Sunday, July 23, 2017

Wall to Wall StreetArt Festival, Benalla

We visited Benalla last year, just after the Wall to Wall Festival had left town, but it didn't matter too much, as these giant masterpieces on the sides of the town's buildings weren't just there for the weekend - they were now part of the town's landscape.
Wall to Wall StreetArt Festival, BenallaThis year, we made a special trip to Benalla to take part in the festival. Not on a cherry picker with a hundred aerosol cans, but a giant paint-by-numbers project that anyone could participate in - and it was ace!
Renowned artists like Kaff-eine had returned again to add their touch to the town...
Wall to Wall StreetArt Festival, Benalla Kaff-eine

Wall to Wall StreetArt Festival, Benalla Kaff-eine...and Kaff-eine had also painted the outline of these prancing unicorns, for the public to colour. 6 tins of paint, 6 brushes and a few hundred punters of all ages lined up to try their hand at some street art, Benalla Style.
Wall to Wall StreetArt Festival, Benalla Kaff-eineWe chose our colours, grabbed our brushes and set to work. 
Wall to Wall StreetArt Festival, BenallaOpting for white, hot pink and a light turquoise, our chosen sections were brushed with careful strokes...
Wall to Wall StreetArt Festival, Benalla ...and steady hands.
Wall to Wall StreetArt Festival, Benalla

Suitably chuffed at our masterpiece, we then wandered around town, watching as the real artists turned plain brick walls into incredibly lifelike portraits, cool animations and breathtakingly beautiful designs.
Some of the artists are just starting out and others are known for their work all over the world. They get to work on the most incredible projects and in amazing locations.
Wall to Wall StreetArt Festival, Benalla Stencils and aerosols - the tools of the trade.
Wall to Wall StreetArt Festival, BenallaLadders and scaffolding - the work benches.
Wall to Wall StreetArt Festival, Benalla

Such a cool gig! For mere mortals like myself, who are happy enough to colour in the numbered sections of such masterpieces, or stand back and admire the rest, it's pretty darn good just doing that. 
The art is on display all over town, including the library and the skate park. I didn't get to see those in person, so now I have another reason to visit beautiful Benalla again.

Wall to Wall StreetArt Festival, Benalla

Where: Benalla  
When: Daily 
Why: public art 
How Much: FREE to walk around and explore
Nearby: Goorambat Uniting Church  Winton Wetlands

Goorambat Uniting Church

In a quiet little town...
Goorambat Uniting Church a quiet little church...
Goorambat StreetArt might expect to see a few icons, maybe some stained glass.
Goorambat StreetArt Adnate
You wouldn't expect to find a huge mural, painted by one of Australia's best street artists, Adnate - but there it is. 
Goorambat Uniting Church
The entire back wall of the church has been transformed into a stunning portrait of a biblical figure, Sophia and a white dove.
Goorambat Uniting Church
The details in the portrait are amazing, the colours so rich and vibrant. The small congregation that meets once a month sure have the prettiest church around.
The mural was painted over a few days, during this year's Wall to Wall Festival. Not just limited to Benalla this year, the street art now reaches further afield to places like Goorambat and Winton Wetlands, giving visitors a greater region to explore when in the area.
Goorambat Uniting Church

What: Gooramabat Uniting Church
Where: 97 Halls Rd, Goorambat
When: Weekends 9am-5pm
Why: street art
How much: FREE to visit

Related posts: Wall to Wall Benalla Winton Wetlands Landscape Art

Winton Wetlands Landscape Art

Our first visit to Winton Wetlands was on a day of torrential rain and after getting drenched twice, we decided to cut our visit short. This time, there was a few showers around, but not enough to dampen our spirits and we headed a little further around this amazing site. 
Winton Wetlands

Along Boggy Bridge Rd, we sighted the first of the Landscape Art on this journey. Along both sides of the road, artist Tim Bowtell's fish are painted in sections across a row of trees, creating a full view of the colourful fish as you approach them.
Winton Wetlands
The wetlands are a significant hotspot for birdwatching and there is a list of what species have been sighted here on the EBird Australia site. 
Signposts along the road informed us that the local brown falcons were around, and sure enough, they showed up right on cue. A pair of white-bellied sea eagles had also returned for the winter, but we didn't see them, unfortunately.
Winton Wetlands Brown FalconA little further along Boggy Bridge Rd, at a t-intersection,  we stopped at the water tank that Guido Van Helten had painted as part of the 2016 Wall to Wall Festival.
The CFA use the water tank for fire fighting purposes and the trio of faces are local CFA volunteers.
Winton Wetlands Landscape Art Guido Van Helten 

Winton Wetlands Landscape Art Guido Van Helten

Winton Wetlands Landscape Art Guido Van Helten

Another raptor watched us, but I'm not sure if it was the same bird or a completely different species.
Winton Wetlands  Nankeen KestrelAnother turn off, this time towards the centre of the site and Lunette Lookout. This area features the Hilda Bain portrait. We later found out that we could go through the gated fence to the lookout and see the long necked turtle sculpture. Next time.
Winton Wetlands Street Art

