Last Steam Train at Wycheproof

Yes, it’s been some time since the last post here at Vic Pics, but we are still here!

Now that the footy seasons have finished, there’s more weekend time to get out and about photographing Victoria.  Let’s kick off with something historic…

Wycheproof is a unique town, because the railway line runs along the medium strip of the main street.  You may recall I wrote about the Wycheproof railway in January, and that the line is used mostly during harvest season for grain trains.

To better utilise regional railways, the authorities have decided this line will be changed from Broad Gauge to Standard Gauge.  Once the track change has been completed, Broad Guage rolling stock and historic tourist steam locomotives wont be able to visit the area.

Last weekend Steamrail Victoria sent the last ever Broad Gauge steam train to Wycheproof.  This historic train visit was met by a big turn out of locals and tourists to see the recently restored A2-986 steam locomotive rumble down the main street.

Check out this Gallery for more photos…
gallery.vic.pics/Regional/Wycheproof/The-last-steam-train-to-Wycheproof

Rupanyup Silo Art

Rupanyup silo art

There’s a growing trend attracting tourists to the western districts of regional Victoria.  I’ve featured silo art murals in this blog previously from Brim, Ship Hills and Patchewollock, now there’s a new silo art mural at Rupanyup.

These old grain silos are much smaller than the other sites, but the art work in the latest murals are no less remarkable. The paintings, by Russian artist Julia Volchkova, are of two young local sports people.  What an honour it must be for the families of those kids immortalised in the murals, which are drawing tourists into Rupanyup.

By the end of 2017, there will be two more silo art murals unveiled (at Lascelles and Rosebery) to complete the tourist silo art trail.  What a great weekend road trip that will be for anyone who loves to get out and see the country.

One Tree Hill lookout, Ararat

If you’re travelling along the Western Highway (the main route between Melbourne and Adelaide) through Ararat, keep an eye out for the “Lookout” sign that will direct you to One Tree Hill.  Sometimes these lookout detours are a waste of time, but often they can give you an amazing perspective of the country side that you would never see from the main highway.

My son and I were driving to Adelaide and had stopped for breakfast in Ararat.  On the way out of town we saw the “Lookout” sign and I was really happy with what we found at the top of One Tree Hill.  Under a clear sky and bright Sun we could see the low lying misty fog that we had just driven through.  In fact we had an almost 360 degree view of the Wimmera and Western District landscape.

Generally you shouldn’t photograph directly into the sun, but rules are meant to be broken.  In this case the Sun highlighted the fog below and gave our view some perspective.  Check out the gallery from One Tree Hill for more shots from this great lookout.

Sun on the left from One Tree Hill, Ararat
Morning view from One Tree Hill, Ararat

The early morning view from One Tree Hill

http://gallery.vic.pics/Regional/Ararat/One-Tree-Hill-Lookout

Beulah

Driving north along the Henty Highway it was the Beulah Railway Station that first caught my eye in the small Mallee town.  I wasn’t going to stop, but the old station was looking photogenic in the early afternoon sun.  After turning around and finding my way to the tracks, I realised something was wrong.  Completely surrounding the building was a yellow warning ribbon with the repeated message “CAUTION ASBESTOS”.

Beulah Station is overgrown with long grass, and there are weeds growing from the platform beside a deserted shopping cart.  The type of trolley often used by the elderly to take their groceries home, the shopping cart is just sitting in the middle of the platform, waiting for a train that will never come.

Deserted shopping cart on the platform of the closed Beulah Railway Station

Deserted shopping cart on the platform of the closed Beulah Railway Station

CLOSED: Beulah Railway Station

CLOSED: Beulah Railway Station 

Take a seat, breathe in the country air (and Asbestos)

Take a seat, breathe in the country air (and Asbestos)

Heading into town, it’s sad to see the closed shops of Beulah, but the old Town Hall and Post Office have been well maintained and look grerat!

Beulah Memorial Hall and Library

Beulah Memorial Hall and Library

The old Beulah Post Office

The old Beulah Post Office

Browse more photos from Beulah in the galleries at gallery.vic.pics/Regional/Beulah.

Patchewollock silo art

In the last two Vic Pics post we’ve features the amazing murals painted onto disused grain silos at Brim and Sheep Hills.  The third, and northern most, in this series of silo art is at Patchewollock.

The small Mallee town, with a population of just 250, doesn’t have much else to attract the tourist dollar.  The town does see an influx of visitors one weekend in October for an annual music festival, but it’s hoped the silo murals will bring a more regular tourist trade.

Patchewollock silo art mural

The Age Newspaper reported that the Patchewollock mural features 42 year old local farmer, Nick Hulland.  The artist, Fintan Magee, has done a terrific job of recreating the young farmer’s likeness onto such a difficult canvas.

Check out our photo gallery of the Patchewollock silo art mural – gallery.vic.pics/Regional/Patchewollock/Grain-silo-art-Patchewollock.

Sheep Hills Silo Mural

Silo art at Sheep Hills

Yesterday I wrote about re-visiting the original grain silo art work in the western Victorian town of Brim, and how the murals had brought tourists into the area.  Sheep Hills is another community to embrace silo art, with this stunning mural on their silos by the artist Adnate.

Just like in Brim, travellers are making the small detour and stopping to admire the Sheep Hills silo art.  However, unlike Brim, there is nothing for the tourists to do once they’re in Sheep Hills.  The only pub in town has been closed for some time and is now a private residence. There’s a Mechanics Institute hall, a CFA station and some private houses, there is nothing for the public to spend their tourist dollar on.  When I visited Sheep Hills, the temperature was pushing 40 degrees Celsius, so I would have gladly become a customer to anyone selling cold drinks and ice-cream!

Sheep Hills Mechanics Institute, silo art murals on the left
The silo murals, Mechanics Institute and CFA fire station - almost the entire town.

The silo murals, Mechanics Institute and CFA fire station – almost the entire town.

The former hotel at Sheep Hills, now a private residence.

The former hotel at Sheep Hills, now a private residence.