Places

Originally on my website I divided this into states but I have to combine them on here. The states are listed in the following order; Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia and Queensland. The Northern Territory will be added at the bottom when I finally visit that region. Melbourne is not included in this list as I was born there and I have visited the city every year that I have not lived there (that is in 1997 and 1998 and since 2005).

VICTORIA

  1. ANAKIE (First visit: 2012 – Last visit: 2012)
    Anakie is a town that is 73 kilometres south west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 690 as of the 2016 Census.
    My one and only visit to this town was for football research in 2012. I cycled from Lara, but I chose the wrong day to do it as I was riding into a head wind. Thankfully I got a lift back. There isn’t much to the town itself that I saw but it must be okay as it has a football club that is in pretty good nick.
  2. ANDERSON (First visit: 2013 – Last visit: 2013)
    Anderson is a town that is 119 kilometres south east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 28 as of the 2016 Census.
    Anderson is the name of the town where the roundabout junction linking the road to Phillip Island with the highway to Wonthaggi is located. It used to be the only junction until the building of a Melbourne orientated link road from further north. I have a feeling it used to be a major junction town when the train ran to Wonthaggi, but now there’s virtually nothing there – as I found out the hard way on my way to and from Dalyston in 2013. On my next time through in 2015 I did my change over at San Remo instead, avoiding this place entirely.
  3. ANGLESEA (First visit: 1976 – Last visit: 2015)
    Anglesea is a town that is 110 kilometres south west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 2,545 as of the 2016 Census.
    I first visited Anglesea on a school camp in 1976. I can’t remember if it was before or after the Ruskin Park fire that year (I’m pretty sure it was before) and it was on this trip that I learned not to swear so much. I was bad at this time, and the son of the art teacher (who was in grade 2 and in the company of his mother) started copying me. Strange though – I only did it at school, and I knew not to do it in front of adults. My next visit was in 1991 to take advantage of a special offer by the Post Tel Institute (I was still with Australia Post at the time). The latest visit was for football research in 2015. Anglesea is one of those places that is nice, but a bit bare when everything’s closed.
  4. APOLLO BAY (First visit: 2010 – Last visit: 2010)
    Apollo Bay is a town that is 191 kilometres south west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,598 as of the 2016 Census.
    My one visit in 2010 was more about a recce of the Great Ocean Road on the Surf Coast side than anything else. And it taught me never to return. There’s nothing really wrong with Apollo Bay itself – I liked it. Nice and cosy. But the Great Ocean Road beyond Eastern View is way too windy – particularly to the north and south of Lorne.
  5. ARARAT (First visit: 2009 – Last visit: 2015)
    Ararat is a town that is 205 kilometres west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 8,297 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’d been through Ararat many times before 2009 but only as a changeover point from train to bus. In 2009 I did the first ever changeover from V/Line train to the Overland and got the chance to have my first look. The first overnight stay was in 2010 in combination with the Lexton Plains football finals. I’ve also stayed overnight for other football research purposes – but my last visit with an overnight stay to date was for political purposes in 2014. I do like Ararat and it’s well serviced – except when it comes to public transport. More trains please, and I don’t just mean the Overland!
  6. AVOCA (First visit: 2014 – Last visit: 2014)
    Avoca is a town that is 183 kilometres north west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,193 as of the 2016 Census.
    My one visit was for football research purposes, but it was also a milestone visit as it was my first overnight trip since my July 2014 illness. I did get to see a bit of the town and for it’s size it does okay for general services. It can do better for public transport however.
  7. BACCHUS MARSH (First visit: 1990 – Last visit: 2014)
    Bacchus March is a city that is 53 kilometres west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 17,302 as of the 2016 Census.
    I saw a bit of the Marsh while I was living in Ballan. My first visit may been a brief one while I was unemployed in the early 80’s, but the one I remember first was in 1990 for football when I had my video camera. It was the Ballarat FL Elimination Final between Bacchus Marsh and Ballarat and I kept the highlights. Until my move in 2005 it was only for football that I visited – including some umpiring at Darley in 2002. My latest visit in 2014 was for political purposes. The centre of town is a bit of a walk from the station but there is a town bus service available. Bacchus Marsh is a nice place.
  8. BAIRNSDALE (First visit: 1974 – Last visit: 2007)
    Bairnsdale is a city that is 281 kilometres east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 12,952 as of the 2016 Census.
    The first visit in 1974 was overnight at the caravan park on the banks of the Mitchell River on our way to Merimbula for the first time. On subsequent occasions we travelled further and made it in one day from 1976 onwards. The second visit in 2007 was for the East Gippsland FL grand final, where we (Lee and I) were lucky enough to get a free lunch and a presentation from former Collingwood legend Peter Daicos. I’ve been through Bairnsdale on other occasions changing from train to bus but these are the only two visits. It’s a well serviced city.
  9. BALLARAT (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2019)
    Ballarat is a city that is 105 kilometres west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 93,759 as of the 2016 Census.
    Like Bacchus Marsh, I saw a bit of Ballarat while I was living in Ballan as well – and more than the Marsh. I lived there from 2008 to 2019. I don’t remember when my first visit to Ballarat was, but I know where I went. Sovereign Hill. I guess my favourite part of Australian history is the gold rush times – I even did a story around it and Eureka Stockade in my Doctor Who spin off Craig and Helper. In between time my visits were for football, including a few Ballarat FL grand finals – the last of which was in 2005. I also visited Ballarat for local cricket while I was scoring for the Ballan club. I do like Ballarat, but as far as living there went we didn’t stay – due to potential bounty hunters, online stalkers and a reckless female liar.
  10. BANNOCKBURN (First visit: 2007 – Last visit: 2019)
    Bannockburn is a town that is 93 kilometres south west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 5,283 as of the 2016 Census.
    My first visit here was for football research purposes in 2007. I’ve been through a few times on the bus from Ballarat to Geelong. For a town it’s size it’s seems to be well equipped and serviced. It could be a small town option for living if it had better public transport access. I returned in 2018 using Bannockburn as a changeover point for a ride to Inverleigh, and in 2019 I returned again for research purposes.
  11. BARMAH (First visit: 2016 – Last visit: 2016)
    Barmah is a town that is 265 kilometres north of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 282 as of the 2016 Census.
    Tucked away on the Murray River, this town looks pleasing but the services are very poor. One milk bar/general store and one pub and that’s pretty much it. It does okay for tourism but aside from that I wouldn’t be going there for a holiday because of the lack of my own transport. It’ll be okay if you do drive though. I stayed here in 2016 while going to the football in Picola for research purposes.
  12. BARNAWARTHA (First visit: 2005 – Last visit: 2005)
    Barnawartha is a town that is 299 kilometres north east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 904 as of the 2016 Census.
    This town is just nine kilometres north east of Chiltern. I visited Barnawartha for football research in 2005 and I didn’t get a really good look at the town. But it does deserve a railway station of it’s own in my opinion!
  13. BASS (First visit: 2014 – Last visit: 2014)
    Bass is a town that is 113 kilometres south east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 359 as of the 2016 Census.
    This town holds a special place in my memory as it was the last football research project visit before my July 2014 illness. Of interest is the fact that I think Kilcunda (the other half of the merged club) is better serviced and yet the ground is in Bass! This place seems okay from what I’ve seen, but there’s not much cover from the rain if you get caught!
  14. BEAUFORT (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2016)
    Beaufort is a town that is 164 kilometres west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,539 as of the 2016 Census.
    For a short period in the early 1980’s one of my many aunts and many uncles lived in Beaufort, and in more recent times they returned there. Even though I’ve been through there numerous times on my way to Adelaide, that first visit was my only until 2010 when I goal umpired there. My last two visits in 2011 and 2016 were to do some work on my laptop in their library as the only one in the region open on a Sunday – as well as to avoid the summer heat that day. It’s a nice town and well serviced.
  15. BEECHWORTH (First visit: 2014 – Last visit: 2014)
    Beechworth is a town that is 284 kilometres north west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 3,859 as of the 2016 Census.
    This town carries a lot of history as I found on this summer holiday visit, especially as it relates to Ned Kelly (his first prison stint was in Beechworth Prison). It’s reasonably serviced and is also the home of Beechworth Bakery – which has a franchise in Ballarat as well as other places. It’s a nice little town if a little hard to get to.
  16. BENALLA (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2007)
    Benalla is a city that is 188 kilometres north east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 10,330 as of the 2016 Census.
    I recall doing one of those “mystery tours” with my family in the late 1970’s where we ended up here. I also visited Benalla on a statewide pass tour in 1988. My last visit in 2007 was for football research. It’s a busy town that does well. You change here from the train to the bus to Yarrawonga and until recently it was the first and last stop to and from Melbourne travelling aboard the XPT to Sydney.
