|Travelling Australia - Journal 2010|
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|2-6 April - Hamilton|
We stayed in Hamilton over Easter. Several day trips were made to nearby Penshurst and adjacent Mount Rouse, an extinct volcano. The Volcano Discovery Centre at
Penshurst is a small, well-presented centre informing visitors about volcanic activity in the Western District.
The bitumen road goes nearly all the way to the top of Mount Rouse which provides good views of the surrounding area (when the weather is suitable). Several quarries have been established on the flanks of Mount Rouse to extract scoria and one of these is accessible by road; layers of scoria and basalt laid down during eruptions are clearly visible in the wall of the quarry. Mount Rouse is covered by a variety of eucalyptus, acacias and other flourishing plants but the area was severely burnt in the 1970s and replanted by native plant enthusiasts and nobody can confirm that the plants now growing there are native to the mountain.
I also visited Nigretta Falls, one of the waterfalls near Hamilton which are supposed to be spectacular. But there was no water at the waterfall.
On the final day in Hamilton we drove to Coleraine to investigate Glenelg Fine Chocolate, a specialist chocolate shop which turned out to be very attractive. The array of chocolate on display is impressive and much of it inexpensive. We bought some then continued to Casterton to see what was there. Casterton was notable for variety in architectural styles of buildings in the main street; worth a longer visit in future.
While return to Hamilton we detoured in Coleraine to visit the Peter Francis Points Arboretum housing a large collection of eucalyptus plants; and many other species. We stopped there only briefly but saw enough to decide that a return visit would be worthwhile.
The weather was poor all day, light was dull with rain frequent or threatening to fall.
We refuelled in Hamilton ready for departure next morning. Normally I would have folded the awning late in the afternoon before moving tomorrow but rain finally set in late in the afternoon and was so heavy that I put off rolling the awning and connecting the caravan until the morning. We had less than 90 kilometres to go tomorrow so we would not be in a hurry. The rain faded away during the night.