... it was a very cold, foggy morning, and we were all thinking that it was a really bad idea to be heading off for a picnic !!! But, we did, anyway.

For some reason, I was chosen to lead the way (apparently I was the only one who had been where we were going, and I knew the way ... but, did I ????? )

Anyway, off we headed, in the direction of Warburton (about 35 km from Lilydale), to go to the Upper Yarra Reservoir (another 24km east of Warburton). As we were driving, the cloud cover cleared into a glorious sunny day, with a forecast 20ÂșC ... simply beautiful.

We were detoured around a couple of towns, as they were having Anzac Day Services, and the people there spilled out onto the road, so we had to go around. On one of these detours, around Warburton town centre, we ended up on this tiny back-road, where we discovered this amazing building (I guess you could call it that). It looked almost Balinese ... the owner had converted a normal timber home, into an amazing fairy-tale like construction, with something interesting everywhere you looked. Check it out ...

We arrived at the Upper Yarra Reservoir Park, stopped at the conveniences (when you've gotta go, you've gotta go ... and boy, did I need to go !!! ... too much information ???), then drove up to the spillway. The Upper Yarra Reservoir is a part of Melbourne water storage and catchment areas. The dam was built between 1947 and 1957.

Our water catchments are down to about 50% at the moment, but this reservoir didn't look too bad. It was a wind-still day, and the water looked so inviting. As it is our drinking water, no boats are allowed, and I'm not sure if you are even allowed to fish here.

We went back down to the picnic area, and had our lunch, before heading off for a walk. It was only when we were in mountain-goat country, that we realised we were on the wrong track (for our ability), and myself and another girl decided that we'd had enough (we'd been steadily climbing for quite awhile, already), and turned around to go back. The others did the same about 10 minutes later. Turns out the track was graded "Hard - Steep" ... this little buddha body of mine doesn't do Hard - Steep very well ... my knees were complaining, and I thought that I might need to stop so I could breathe !!! As it was, no-one made it up to the top ... too darn hard !!

We explored the park a little ... there was a beautiful water wheel ...

After we let the childen expend some more energy playing football and running around, and had some afternoon tea and nibblies, we jumped back into the car to head home. A few kilometres out of the park, we turned off at the Big Peninsula Tunnel, which is basically a tunnel through a hill, where a river goes through ... very beautiful.

It was around 5pm when we left there, and the light was beginning to go. We still had an hour plus drive to get home, and I wanted to get home before dark (which at the moment is around 6.15pm). The drive home took longer than we wanted ... bridge-works held us up for about 20 minutes.

We had a wonderful day, spent with great friends (it would have been even better had my Hubby been there, though). We had lots of exercise (I know my legs were protesting, and will more than likely be sore tomorrow !!), explored some interesting places. What more could a person want !!

Hope your week is going well.

Take care,



Badoozie said...

my new addy

b back later

Meow said...

Thank you ... OK !!

Neo said...

Meow - Great shots! I like that one river shot with the hole at the end of it. Makes me wanna wade through there and see what the inside looks like!

Good to hear you had a great day.

Peace & Hugs,

- Neo

scrappy rose said...

I must, must, must visit Australia...C's brother keeps telling us to come visit. Maybe summer 2007 after my Masters is over. Thanks for sharing all the cool pics.

Michelle said...

Heh, you had our overnight temp as your top temp!!
Love that photo of the it near capacity??

~Jennifer said...

Well, I learned something new today. I had never heard about ANZAC before. Nice pictures!

Dick said...

A good job of describing the holiday & the place you went. Is the tunnel for the river natural or man made? It sounds like your holiday is much like either of two of ours. Veterans Day used to be called Armistice Day but it was decided to make it for all military vets, not just those from WW 1. It is Nov. 17th. Memorial Day is the 4th Monday in May and it is to honor all deceased people, not just military vets.

Chrixean said...

Dropped by to say that I received your postcard today. Thanks!! Mine should get to you soon....Mailed it early last week. Snail mail here is bad so I won't be surprised if it gets to you a bit late... :)

True Blue Guy said...

Lovely snaps. The river snap is awesome

Have a great week !


Tab said...

ahh..I love this stuff!
That tree housey thing was awesome!
Thank you for sharing!

Meow said...

Neo ... thank you ... I would've loved to have waded through, but it was starting to get dark, and it was cold ... another day, perhaps !!

Scrappy Rose ... you'd love it here, there is so much to see ... it is a huuuuge country !!

Michelle ... well, our Autumn temps can get cool, however yesterday's 20C was beautiful ... t-shirts all around !! Upper Yarra Dam is under 1/2 full, apparently ... wouldn't pick it from the photo.

Jennifer ... thanks. Yep, the Anzacs are pretty important in our history.

Dick ... apparently Big Peninsula Tunnel was a project by gold miners to divert the Yarra River so as to get at gold supposedly on the river bed. It looks all natural to me !!

Chrixean ... glad you got the postcard. They are arriving faster than I would've thought !!

True Blue Guy ... thank you.

Tab ... thank you. The weird house was really interesting. I must go back there again, and take some more photos. Apparently the builder lives there ... must be a bit draughty, though !!

Thanks everyone, have a great day, take care, Meow

bazzy said...

just so you know I've changed the link to my blog to

Nasty Nashe said...

oh geezums.

wish i was there. i
so need a vacation.

Meow said...

Bazzy ... thank you !!

Smitten Kitten ... you're welcome to join us next time !!

Take care, Meow

Peter said...