  17. BENDIGO (First visit: 1979 – Last visit: 2020)
    Bendigo is a city that is 131 kilometres north of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 92,379 as of the 2016 Census.
    Bendigo, like Ballarat, plays a role in Australia’s gold rush – although not as prominent. I vaguely recall a visit with my family but my first solid memory was on a school excursion in 1979. We visited the Chinese Joss House and travelled on Bendigo’s tram before going on to Swan Hill. The only other tourist visit was in 2002 when Lee and I visited Central Deborah and took a ride on a double decker tourist bus, as well as the tram. The footy has also been prominent for me in Bendigo, especially when I had my camera. It was in Bendigo in 1993 that I had an accident with it, causing a cessation of my video work. I was at the 1990 Bendigo FL grand final and I have the highlights retained. I returned for the 2007 grand final, and my visit in 2015 was on the way to a home and away game at Newbridge. I also saw an interleague game in 2018. The last non football visit before late 2019 in 2016 was for housing purposes. I quite like Bendigo, and as I now live in the Macdeon Ranges I’ll be visiting more often as I have already started doing.
  18. BOISDALE (First visit: 2017 – Last visit: 2017)
    Boisdale is a town that is 251 kilometres east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 275 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited this small town in 2017 as it is the home of the Boisdale/Briagolong footbal club, despite Briagolong being the bigger town (over twice the size). It was for football research. There isn’t much to the town itself from what I could tell – a general store and not that much else.
  19. BROADFORD (First visit: 1992 – Last visit: 2019)
    Broadford is a town that is 90 kilometres north of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 4,319 as of the 2016 Census.
    I first visited Broadford in 1992 for a football video. I chose this game against Colbinabbin because it fitted in with a trip to Shepparton for a first round VCFL championship match on the Sunday. Wasn’t much of a game and I didn’t see much of the town as my overnight stay was in Seymour. But I saw a bit more on my return for football research in 2008, and it’s pretty good – although apparently it does have a bit of a reputation for bad night behaviour. My most recent visit was in 2019 also for research purposes.
  20. BULN BULN (First visit: 2012 – Last visit: 2012)
    Buln Buln is a town that is 113 kilometres south east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 548 as of the 2016 Census.
    I didn’t see much of the town as I cycled up from Warragul finding out the hard way that it wasn’t the easiest journey for an aging guy! I was there for football research and had to race back to beat an expected bunch of showers following a wind change.
  21. BUNGAREE (First visit: 2011 – Last visit: 2015)
    Bungaree is a town that is 103 kilometres west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 269 as of the 2016 Census.
    Like Buln Buln the forward journey here was murder although on this occasion in 2011 a good Samaritan helped me out. There’s not much left of the home town of St.Kilda football legend Danny Frawley – and the visit was for football research. I returned in 2015 this time by taxi from the Ballarat suburb of Brown Hill to complete the research.
  22. BUNINYONG (First visit: 2006 – Last visit: 2011)
    Buninyong is a town that is 121 kilometres west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 3,714 as of the 2016 Census.
    Buninyong is only just outside Ballarat and some might call it a suburb. I disagree. I first visited Buninyong in 2006 with the Ballan Cricket Club as their scorer on the old ground in it’s last year. The new ground opened the following year and I saw that once before moving to Ballarat. My last visit there was in 2011 for football research. Buninyong is pretty well serviced and the Ballarat bus system extends to there.
  23. CALIVIL (First visit: 2009 – Last visit: 2009)
    Calivil is a town that is 213 kilometres north of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 178 as of the 2016 Census.
    I didn’t see much of the town when I cycled from Dingee via Prairie in 2009 for football research, and I cycled back to Dingee without staying as I could have if I wanted to.
  24. CAMPERDOWN (First visit: 1992 – Last visit: 2016)
    Camperdown is a town that is 194 kilometres south west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 3,369 as of the 2016 Census.
    I first visited Camperdown in 1992 for a football video – and this was one of my better choices as this game against South Warrnambool was good enough to keep in full. I didn’t see that much of the town that time as my motel wasn’t in town itself, but I made up for that in 2014 when I returned as part of my political campaign. I went further in 2016 when I stayed for two nights going to and from Timboon for football research. It’s a pretty well serviced town and nice to visit.
  25. CASTLEMAINE (First visit: 2013 – Last visit: 2017)
    Castlemaine is a town that is 119 kilometres north west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 9,932 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve been through Castlemaine a number of times, including on a changeover from train to bus going to and from Ballarat – but my only two actual visits were in 2013 when Lee and I wanted to case the town out as part of future housing plans, and 2017 in order to travel on the steam train to Maldon. It’s a well serviced town and includes a large IGA supermarket that is highly recommended and worth a shop even if you live in Bendigo in my opinion.
  26. CHILTERN (First visit: 2005 – Last visit: 2005)
    Chiltern is a town that is 281 kilometres north east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,605 as of the 2016 Census.
    As Chiltern is the closest station to Barnawartha, I used it as my overnight stopover for my football research visit to Barnawartha in 2005. It’s a picturesque little town with a lot of history.
  27. CLUNES (First visit: 2016 – Last visit: 2016)
    Clunes is a town that is 146 kilometres north west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,728 as of the 2016 Census.
    My visit to this town was impromptu as my brother in law was visiting Ballarat and wanted to see the sights – and our next door neighbour recommended Clunes. It’s a nice little town with a lot of history like Chiltern.
  28. COBRAM (First visit: 1988 – Last visit: 2005)
    Cobram is a town that is 262 kilometres north of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 6,014 as of the 2016 Census.
    I have visited Cobram twice. The first time was in 1988 as part of statewide pass tour. That was when trains were still running to Cobram. The second time was in 2005 when I stayed overnight after visiting Katunga for football research (there’s no accommodation in Katunga). The difference in the town between visits was quite stark, growing from a quiet town to a bustling one.
  29. COLAC (First visit: 2007 – Last visit: 2015)
    Colac is a city that is 148 kilometres south west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 11,891 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve been through Colac many times, but my first actual visit was in 2007 for football research. That had a follow up on an unknown date, and aside from that I’ve made three other visits – in 2012 and 2015 for a wrestling show and in 2014 as a part of my political campaign. Colac is a fine city on the banks of Lake Colac, and I like it a lot. It could do with more rail services like an extension of the Velocity services that presently terminate in the Geelong suburb of Waurn Ponds.
  30. COWES (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2020)
    Cowes is a town that is 140 kilometres south of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 4,839 as of the 2016 Census.
    The “capital” of Phillip Island, I’ve been to Cowes several times – and it’s where you get you main supplies if you are going to see the fairy penguins down on the south west corner of the island. My family had it’s last real solo camper van holiday there in 1981. I’ve been meaning to pay a tourist visit, but I just never got around to it until 2020. I don’t remember when my last visit was before 2008, but it was after 1981. In 2008 I returned for football research, and then again in 2020 for that tourist visit. It is worth it, not just Cowes and the penguins but the whole island. Well, unless something is on at the motor racing circuit, then avoid the place like the plague!
  31. COWWARR (First visit: 2014 – Last visit: 2014)
    Cowwarr is a town that is 174 kilometres east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 368 as of the 2016 Census.
    A small town on the old Maffra railway line, Cowwarr was the subject of a football research visit in 2014. It’s a cute little town but not very well serviced. It relies heavily on Traralgon which is I think about a 30 minute drive away.
  32. CRESWICK (First visit: 1980 – Last visit: 2014)
    Creswick is a town that is 129 kilometres west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 3,170 as of the 2016 Census.
    Before my family sold the camper van, we joined the local church on it’s Easter trips. Our first destination was Creswick in 1980. At the time there didn’t appear to be much to the town, but it had grown a bit when I visited for the first time with the Ballan Cricket Club in 2005. It was in Creswick that Ballan’s then captain knocked up a terrific double ton which as scorer I was delighted to call. My last visit was during my election campaign in 2014. There is a lot of history about the town, mostly linked to it’s close proximity to Ballarat.
  33. CRIB POINT (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2020)
    Crib Point is a town that is 68 kilometres south of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 3,183 as of the 2016 Census.
    I have made two visits specifically to Crib Point, although Stony Point counts as I have been there a few times just to check the place out (on an unknown date before 2001), as well as board the ferry to Phillip Island in 2008 and 2020. Both Crib Point trips were for football, but only one in 2014 was for football research. The other in 2001 was just for the game while I recovered from surgery to remove a malignant tumour, and the visit in 2016 was as an overnight stay at the Stony Point Caravan Park while attending the Westernport Festival in Hastings for wrestling. From  what I saw of the area, it was serviced okay but the trains are quite good. I wouldn’t mind living down there to be honest.
