Now Australia may not be as old as Ancient Rome and the medieval fortress towns within Europe however this tiny toddler of a nation of mine can still pack a mighty punch.
There are so many towns scattered around this country with history dating back to colonial times. Having just recently celebrated Australia Day, it seems fitting to share a tiny piece of my country.
Coming home from our recent camping trip to the Murray and Mitta Mitta we detoured into the old gold mining town of Chiltern, located just off the Hume Highway, about 32kms from Wodonga.
Blink and you’ll miss it, it’s one of those towns. This is the railway station.
But it’s worth a visit, with its rich gold mining history and 21 heritage listed buildings that line the Main Street.
Wander through town and check out the Grape Vine Hotel which boasts the largest grape vine in Australia, planted in 1867.
A few years ago we camped at Chiltern over a long weekend when a pro rodeo was in town. The streets came to life with horses, cowboys, stock whips and western action.
Tash, our young horse mad daughter at the time, was enthralled at the excitement of the whole event. The next day however all was tranquil again.
It’s that sort of town.
Quiet, sleepy yet with an undercurrent of action when something exciting hits town.
You know, like those western movies when all is silent, then suddenly a gun slinging cowboy comes sauntering out of a saloon.
Instead, here it’s just little ole me.
I’m hardly a cowgirl but it’s a place that inspires movie buffs.
The town’s been used in a few Australian classics, like Disney’s Ride a Wild Pony.
Little wonder as there are plenty of old historic buildings with colorful facades that look straight out of a movie set.
However, they’re the real deal. Few props are needed here.
Cafes, pubs, museums and and quirky gift shops make for an easy afternoon amble.
Even on the Australia Day holiday weekend it was quiet.
No cowboys were around on this day.
If there was one place buzzing with activity it was the Bakery along Main Street. Now this is one place you can’t miss.
Home made pies, apple turnovers, shortbreads and custard tarts to die for!
There’s nothing old about the pastries and cakes here. They’re all made fresh on the premises every day and are absolutely delicious.
I know. I sampled a few.
Time is slow and sweet here. It’s the sort of place where you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.
Who’d think that so close to a busy major highway could be such a tranquil little township with such a big old heart.
So if you’re travelling the Hume Highway between Sydney and Melbourne look out for the Chiltern turnoff.
It’s worth it.
It’s proof once again that if you look beyond the ordinary you can find something worthwhile and extraordinary.
In something old there’s always something new to discover.
Take the road less traveled and who knows what little gems you might find.
Happy travelling everyone and have a wonderful week ahead.
and also for Jo’s Monday Walks
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