Hi Meow, first up, don't worry about duplicating part of a post, the more people who know of our ANZACs the better.
Nice to see you used the holiday well, there are some lovely spots around the hill in Victoria, more great photos the balinese temple?? looks like it's still being built?
Got your Post Card today, thank you.
When next you visit would you let me know if you can see all the sidebar etc in the right places, I've been tinkering with my template AGAIN, it all looks right from here but who knows from elsewhere.

angel, jr. said...

Sounds like fun. I love exploring new places!

Justine said...

you've been busy!

Diane said...

Your daytrip sounds awesome, and just the kind of thing I enjoy.
One thing, though.....I noticed others referring to pics of the scenery.......I am not seeing any pics or links to pics when I look at your blog. Don't know if it's something technical, or if you're working on it, or what?
I sure would like to see the photos. :)

Phil said...

WoW1 Great pictures, and Happy Annzac Day!

Meow said...

Peter ... thanks, I will pop over shortly and let you know !!

Angel ... yep, so do I. Nothing nicer than discovering somthing interesting just around the corner.

Justine ... just a little !!

Diane ... I don't know why you can't see the photos ... they are certainly there. I wonder if anyone else is having this problem ... maybe you have changed something in your browser settings ??

Phil ... thank you.

Have a great day, everyone. Take care, Meow

Bossy♥'s YOU said...

well happy anzac day..

beautiful picutres always..

thank you for the post card..I am gonna work on mine soon..

Diane said...

This time, the pics show up just fine. I don't know what the problem was earlier. They were worth waiting for. Beautiful, and I envy you. :)

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Thanks for sharing he country drive and reminding me of ANZAC Day. Reminds me of one of my favorite songs, Eric Boogle’s “And the Band Played Waltzin’ Matilda.” I hope you don’t mind if this Yank shares the lyrics in honor of ANZAC Day:

Now when I was a young man I carried me pack
And I lived the free life of the rover.
From the Murray's green basin to the dusty outback,
Well, I waltzed my Matilda all over.
Then in 1915, my country said, "Son,
It's time you stop ramblin', there's work to be done."
So they gave me a tin hat, and they gave me a gun,
And they marched me away to the war.
And the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
As the ship pulled away from the quay,
And amidst all the cheers, the flag waving, and tears,
We sailed off for Gallipoli.
And how well I remember that terrible day,
How our blood stained the sand and the water;
And of how in that hell that they call Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter.
Johnny Turk, he was waitin', he primed himself well;
He showered us with bullets, and he rained us with shell --
And in five minutes flat, he'd blown us all to hell,
Nearly blew us right back to Australia.
But the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
When we stopped to bury our slain,
Well, we buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs,
Then we started all over again.
And those that were left, well, we tried to survive
In that mad world of blood, death and fire.
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
Though around me the corpses piled higher.
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head,
And when I woke up in me hospital bed
And saw what it had done, well, I wished I was dead --
Never knew there was worse things than dying.
For I'll go no more "Waltzing Matilda,"
All around the green bush far and free --
To hump tents and pegs, a man needs both legs,
No more "Waltzing Matilda" for me.
So they gathered the crippled, the wounded, the maimed,
And they shipped us back home to Australia.
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane,
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla.
And as our ship sailed into Circular Quay,
I looked at the place where me legs used to be,
And thanked Christ there was nobody waiting for me,
To grieve, to mourn and to pity.
But the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
As they carried us down the gangway,
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared,
Then they turned all their faces away.
And so now every April, I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me.
And I see my old comrades, how proudly they march,
Reviving old dreams of past glory,
And the old men march slowly, all bones stiff and sore,
They're tired old heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask "What are they marching for?"
And I ask meself the same question.
But the band plays "Waltzing Matilda,"
And the old men still answer the call,
But as year follows year, more old men disappear
Someday, no one will march there at all.
Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda.
Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?
And their ghosts may be heard as they march by the billabong,
Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?

Meow said...

Bossy Britches ... thank you. I'm glad you got the card.

Diana ... wonder why you couldn't see the pictures earlier ... I've done nothing different !! And thank you, but there is no reason to envy me, you live in a beautiful part of the world, too.

Nick ... thank you for sharing the words to the song ... it is an amazing song.

Hope your day is going well.
Take care, Meow

Jamie Dawn said...

Very neat pics. I like the water wheel.
I'm so grateful to all veterans who have fought and are fighting for freedom!!
I'm glad you enjoyed a lovely holiday.

Meow said...

Jamie ... thank you. I agree ... without all those veterans fighting the wars they fought, our world wouldn't be the place it is now for us to be safe and free in.
Take care, Meow

Val said...

Thanks for all the ideas for a trip into the Victorian countryside. I've only visited Warburton a few times, and that was many years ago, those places shown in your photos look so interesting, must plan a trip there soon. The waterwheel is so picturesqe.

Meow said...

Hi Val ... it is really beautiful out that way, if you get the chance do go and visit. I guess it is kind of out of the way, the Upper Yarra Reservoir, as it is at the end of a one way road (sort of), but it is really worth the trip. Next up we are probably going to head into Wallhalla ... that's another of my favourite places.
Take care, Val ... Meow

Alice said...

Another place that's great for a picnic is the Maroondah Dam. Lovely area just below the dam wall, lots of trees, gardens, walks, picnic and BBQ areas, plenty of space. We've stopped there a couple of times on our way back to Canberra from Melbourne.

Meow said...

Alice ... thank you. We were tossing up whether to go to Upper Yarra or Maroondah, and Maroondah won !! Maroondah is wonderful, but we haven't been there for ages. That is one of our next trips.
Hope you are having a great weekend.
Take care, Meow