  34. DALYSTON (First visit: 2013 – Last visit: 2013)
    Dalyston is a town that is 128 kilometres south east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 583 as of the 2016 Census.
    My one visit to Dalyston was in 2013 for football research. It’s not that well serviced, but it’s only about 7 kilometres outside of Wonthaggi so that’s understandable. It’s a picturesque little town and I’d like to live there except that the public transport isn’t up to the standard needed.
  35. DARTMOOR (First visit: 2018 – Last visit: 2018)
    Dartmoor is a town that is 400 kilometres west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 322 as of the 2016 Census.
    My one visit to Dartmoor was in 2018 for football research. It’s not well serviced, and suffers from being in the middle of the trip between Heywood and Mount Gambier and off the main highway. Like Dalyston it’s a picturesque little town but again public transport isn’t up to scratch.
  36. DIMBOOLA (First visit: 2014 – Last visit: 2014)
    Dimboola is a town that is 337 kilometres west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,730 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve been through Dimboola many times going to or from Adelaide and a few of those times I have changed buses but I haven’t done anything else. My first actual visit in 2014 was for political purposes, although that was sidetracked by the weather. It used to be the terminal for V/Line rail services but since that died the town has struggled. It’s not as well serviced as it should be and needs some help.
  37. DINGEE (First visit: 2009 – Last visit: 2009)
    Dingee is a town that is 204 kilometres north of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 206 as of the 2016 Census.
    Dingee was a stopping over point for me going to and from Calivil for football research as it was the closest place with an active railway station. On the return journey I had time to take a look at the town and have a meal at the pub. Compact and probably bare in it’s services – but ideal if you have your own transport and want some solitude.
  38. DONALD (First visit: 1990 – Last visit: 2014)
    Donald is a town that is 282 kilometres north west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,498 as of the 2016 Census.
    My first visit to Donald was in 1990. This was to video that year’s VCFL Division 2 Championship grand final between the North Central FL and the Riverina FL, of which I still have the highlights. Donald is a town rich in history but I didn’t get much time to look around. I caught the now defunct Vinelander back to Melbourne overnight. I made up for that on my second visit in 2014, on this occasion for political purposes. However I saw more homes than history – as that’s what happens when you’re letter box dropping for a political campaign! Donald, like Dimboola, needs some help.
  39. DROMANA (First visit: 2012 – Last visit: 2015)
    Dromana is a town that is 70 kilometres south of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 5,803 as of the 2016 Census.
    Both of my visits to Dromana were for football research. Like all towns on the southern side on Port Phillip Bay it has great water views and it is well serviced by buses to Frankston if you don’t mind the long journey – and this includes the Night Rider service.
  40. DROUIN (First visit: 1979 – Last visit: 2016)
    Drouin is a city that is 102 kilometres south east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 11,887 as of the 2016 Census.
    I made a brief visit to Drouin in 1990 for a football video, but because of the lack of a good spot for my video camera I couldn’t do it. The town is well serviced given that the larger Warragul is only ten kilometres away, and this was confirmed with the football research visit in 2016.
  41. DRYSDALE (First visit: 1990 – Last visit: 2003)
    Drysdale is a town that is 91 kilometres south west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 4,275 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve been to Drysdale twice, both times for the Bellarine FL grand final. The first time was in 1990 when I videod the game between Anglesea and Leopold and retained the highlights. The second time was in 2003 and the report on the game between Geelong Amateurs and Ocean Grove can be found in the Phil’s Weekend section. I cycled the second time from Geelong because the bus was not well timed. I got a lift back in 1990. I haven’t seen the town itself, even after I boarded the steam train from Queenscliff as there wasn’t enough time (which is why that isn’t included).
  42. DUNKELD (First visit: 2013 – Last visit: 2013)
    Dunkeld is a town that is 283 kilometres west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 678 as of the 2016 Census.
    Dunkeld is a quaint little town that I visited in 2013 for football research. I stayed at a small caravan park that was quite nice. It appears reasonably serviced but it could do with more transport – and I would suggest it should come from Ararat and not Ballarat for timing reasons. It’s the southern gate to the Grampians National Park.
  43. DUNNSTOWN (First visit: 2005 – Last visit: 2013)
    Dunnstown is a town that is 108 kilometres west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 244 as of the 2016 Census.
    Dunnstown is a small town outside Ballarat that doesn’t appear to have much of a central business area. Both of my visits were for football research, and on the second visit I also goal umpired in my last ever appointment with the flags in Ballarat. This place needs work starting with housing development and then a bus from Ballarat to set up the eventual building of a railway station.
  44. ECHUCA (First visit: 1979 – Last visit: 2020)
    Echuca is a city that is 214 kilometres north of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 14,043 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve been through Echuca a few times, but I have only made three substantive visits. The first was in 1979 as part of a school excursion – and I wasn’t impressed. Neither was the school or the bus drivers as I recall! After that I’d only seen Echuca on my way to Moama one time, or travelling from Adelaide to Albury on V/Line’s Speedlink bus service. But in 2010 my wife and I made a tourist visit included a cruise on the Murray River and taking in the history of the town. Echuca was a major inland port back in the day. We returned in late July 2020 for a COVID-19 tourism support visit just before the second wave lockdown hit. I quite like Echuca now compared to 1979, but it needs better transport.
  45. EILDON (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: Unknown)
    Eildon is a town that is 141 kilometres north east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 974 as of the 2016 Census.
    I vaguely recall making one visit to Eildon when I was young some time in the early to mid 1970’s. I remember going through Buxton and the winding road through the ranges on the far side of Healesville. Always hated that which is why I remember it.
  46. ELMORE (First visit: 2013 – Last visit: 2013)
    Elmore is a town that is 167 kilometres north of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 776 as of the 2016 Census.
    My only visit in 2013 was to attend the Heathcote District FL grand final between Lockington/Bamawm and Huntly. It looked like a decent town for it’s size, much like Ballan in a way. It’s the right size for us to live in, but the transport isn’t up to the standard required.
  47. EUROA (First visit: 1990 – Last visit: 1990)
    Euroa is a town that is 148 kilometres north east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 3,275 as of the 2016 Census.
    I have visited Euroa once, in 1990 for a football video. This game is one of my favourites and I kept it in full. It was Euroa against Rochester, which ended up being a grand final preview. Euroa’s ground is one I really liked, and I recall liking the town centre as well. This is another place I wouldn’t mind living in, except  the rail service would need to be more frequent.
  48. GARFIELD (First visit: 2012 – Last visit: 2012)
    Garfield is a town that is 69 kilometres south east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,786 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Garfield in 2012 for the Ellinbank District FL grand final. It has been growing a little lately, resulting in recognition by V/Line as an express service stop between Pakenham and Drouin. For a town it’s size it is well serviced and I can see it growing further in the near future. It looks like a nice town in a nice area.
  49. GEELONG (First visit: 1974 – Last visit: 2017)
    Geelong is a city that is 72 kilometres south west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 157,104 as of the 2016 Census.
    I must say when we moved to Ballan in 2005 Geelong was on my short list of options. I’ve visited heaps of times and not just for football although it has dominated. Ranging from my first visit in 1974 for Collingwood’s game at Kardinia Park (which also doubles as my first regional train trip) to a special research visit late in 2006, I’ve gone there for just a trip away from home, for football videos including three Geelong FL grand finals and plenty of political promotion in October and November 2014 – including a radio appearance. It serves as the changeover point from train to bus to the Bellarine Peninsula and the Great Ocean Road. I also umpired there in 2000 and it was where most of my wrestling interest was in 2003 with the long defunct EWA. I like Geelong a lot – and I agree with observation Geelong football legend Doug Wade made. Words to the effect of Geelong provides the best of both worlds – city and country. I can’t live there now of course as it’s too big.
  50. GENOA (First visit: 1975 – Last visit: 2016)
    Genoa is a town that is 498 kilometres east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 55 as of the 2016 Census.
    My first visit to this small town – the last in Victoria on the Princes Highway before you reach the border between Victoria and New South Wales – was unintended. On our family holiday to Merimbula in 1975 we had a horrible caravan on our tow bar and we lost one of our extended mirrors between Cann River and Genoa. As a result we had to stay at the little caravan park overnight before completing our journey the next day. That caravan park has long since closed as I discovered on our way through to Merimbula on the bus in 2006. There’s not much to the town now, and it being the junction down to Mallacoota is all that’s keeping it alive – exactly what I was doing on the second visit in 2016.
  51. GISBORNE (First visit: 2019 – Last visit: N/A)
    Gisborne is a town that is 54 kilometres north west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 9,822 as of the 2016 Census.