This little guy scurried up the tree as we drove along the road. He jumped in his hollow, but then popped his head out immediately for a look at us, safe in the knowledge he was out of harm's way in his home.
We're looking forward to bringing our bikes next time, and exploring the site at a slower pace, and hopefully spotting more wildlife on our ride.
Winton Wetlands wildlife
An easy exit from the park, over these cool looking train tracks and onto the Hume for our  homeward journey.
Winton Wetlands Street Art

What: Winton Wetlands
Lake Mokoan Road, Chesney Vale  
When: Daily 9-5
Why: Lake, walks, wildlife, art
How much: FREE to explore

Nearby: Winton Wetlands Goorambat Uniting Church

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Visiting Nagambie for the first time, we took a stroll up and down the main street of town to check out the shops and historic buildings.

This gate was on the side of a huge building, which appeared to be no longer occupied...

...apart from these feathered squatters.
Nagambie Lakes

This rustic timber door caught my eye, a nice contrast with the brick and various tiles.
Nagambie Lakes 

The ivy covering the old water tower looks like it is winning the battle - I think the tower would look pretty cool completely covered by the green foliage.
Nagambie water tower

A wooden boardwalk around the lake looks like a nice way to spend an hour or so. We didn't have time to do the walk, but plan on a return visit to explore the lake, the dam and the river.
Nagambie Lake Boardwalk A huge flock of corellas circled the lake, landing momentarily in a tree on the shoreline, before heading to the skies again like a big noisy cloud.
 Lake Nagambie A Bunya Pine tree on the water's edge had an unusually large bare section in the middle, as did the other trees nearby.
 Lake NagambieOn closer inspection, the reason for the bare branches was revealed. These guys looked like butter wouldn't melt in their (beak) mouth, but the destruction they cause is evident.
 Lake Nagambie 
The lakeside sculptures added to the beautiful scenery, like this pelican...
 Lake Nagambie...and Nagambie's famous racehorse, Black Caviar.

 Lake Nagambie
Leaving town, we headed off to visit some local wineries, following the Black Caviar Trail along the back roads. 
Nagambie Black Caviar Trail
Nagambie is the Horse Capital of Victoria, with just about every property featuring statues of horses, or real life thoroughbreds like this handsome boy.
Nagambie Black Caviar Trail

We stopped for a look at Chinamans Bridge, the historic timber bridge built around  the 1890's. It was one of the earliest timber road bridges in Victoria and had a lift span section that allowed boats to travel along the Goulburn River. 
Nagambie Chinamans Bridge
A small tinny motored under while I took photos, adding some nice little waves to my pic.

Nagambie Chinamans Bridge
We continued meandering around for a bit longer before arriving at our next stop - Tahbilk Winery.

What: Nagambie Lakes District
Where: Nagambie
When: Daily
Why: Lake, walks
How much: FREE to explore

Nearby: Tahbilk Winery  Mitchelton Winery

Tahbilk Winery, Nagambie

We began our visit to Tahbilk, by grabbing a map from the cellar door and taking ourselves off on a self-guided walk around the Eco Trails. 

Tahbilk Winery, Nagambie8km of backwater billabongs and creeks are home to a variety of flora and fauna. We walked the easy 4km trail of paths, bridges and boardwalks, before heading back to explore the buildings of the historic winery.
Tahbilk Winery, NagambieA row of cottages sat side by side along the high banks of the Goulburn River...
Tahbilk Winery, Nagambie...and an old petrol bowser took centre stage out the back of the modern winemaking facility.
Tahbilk Winery, Nagambie

A collection of old farming and vineyard machinery sat in outdoor museums, which we wandered around at our leisure. The whole estate his a wonderful mix of old and new.
Tahbilk Winery, Nagambie
Tahbilk Winery, Nagambie

Inside the main Cellar Door, we headed down to the century and a half old underground cellar. 
Tahbilk Winery, NagambieCreaky stairs, dimly lit tunnels and the sight of so many giant barrels of wine was an incredible experience.
Tahbilk Winery, NagambieTahbilk Winery, NagambieThe aroma of the wine in the barrels was overpowering at first, but by the time we headed back up the stairs to the tasting bar,  it had become more like a siren's song to a sailor. 
I sampled the 2016 Verdelho, Viognier and 2014 Cabernet Merlot, joined the Wine Club on the spot for a nice discount and purchased a bottle of each. 
Tahbilk Winery, Nagambie
We left the estate via a wrong turn  scenic drive around the estate's roads, a nice way to see views of the vineyards and surrounds.
Tahbilk Winery, Nagambie

What: Tahbilk Winery
254 O'Neils Road, Nagambie
When: daily 9-5 weekdays, 10-5 weekends
Why: historic buildings, winery
How much: FREE to explore the grounds

Related posts:Mitchelton Winery  Nagambie Lakes