    It was a bit surprising that I never visited this town prior to our move to the region in 2019, although the fact that the station is a long way from the centre of town may have been a factor. It has grown markedly in recent years and has a very good CBD under the circumstances. It could however do with a better local bus service!
  52. GLENGARRY (First visit: 2004 – Last visit: 2004)
    Glengarry is a town that is 169 kilometres south east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,084 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Glengarry in 2004 as a part of my football research. I cycled there from Traralgon as that was easier than taking the Maffra bus and I couldn’t get accommodation in Glengarry either. I didn’t see the town itself as it was a miserable day, and I had only just got over a cold. Thank goodness the social club at the ground was decent!
  53. GOORAMBAT (First visit: 2008 – Last visit: 2008)
    Goorambat is a town that is 228 kilometres north of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 297 as of the 2016 Census.
    Goorambat is the first town on the road between Benalla and Yarrawonga and I visited in 2008 for football research. It’s a small town that is struggling but the pub wasn’t bad. If the railway line can be re-opened it can revitalise the town.
  54. GORMANDALE (First visit: 2015 – Last visit: 2015)
    Gormandale is a town that is 184 kilometres east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 321 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Gormandale for a research visit. It’s a tiny town the survives through farming and being only 23 kilometres from Traralgon. A more frequent bus between Traralgon and Yarram would help this place.
  55. GORDON (First visit: 1990 – Last visit: 2010)
    Gordon is a town that is 95 kilometres west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,151 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve made three visits to Gordon. The first was in 1990 for a football video, and I kept the whole game as it was a ripper between Gordon and Springbank. Gordon footy club was the home for two of my distant relatives – Stephen and Ray Gluyas. I can’t remember when the second visit was but it was a stopover with the Ballan cricket club on the way back from an away game. The most recent visit was for football research and I also goal umpired the game which was against Creswick.
  56. GREAT WESTERN (First visit: 2006 – Last visit: 2006)
    Great Western is a town that is 225 kilometres west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 400 as of the 2016 Census.
    Situated between Ararat and Stawell, Great Western is well known for it’s wine making. But your truly the proud teetotaller didn’t go there in 2006 for wine! It was for football research. The town is quite small and it’s the winery that keeps it alive without a doubt.
  57. HALLS GAP (First visit: 1976 – Last visit: 1976)
    Halls Gap is a town that is 256 kilometres west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 430 as of the 2016 Census.
    My visit to Halls Gap was well timed in 1976, just after the Ruskin Park Fire (see Personal Events) and we needed the break. The holiday was with my extended family on my mother’s side. The weather wasn’t the best although it gave us an excuse to play the biggest game of Squatter (an Australian board game) ever. As I recall there wasn’t much to the town itself, but I did do a fair amount of bushwalking, taking in Venus Baths and the Elephant’s Hide which I climbed the back of.
  58. HAMILTON (First visit: 1988 – Last visit: 2015)
    Hamilton is a town that is 300 kilometres west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 9,974 as of the 2016 Census.
    I first visited Hamilton in 1988 on a statewide pass tour and I recalled it being a nice town and well serviced. This was confirmed on passing through on the return trip from Mount Gambier in 2006, and then again in 2013 on a football research visit. I had two visits in 2014 during my election campaign and then 2015 for the South West District FL grand final. Hamilton could do with more public transport – and from Ararat as well as Ballarat direct.
  59. HASTINGS (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2016)
    Hastings is a town that is 61 kilometres south of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 9,609 as of the 2016 Census.
    I recall visiting Hastings in 1999 or 2000 for rental options, and this was a reasonable living option given the rail service is pretty good. My first confirmed visit was in 2002 for football to just watch the game between Hastings and Rosebud – the report is on my website as is the report on my research visit in 2012 when Hastings played Rye. The latest visit was for the Westernport Festival in February 2016 for wrestling.
  60. HEALESVILLE (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2016)
    Healesville is a town that is 52 kilometres north east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 7,461 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve been to Healesville a number of times, either for football or for Healesville Sanctuary. One of my early visits, although certainly not the first, was for a family picnic on Melbourne Cup Day in 1977. I also travelled on the train between Lilydale and Healesville in 1980 for a school excursion to the Sanctuary (and got bitten by a bullant that day!). The football visits were in 1989 and 1993 for football videos and in more recent times for Yarra Valley Mountain District FL grand finals played there in 2001, 2002 and 2016 – the latter two of which have reports on them (Silvan v Emerald and Olinda v Healesville). I like Healesville – it’s a shame the train is long gone and the bus service is not up to the standard needed.
  61. HORSHAM (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2016)
    Horsham is a city that is 303 kilometres west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 14,543 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve seen a lot of Horsham in more recent times, mostly as a substantive stopover point travelling to and from Adelaide on the bus. This is why I don’t know when my first visit was. My first overnight stay however I do remember – it was in 2006 after a football research visit to Murtoa and I stayed in Horsham because there was an earlier bus going direct to get me home quicker. More recently I did a research visit in 2011 to Horsham itself as well as two visits in November 2014 during my election campaign and for the Wimmera FL grand final in 2016. I like Horsham. It’s well serviced and would make a good home if the buses were more frequent..
  62. INGLEWOOD (First visit: 2004 – Last visit: 2004)
    Inglewood is a town that is 185 kilometres north west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 855 as of the 2016 Census.
    My one and only visit to Inglewood was in 2004 for the Loddon Valley FL grand final. It was both a club and league research visit and the report is in the Phil’s Weekend section (Calivil United v Marong). At the time Inglewood seemed to be of similar size to Ballan, but it’s service levels aren’t good – surprisingly given that it’s only 44 kilometres out of Bendigo. Unusually for a town this size, it has a town hall clock that chimes every quarter hour although it is switched off during the night.
  63. INVERLEIGH (First visit: 2018 – Last visit: 2018)
    Inverleigh is a town that is 87 kilometres south west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,474 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Inverleigh in 2018 for football research. It’s not a well serviced town given that it’s the first town you come to on the Hamilton Highway coming out of Geelong only 28 kilometres away. Improve that and provide public transport and it would be okay. The Overland comes through this town on it’s way to Ararat from Geelong.
  64. INVERLOCH (First visit: 2005 – Last visit: 2011)
    Inverloch is a town that is 141 kilometres south east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 5,437 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve made two visits to Inverloch and the first was in 2005 for football research and the report is available in the Phil’s Weekend section (Inverloch Kongwak v Phillip Island). It’s a coastal town which I liked a lot, and the cove is ideal for swimming without having to worry about waves. It was with that in mind that I returned for a holiday in 2011. It’s a well serviced town and would make a great sea change living option – if it wasn’t for the infrequent bus service!
  65. KARADOC (First visit: 1981 – Last visit: 1981)
    Karadoc is a locality that is 530 kilometres north west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has no population as of the 2016 Census.
    This is a small locality on the Murray River just 20 kilometres south of Mildura. The closest major town is Red Cliffs. I stayed here on a summer camping holiday in 1981, and had one of – if not the worst – case of sunburn here. The holiday finished early with a cool change after a dust storm just missed us, and we got out to avoid being bogged.
  66. KATUNGA (First visit: 2005 – Last visit: 2005)
    Katunga is a town that is 228 kilometres north of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 996 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Katunga in 2005 for the Picola District FL grand final and for historical research which on this occasion partly worked out. The match was between Tungamah and Waaia and the report can be found in the Phil’s Weekend section. There was a nice little tavern at which I had a nice meal, but there’s no accommodation so I had to travel to Cobram for the overnight stay before returning home.
  67. KERANG (First visit: 2009 – Last visit: 2020)
    Kerang is a town that is 277 kilometres north west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 3,893 as of the 2016 Census.
    I have visited Kerang four times, twice as part of football research. The first was for a Kerang home game against Swan Hill. The second was as a two night stay base in getting to Calivil for the game between them and Bridgewater. It had to be that way as I needed a base for my bicycle as Dingee had no accommodation. Kerang is a good town, which I returned to in 2019 on my way to Manangatang and again in early July, October and November 2020 for COVID-19 tourism support visits – and I do intend to return in the future as I need it as a base for at least two other club visits.
  68. KILCUNDA (First visit: 2020 – Last visit: 2020)
    Kilcunda is a town that is 122 kilometres south east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 396 as of the 2016 Census.
    I was meaning for awhile to do this trip and I did so while holidaying on Phillip Island in 2020. The town has a motel, a pub and a general store – and a caravan park but that’s all. The beach is inhibited in a major way by rocks, but if you like rocks it’s pretty good. Sensational sea views abound but that’s all.
  69. KILMORE (First visit: 2002 – Last visit: 2014)
    Kilmore is a town that is 60 kilometres north of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 7,958 as of the 2016 Census.
    I have mixed memories of my first visit to Kilmore in 2002. It was for the last ever All Star Wrestling show and I arrived after the show started. I enjoyed the show, but I had my concession card and a bunch of Metcards stolen. Thankfully I already had a lift back to Melbourne organised. As a result I didn’t see much of Kilmore itself. The same was the case on my second visit for historical football research in 2014 as the ground is on the railway station side of the town – the match was against Melton Central and the report is in the Phil’s Weekend section.
  70. KOO WEE RUP (First visit: 1981 – Last visit: 1981)
    Koo Wee Rup is a town that is 71 kilometres south east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 3,579 as of the 2016 Census.
    My one visit to Koo Wee Rup was not under pleasant circumstances. It was one of my runaways – and in fact it was my last because it immediately preceded my departure from school. I cycled there from Donvale, and at 68 kilometres it stands as my longest ride to this day. I was pretty stupid and careless in my actions and I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn’t do anything wrong in the criminal sense, but nevertheless I got into quite a bit of trouble. I did get out of it though – by simply telling the truth. It was on this trip that I first learned that lying was for mugs and how it affected my psyche, well before I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.
  71. KYNETON (First visit: 1983 – Last visit: N/A)
    Kyneton is a town that is 83 kilometres north west of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. It has a population of 6,951 as of the 2016 Census.
    I first visited Kyneton in 1983 on a curiosity trip taking in the old Carlsruhe railway station. I cycled from Woodend and then onto Kyneton on this trip before getting the train back. My next visit was in 2006 over Easter for football. This wasn’t a research trip because there were few options being that long weekend. The game between Kyneton and Sandhurst has a report in the Phil’s Weekend section. My last visits were in 2014 casing out options for a move to the region and in 2019 for other research purposes. Kyneton is a nice town and well serviced. The frequency of rail services makes it a living option although nowadays it’s a bit on the big side. However we moved to the area in late 2019.
  72. LAKE BOGA (First visit: 2015 – Last visit: 2015)
    Lake Boga is a town that is 325 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 985 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Lake Boga for football research in 2015. It didn’t look well serviced, but the lake looks great as does the caravan park on the shore line. I’m sure I missed where the shopping precinct is but I doubt I’ll get a second look unless a holiday is on the cards here.
  73. LAKE BOLAC (First visit: 2008 – Last visit: 2019)
    Lake Bolac is a town that is 217 kilometres west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 330 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve made two visits to Lake Bolac, and both of them were for football. The first in 2008 was for the Mininera District FL grand final, where I also did a grab of historical information from the league. The second was in 2012 for a Wickliffe/Lake Bolac home game for the same purpose – and nothing happened so I needed to make a return trip which I did in 2019. Lake Bolac is a small town but it does okay in services – except for public transport. A more frequent service would make this a living option for sure.
  74. LAKES ENTRANCE (First visit: 1966 – Last visit: 2009)
    Lakes Entrance is a town that is 321 kilometres east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 6,071 as of the 2016 Census.
    I barely remember my first visit in 1966 if at all – after all I was only 1 year old! I do however remember a story my mother told – after a night’s sleep my parents thought my bed was empty when they woke up. But I was nowhere to be found in our unit. There was a panic – until I was found. Curled up in the centre of my bed, with the bed itself creaking down just far enough to make it look like there was no one under the blankets! We did visit again at least once after my sister was born, but I didn’t return there for a stay until 2009 for a week long holiday that included a couple of cruises into the Gippsland Lakes. More buses would make Lakies a living option as it is a very nice place but nowadays it’s a bit big for me.
  75. LANCEFIELD (First visit: 2002 – Last visit: 2017)
    Lancefield is a town that is 70 kilometres north of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 2,455 as of the 2016 Census.
    My visiting history to Lancefield nearly mirrors that of Lake Bolac in terms of what I was there for. In 2002 it was a grand final and in 2009 it was a home club visit and nothing happening requiring a return visit. There were differences of course – it was the Riddell District FL grand final, and that was the league I was umpiring with that year so I took advantage of the free lunch for the umpiring group. I also got a lift to the venue as the public transport was virtually non existent then. It’s better now as I found in 2009. I saw the town in 2009 and for it’s size it does okay. I returned in 2017 in another difference with Lake Bolac.
  76. LEONGATHA (First visit: 1988 – Last visit: 2018)
    Leongatha is a town that is 135 kilometres south east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 5,654 as of the 2016 Census.
    I first visited Leongatha as part of the statewide pass trip in 1988, and took the trip by train. It was a nice little town and I chose the hotel well. I would have returned sooner than 2013, but the trains disappeared and unless someone bites the bullet they won’t be back. That annoys me. My 2013 visit was for football research and like Lancefield and Lake Bolac nothing happened. The town I think had grown from 1988 as the facilities seemed to have gotten even better. My 2018 return backed that up.
  77. LEXTON (First visit: 2010 – Last visit: 2010)
    Lexton is a town that is 144 kilometres west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 231 as of the 2016 Census.
    My one visit to Lexton was for historical football research in 2010. The game wasn’t much (the report is in the Phil’s Weekend section). From what I saw of the town it is small but can be restored with some help from Ballarat as it is on the main highway to Mildura. A regular bus service to Avoca would be just the thing.
  78. LISMORE (First visit: 2016 – Last visit: 2016)
    Lismore is a town that is 170 kilometres west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 420 as of the 2016 Census.
    My one visit to Lismore was also for historical football research, in 2016. I stayed for three nights and I wasn’t very impressed with the town’s services to be honest. It badly needs a boost and the railway line I think is the key – the standard gauge line haul to be precise.
  79. LOCH (First visit: 2018 – Last visit: 2018)
    Loch is a town that is 111 kilometres south east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 638 as of the 2016 Census.
    My visit to Loch in 2018 was as a jump off point to get a ride to Poowong. I had time to have a look around on the return and it’s not much. It would be a living option though except that public transport isn’t frequent enough and probably never will be in that area.
  80. MACEDON (First visit: 1989 – Last visit: N/A)
    Macedon is a town that is 61 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 2,040 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Macedon in 1989 for a football video and later went through there for a Christmas party with members of my wife’s extended family. Thanks to Ash Wednesday Macedon is a recognised bushfire threat zone but in spite of this we moved to the region in late 2019.
  81. MALDON (First visit: 2017 – Last visit: 2017)
    Maldon is a town that is 136 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,513 as of the 2016 Census.
    The steam train from Castlemaine travels to Maldon and Lee and I travelled on this train in 2017. We visited the town briefly and it does look okay.
  82. MALLACOOTA (First visit: 2016 – Last visit: 2016)
    Mallacoota is a town that is 523 kilometres east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,063 as of the 2016 Census.
    Mallacoota is the eastern most town in Victoria, and I spent a weekend there for a break in March 2016. The visit was affected by a major power outage which created a negative atmosphere to start the visit. In the end I found the services to be okay, but the tourist options were limited – especially if you don’t deal in cash. It’s distance is also against it – but the sea views are terrific.
  83. MALMSBURY (First visit: 2012 – Last visit: N/A)
    Malmsbury is a town that is 96 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 831 as of the 2016 Census.
    The visit in 2012 was simply to case the town out. It’s a nice little place and is the present number one priority for residence as it has an active railway station with enough services to cope. We moved to the region in late 2019.
  84. MANANGATANG (First visit: 2019 – Last visit: 2019)
    Manangatang is a town that is 412 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 309 as of the 2016 Census.
    The visit in 2019 was for football research. It does okay considering, but it’s not a well serviced town except for the presence of the local hospital. I think it’s only kept alive by farming and the highway which links Adelaide with the upper Murray Valley.
  85. MARYBOROUGH (First visit: 2010 – Last visit: 2014)
    Maryborough is a town that is 168 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 7,921 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve visited Maryborough twice, the first time was in 2010 for the Maryborough Castlemaine District FL grand final between Maldon and Avoca. The second visit was as part of my political campaign in November 2014. It’s a well serviced town, except in respect of trains as it only has two a day.
  86. MEENIYAN (First visit: 2018 – Last visit: 2018)
    Meeniyan is a town that is 145 kilometres south east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 771 as of the 2016 Census.
    My visit to Meeniyan was in 2018 for the Alberton FL grand final. I did get to have a decent look at the centre of town and for it’s size it does pretty well. It would be a living option but of course for the poor bus frequency!
  87. MERBEIN (First visit: 1981 – Last visit: 1981)
    Merbein is a town that is 554 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 2,713 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Merbein in 1981 to see a friend of Mum’s. Mum had one of her first appointments as a school librarian here before she got married, although her friend didn’t always live there. I don’t remember much of the town but I’ll bet Mum doesn’t either as it was a long time ago that she lived there!
  88. MILDURA (First visit: 1981 – Last visit: 2017)
    Mildura is a city that is 550 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 32,738 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’d heard a lot about Mildura as my parents went up there a couple of times alone – and came back with the car grill covered with mesh and locusts! But I think my first trip there was in 1981 as part of the Karadoc trip (as well as Merbein). My first trip alone was in 1988 as part of a statewide pass trip and because it was so far away my next trip wasn’t until 2001 for the Millewa FL grand final. I did that because I wanted to reward the secretary for being the first to link back to my website. I visited in 2014 to help HRPW with it’s presentation at the Mildura Show, and most recently in 2017 for our 25th Wedding Anniversary. The fifth biggest city in Victoria, Mildura is well serviced and it’s a shame about the distance otherwise I’d be visiting a lot more often than I have.
  89. MOE (First visit: 2006 – Last visit: 2014)
    Moe is a town that is 130 kilometres south east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 8,778 as of the 2016 Census.
    My first visit to Moe was in 2006 for the Mid Gippsland FL grand final. It wasn’t a research trip but the secretary was interested in my work. My more recent visits have been for wrestling with GPW having shows there. Moe looks like a fair town and well serviced, but for reasons I won’t go into it’s not on the list of living options – at least not for us.
  90. MOOROOPNA (First visit: 2014 – Last visit: 2014)
    Mooroopna is a town that is 181 kilometres north of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 7,942 as of the 2016 Census.
    I first visited Mooroopna in 2014 for the Kyabram District FL grand final. It’s a nice town and goes well with nearby Shepparton. I’ll get a better idea when I stay a night there (I stayed in Shepparton for that 2014 trip).
  91. MORWELL (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2011)
    Morwell is a city that is 149 kilometres south east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 13,771 as of the 2016 Census.
    In the early 1990’s I did some summer recce’s on country football venues, just as an excuse to cycle around the place. Morwell was one of those places. A couple of years later I returned and visited Churchill (I consider that a part of Morwell) for some missing info for a football video. My last visit was in 2011 for the Gippsland FL grand final. Morwell is a well serviced city and the council seat of the Latrobe Valley.
  92. MOUNT DONNA BUANG (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: Unknown)
    Mount Donna Buang is a locality that is 80 kilometres east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has no population as of the 2016 Census.
    This is one of three sections that don’t speak about a town. As a youngster in the early 1970’s I did visit Donna Buang a couple of times – and it’s the only time I’ve walked in snow. I’ll have to make an effort to see the snow again soon because it won’t be long before the closest an Australian will get to seeing snow is in New Zealand because of climate change. It won’t be Donna Buang because there’s no public transport there. Besides – the road there from Warburton is as windy as!
  93. MURRAYVILLE (First visit: 2005 – Last visit: 2005)
    Murrayville is a town that is 536 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 280 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Murrayville in 2005 as part of my football research. It’s a very nice little town like Malmsbury, and it would be on my residence radar except that the public transport is lousy.
  94. MURTOA (First visit: 1990 – Last visit: 2006)
    Murtoa is a town that is 305 kilometres west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 865 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve visited Murtoa twice. The first time was in 1990 when I stayed overnight before I managed a couple of rides via Minyip to get to Donald for the Division 2 VCFL grand final after doing a video at Gordon on Saturday. The second time was in 2006 for football research and the game between Minyip/Murtoa and Horsham Saints. Murtoa is a pleasant little town, and I did have one memento from the 2006 trip. A free Coke cup that went with my pub dinner (it finally broke at the base in 2018!).
  95. NARRAWONG (First visit: 2015 – Last visit: 2015)
    Narrawong is a town that is 344 kilometres west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 387 as of the 2016 Census.
    I stayed in Narrawong after a football research visit to Tyrendarra and it’s a nice seaside town that is growing just a little purely from it’s close proximity to Portland (15 kilometres away). With some more services, including better public transport, it would be a nice place to live.
  96. NATHALIA (First visit: 2010 – Last visit: 2010)
    Nathalia is a town that is 217 kilometres north of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,880 as of the 2016 Census.
    I like Nathalia. It’s service level is quite good for a town it’s size. I visited in 2010 for football research and this would be a living option except for guess what? Yep – it needs better public transport.
  97. NATTE YALLOCK (First visit: 2013 – Last visit: 2013)
    Natte Yallock is a town that is 200 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 94 as of the 2016 Census.
    I didn’t see any of what’s left of this town, as I visited on a football research mission in 2013. It hosts Natte Bealiba football club despite the fact that Bealiba is the bigger town.
  98. NAVARRE (First visit: 2010 – Last visit: 2010)
    Navarre is a town that is 227 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 98 as of the 2016 Census.
    Like Natte Yallock I didn’t see much of this town as I visited in 2010 partly for football research – I say partly because the games being played were finals and I was goal umpiring. It was also a terrible day weather wise which didn’t help.
  99. NEWBRIDGE (First visit: 2015 – Last visit: 2015)
    Newbridge is a town that is 173 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 192 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve been through Newbridge a few times on board the Daylink bus service when I got it from Bendigo, but my first actual visit was in 2015 and that was to the football ground which is outside the town. From memory it’s a small town that has suffered from the floods they had a few years earlier.
  100. NHILL (First visit: 1972 – Last visit: 2014)
    Nhill is a town that is 374 kilometres west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 2,184 as of the 2016 Census.
    On the family’s trip back from Adelaide in 1972, our overnight stay was in Nhill. I don’t remember much of it. In more recent times the bus service to Adelaide has it’s meal break at Nhill, and these have given me a bit of a chance to look around the CBD. It’s a well serviced town – and my last visit in 2014 is particularly memorable for all the wrong reasons as that was the ill fated trip to Adelaide when I ended up in hospital for 25 days.
  101. NUMURKAH (First visit: 2014 – Last visit: 2014)
    Numurkah is a town that is 228 kilometres north of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 4,477 as of the 2016 Census.
    Numurkah is quite a decent town that deserves the restoration of the Cobram rail service as much as Cobram does. I was there for football research in 2014 and the town itself is quite compact and well serviced.
  102. NYORA (First visit: 2011 – Last visit: 2011)
    Nyora is a town that is 100 kilometres south east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,527 as of the 2016 Census.
    Nyora is a small town that isn’t well serviced but it does well to maintain a football club. I was there for football research and was the junction between the Leongatha and old Wonthaggi railway lines. If they get around to bringing the trains back this place will benefit for sure.
  103. OCEAN GROVE (First visit: 2003 – Last visit: 2014)
    Ocean Grove is a city that is 98 kilometres south west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 14,165 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve visited Ocean Grove on three occasions. The first two were for football with the second in 2009 for research purposes. The last visit was for a letter box drop for my election campaign in one section in the newer area to the north east of the centre of town. The Grove is not too bad and a popular place as the population indicates. It shares the mouth of the Barwon River with Barwon Heads.
  104. ORBOST (First visit: 1993 – Last visit: 2005)
    Orbost is a town that is 375 kilometres east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 2,227 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve visited Orbost twice. The first time was in 1993 for a family wedding, and I always have a little chuckle about my uncle Brian (only four years older than me) getting married six months after me! The second time was in 2005 for football research and the match report can be found in the Phil’s Weekend section. Orbost is another one of those towns that I would love to live in, if the transport wasn’t so ordinary!
  105. OUYEN (First visit: 2005 – Last visit: 2018)
    Ouyen is a town that is 441 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,191 as of the 2016 Census.
    My first visit to Ouyen was in 2005 as the overnight stopover point on my way to Murrayville. I got the chance to have a wander before my bus departed, and it was okay. I had a visit to Walpeup and Underbool planned, but the subsequent merger meant a visit was on without the stopover. And that happened in 2018 – nothing had changed.
  106. PICOLA (First visit: 2016 – Last visit: 2016)
    Picola is a town that is 246 kilometres north of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 207 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Picola in 2016 for football research and it only has a pub and not much else. It is amazing that it can run a football club on that basis, but they manage it.
  107. POOWONG (First visit: 2018 – Last visit: 2018)
    Poowong is a town that is 111 kilometres south east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 643 as of the 2016 Census.
    My visit to Poowong was for a club visit and football research in 2018. Strangely despite having around the same population as Loch it is better serviced – except by public transport.
  108. PORT FAIRY (First visit: 1980 – Last visit: 2016)
    Port Fairy is a town that is 290 kilometres south west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 3,340 as of the 2016 Census.
    My first visit to Port Fairy was as part of the Warrnambool family holiday in 1980. I don’t remember much detail, except for the sand dunes region where you have to watch your step as it was littered with holes where the mutton birds nested. I returned for a weekend in 2016, although this time I didn’t get to the coast as our accommodation was just too far away. It’s a nice town, but like everywhere else it could do with better transport access – although it does okay considering.
  109. PORTARLINGTON (First visit: 2015 – Last visit: 2015)
    Portarlington is a town that is 99 kilometres south west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 3,619 as of the 2016 Census.
    Portarlington was the location for the wedding of Phil’s World members Scratcher and Tegan in November 2015 – as a replacement after the previous arrangements elsewhere fell through. It’s not a bad town and with better public transport (what else?) it would be a living option. The beach is terrific and with no waves as is the case with Port Phillip Bay it’s a great swimming option for the summer as well.
  110. PORTLAND (First visit: 2007 – Last visit: 2014)
    Portland is a town that is 362 kilometres south west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 9,712 as of the 2016 Census.
    Portland is the oldest locality in Victoria, settled first before anywhere else in 1834 – a year before Melbourne. It has the only deep sea port between Melbourne and Adelaide, which I sought to exploit somewhat as a re-vitalisation factor during my visit in 2014 as part of my election campaign – given that standard gauge rail also services Portland. The first visit was for football research in 2007 and I then returned the following summer for a holiday as I was impressed with it’s services and tourist options. Definitely worth a visit, including a tour of the Alcoa Smelter which incorporates an amusing demonstration of electro magnetics where if you go through a certain section a paper clip can stand up in your hand! Portland would be a living option except for guess what. Yep – lousy transport!
  111. QUEENSCLIFF (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2014)
    Queenscliff is a town that is 104 kilometres south west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,315 as of the 2016 Census.
    I can’t remember exactly when my first visit was – only that I visited while doing a day trek around Port Phillip Bay. You can do that by getting the train from Melbourne to Geelong, then a bus to Queenscliff followed by a ferry journey across the heads to Sorrento, another bus trip to Frankston and finally back to Melbourne by train. I’ve visited a few more times, for football research in 2010, for a holiday in 2011, for a stopover before visiting council offices in Rosebud (using the ferry) for more football research in 2013 and finally as part of my election campaign in 2014.
  112. RAGLAN (First visit: 1981 – Last visit: 1985)
    Raglan is a town that is 177 kilometres west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 231 as of the 2016 Census.
    Raglan is a small place about 7 kilometres outside of Beaufort. It’s where my aunt and uncle lived after their short stint in Beaufort – and they remained there for more than 30 years before having to move back to Beaufort recently. It used to be big enough to have it’s own football team but that was a long time ago now. It’s a nice and quiet place.
  113. RIDDELL’S CREEK (First visit: 2002 – Last visit: N/A)
    Riddell’s Creek is a town that is 50 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 3,947 as of the 2016 Census.
    Riddell’s Creek seems to be one of the more popular tree change venues for people moving out of the city. It has grown considerably in recent years. My one visit was in 2002 for an impromptu attendance at the Riddell District FL second semi final. I cycled there from Gisborne as the trains weren’t up to scratch on Sundays – but that has since improved considerably. It would be a living option except that it’s a tad too big now. We moved to the region in late 2019.
  114. ROBINVALE (First visit: 1992 – Last visit: 2004)
    Robinvale is a town that is 469 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 3,088 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve visited Robinvale on two occasions. The first in 1992 was on a steam train excursion on a line that still exists but since 2008 has been subject to major track work and blocked off at Ultima. For a town it’s size it’s not that well serviced, a thought line that was confirmed on my second visit in 2004 for football research.
  115. ROKEWOOD (First visit: 2012 – Last visit: 2012)
    Rokewood is a town that is 133 kilometres west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 217 as of the 2016 Census.
    There’s not much to Rokewood despite the fact that they have a football club – well half of one (Rokewood/Corindhap) – from what I saw briefly when I was there for a combined project visit and goal umpiring appointment. It needs help and regular public transport to Ballarat would help (it only has once to twice a week at present mostly for schools). It is on a direct route between Ballarat and Colac.
  116. ROMSEY (First visit: 2012 – Last visit: 2012)
    Romsey is a town that is 61 kilometres north of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 4,746 as of the 2016 Census.
    This is a growing town that is also a tree change venue and it’s not too bad as a result. I was here for football research at the football club in 2012, and if it wasn’t for the size now and poor public transport compared to Riddell’s Creek (and the presence in town of an enemy of the Autistic community) I’d consider this for a living venue.
  117. ROSEBUD (First visit: 2012 – Last visit: 2015)
    Rosebud is a city that is 75 kilometres south of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 13,195 as of the 2016 Census.
    Rosebud would be the unofficial capital of the Mornington Peninsula with the largest population base and the council seat for the Shire of the Mornington Peninsula. Like everywhere else on the Peninsula on the Port Phillip Bay side, it’s a popular tourist venue. I visited twice initially, both times for football research – 2012 at the football club and 2013 at the council offices. It’s serviced well from Frankston by bus and that includes the Night Rider service. In 2015 a wrestling promotion was based there and I worked for them.
  118. ROSEDALE (First visit: 2015 – Last visit: 2015)
    Rosedale is a town that is 188 kilometres east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,654 as of the 2016 Census.
    I didn’t see the centre of Rosedale on my one and only visit as a direct walk from the railway station to the football ground (for historical research of course) didn’t take me in that direction. But it seems to be a nice little town and if they would extend Velocity services to Sale and increase them accordingly this would be a nice town to live in.
  119. RYE (First visit: 2011 – Last visit: 2011)
    Rye is a town that is 83 kilometres south of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 8,416 as of the 2016 Census.
    Rye is on the southern most point of Port Phillip Bay to the east of the pier at the Rye Yacht Club. I visited once in 2011 for football research and it’s well serviced at that point of the Mornington Peninsula by bus from Frankston.
  120. ST.ARNAUD (First visit: 2019 – Last visit: 2019)
    St.Arnaud is a town that is 244 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 2,193 as of the 2016 Census.
    The visit I made in 2019 was for the North Central FL grand final primarily although as I was there for two nights I did have a chance to see around a little.
  121. SALE (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2015)
    Sale is a city that is 212 kilometres east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 13,673 as of the 2016 Census.
    I vaguely remember visiting Sale in the late 1970’s but my first confirmed visits were in 1990. Both were for football videos, with the first being a Sale home game against Moe and the second being that year’s VCFL Division One championship grand final between Latrobe Valley and Bendigo. I kept the Sale/Moe highlights but I kept the whole of the interleague game. It was a great game. I have since visited three times, in 2013 for a wrestling show, in 2014 for a stopover on my way to Cowwarr for football research and in 2015 for a weekend holiday. Like Colac, Sale could do with more rail services with an extension of Velocity services from Traralgon.
  122. SAN REMO (First visit: 2015 – Last visit: 2015)
    San Remo is a town that is 124 kilometres south east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,254 as of the 2016 Census.
    As mentioned above in the section on Anderson, I used San Remo as the replacement changeover point for the bus to Wonthaggi. It’s a very picturesque town right on the bridge linking the mainland to Phillip Island, completed originally in 1940 and then upgraded to the current model in 1969. Such a shame the public transport is so lousy because this would be a nice place to live.
  123. SEA LAKE (First visit: 2013 – Last visit: 2013)
    Sea Lake is a town that is 351 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 640 as of the 2016 Census.
    For a town as remote as this one, Sea Lake does okay. It has enough to cope for the locals and if it wasn’t so far away and had lousy transport I’d live there for sure. I was there in 2013 for football research.
  124. SEYMOUR (First visit: 1988 – Last visit: 2009)
    Seymour is a town that is 96 kilometres north of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 6,327 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve visited Seymour many times. The first was in 1988 as part of the statewide pass tour although on that occasion I never left the station – as has been the case for most of my other visits. That 1988 one is memorable as the staff allowed me to change the signage on the platform. The train fiend in me loved that. There have been two occasions when I have been into Seymour itself. The first was in 1992 when I stayed overnight after videoing a football match in Braodford before carrying on to another video in Shepparton. The second was in 2009 when I went to the Seymour football ground for historical research. Seymour is well serviced and it’s a shame that it’s too big to really consider as a living option unless forced to.
  125. SHEPPARTON (First visit: 1990 – Last visit: 2015)
    Shepparton is a city that is 184 kilometres south of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 31,197 as of the 2016 Census.
    As the venue of the Goulburn Valley FL grand final, I’ve visited Shepparton on many occasions. In fact I don’t think I’ve been to Shepparton for any other reason except twice. The first trip in 1990 was the first of two for a football video, the grand final between Euroa and Rochester which I kept in full (and is also infamous for football bad boy Dean Lupson being reported for a king hit and getting a 12 month suspension for it) and the first time I didn’t go for the grand final – a VCFL interleague game in 1992. The other time I visited and it wasn’t the GVFL grand final was in 2003 for the last ever divisional VCFL grand final. If there isn’t another grand final to attend, you’ll find me at Shepparton the day after the AFL grand final. Shepparton is the sixth largest city in the state behind the big four and Mildura.
  126. SMYTHESDALE (First visit: 2010 – Last visit: 2010)
    Smythesdale is a town that is 135 kilometres west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,032 as of the 2016 Census.
    Smythesdale is kept alive by the fact that it is the first town you get to on the highway from Ballarat to Hamilton forming the more direct route to Mount Gambier than the Princes Highway from Melbourne. I visited in 2010 for football research and the club is barely surviving nowadays thanks to a bunch of determined locals. Some better public transport would help this place.
  127. SOMERVILLE (First visit: 1992 – Last visit: 2016)
    Somerville is a city that is 49 kilometres south of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 11.336 as of the 2016 Census.
    I have visited Somerville twice, for a football video in 1992 and football research in 2009 and 2016. I remember that first visit well as I volunteered at short notice to run the boundary for the reserves. It’s a cute town, but nowadays it’s too big to consider for a living option. The MPNFL had their head office here once.
  128. SORRENTO (First visit: 1973 – Last visit: 2015)
    Sorrento is a town that is 91 kilometres south of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,592 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve visited Sorrento a few times, and the first was in 1973. I know that because it was on the way back from that visit that the family had the road accident (see Personal Events). There was the trip around the bay that I mentioned with Queenscliff on an unknown date as well as the other visits for which I used the ferry – including a shopping trip while we were holidaying in Queenscliff. There was also the trip for football research in 2008, and the visit to the council offices in Rosebud in 2013. My most recent stop was on my way to the wrestling in Rosebud. It’s quite compact and has a number of seafood cafe’s.
  129. SPRINGBANK (First visit: 2010 – Last visit: 2010)
    Springbank is a town that is 99 kilometres west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 298 as of the 2016 Census.
    I didn’t get to see much of this small town when I visited in 2010 for football research and to goal umpire their game against Clunes. It’s a twin town with nearby Wallace through which half of the Ballarat line runs through.
  130. STAWELL (First visit: 2005 – Last visit: 2019)
    Stawell is a town that is 237 kilometres west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 6,032 as of the 2016 Census.
    This is the home of Australia’s richest professional athletics race – the Stawell Gift, run over Easter. I’ve visited four times, the first two being for football research in 2005 and 2013 – it needed to be two because Stawell have two clubs. I visited in 2014 as part of my election campaign and then returned in 2019 for research purposes again. Stawell is a good sized town which was ignored by Great Southern Railway for a few years before they finally activated the station.
  131. STRATFORD (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2017)
    Stratford is a town that is 232 kilometres east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 2,617 as of the 2016 Census.
    I have visited Stratford twice. The first time was in the late 1970’s sometime when my aunt and uncle – who now live in Beaufort -.lived there. It had changed a lot on my second visit in 2006 for football research. The caravan park is recommended – at the time the Avon River wasn’t flowing but I’m sure when it does there will be some great views. It’s the right size for a living option and well serviced, except for the trains which fail the test of frequency. My most recent visit was in 2017 as the overnight staying point for a research trip to Boisdale.
  132. SWAN HILL (First visit: 1979 – Last visit: 2020)
    Swan Hill is a city that is 338 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 10,905 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve been to Swan Hill a few times, starting with 1979 as part of a school excursion taking in the Pioneer Settlement. I have a connection with the settlement’s Sound and Light Tour, with the original audio copied by my family’s company (long defunct) and including a voice over from my late uncle. The family visited after the job was done. Since then I have visited in 1992 for the video of the VCFL Division 2 interleague grand final, twice in 2003 (the first is not confirmed in terms of dates) for a brief holiday and a wrestling show, and then in 2006 for the Central Murray FL grand final. I returned again for another holiday in 2012, combined with football research, and my more recent visits in 2014 and 2015 again for football research, as well as a COVID-19 tourism support visit in June 2020. It’s a nice place and worth a visit.
  133. SWAN REACH (First visit: 2008 – Last visit: 2008)
    Swan Reach is a town that is 306 kilometres east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 751 as of the 2016 Census.
    My one visit in 2008 was for football research. Swan Reach does okay for a town it’s size and it has a tourist feel being on the banks of the Tambo River. More services and better transport and it would be a great living option.
  134. TATYOON (First visit: 2013 – Last visit: 2013)
    Tatyoon is a town that is 230 kilometres west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 130 as of the 2016 Census.
    There isn’t much to Tatyoon, much like Natte Yallock above. I visited in 2013 for football research and I suspect that the only thing that keeps it alive is being on the main railway line between Melbourne and Adelaide. They are doing well to maintain a football club.
  135. TIMBOON (First visit: 2016 – Last visit: 2016)
    Timboon is a town that is 213 kilometres south west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,202 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Timboon in 2016 for football research, but as the footy ground is a little out of town I didn’t see much of the town itself except through the window of the bus that runs between Timboon and Camperdown. What I saw though for a town it’s size didn’t seem too bad.
  136. TORQUAY (First visit: 1982 – Last visit: 2002)
    Torquay is a city that is 97 kilometres south west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 13,258 as of the 2016 Census.
    Torquay is a nice beachside locality that has grown a lot through the attraction of a sea change. It hosts one of the world’s biggest surf carnivals at Bell’s Beach around Easter. My first visit was in 1982 on a trip arranged by our local church and I have only visited once more since – in 2002 for the football before I started the research trips. This one was just for the heck of it as there wasn’t much on that weekend. I may return for a holiday but it’s not high on the priority list.
  137. TRARALGON (First visit: 1972 – Last visit: 2016)
    Traralgon is a city that is 161 kilometres east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 24.933 as of the 2016 Census.
    In the early 1970’s one of my aunts and uncles lived in Traralgon and that was the purpose of the my first visit in 1972. In 1993 I went to the football, originally to video a game but it became just a boundary umpiring assignment after my video camera suffered from an accident in Bendigo two days earlier. More recently I used Traralgon as a stopover point for football research trips to Glengarry (2004), Cowwarr (2014), Rosedale (2015) and Gormandale (2015) as well as wrestling shows in Traralgon itself. I attended the North Gippsland FL grand final there in 2016. The city is the largest in Gippsland, but surprisingly the council seat of the City of Latrobe is the smaller Morwell.
  138. TYABB (First visit: 2005 – Last visit: 2005)
    Tyabb is a town that is 57 kilometres south of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 3,338 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Tyabb in 2005 for football research. It’s a smaller town between Somerville and Hastings but it still does well. It’s just a tad too big for a real living option even though the public transport there is quite good.
  139. TYRENDARRA (First visit: 2015 – Last visit: 2015)
    Tyrendarra is a town that is 334 kilometres west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 212 as of the 2016 Census.
    Like Tatyoon. there isn’t much to Tyrendarra. I visited in 2015 for football research, and it coincided with the club’s debut of it’s lighting set up enabling night football. It is unknown how the town can keep a football club going upon such a small population base, but whatever it is keep it up!
  140. WALLAN (First visit: 2011 – Last visit: 2018)
    Wallan is a city that is 50 kilometres north of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 11,074 as of the 2016 Census.
    Wallan is a growing town and it showed when I visited in 2011 for football research and returned in 2018 for the same reason. Wallan is the birth place of Ned Kelly. It’s a shame that it’s so big now as it would be a good living option. It’s well serviced.
  141. WANGARATTA (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2016)
    Wangaratta is a city that is 230 kilometres north east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 18,102 as of the 2016 Census.
    Wangaratta holds a unique place in my personal history as the venue for my first truly country video in 1990 when Wangaratta hosted Wodonga in a Sunday game. I returned there in 1991 for the Ovens and Murray FL grand final. There was one other visit when I joined my father to help with a public address system job but I don’t remember when it was – except that it was before 1984 when I first travelled on the old Intercapital Daylight as I watched with enthusiasm as it came through Wangaratta one morning. I returned in 2016 for an ANZAC Day game for football research that had been transferred from Glenrowan to Wangaratta’s other main ground. It has a strong CBD.
  142. WARBURTON (First visit: 1977 – Last visit: 1992)
    Warburton is a town that is 72 kilometres east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 2,012 as of the 2016 Census.
    Warburton is the first major town the Yarra River travels through on it’s way down to Melbourne. It’s a wide river even at this point. My first visit was back in 1977 as part of a father/son camp for the church’s Explorer Boy’s group. I’ve been back there for football videos twice – 1990 and 1992 with the former the Yarra Valley Mountain District FL Division 2 grand final. Back then public transport was lousy but now it’s pretty good to the point that maybe it could be considered a living option. There used to be a rail service here, and I’d like to see it return.
  143. WARRACKNABEAL (First visit: 2014 – Last visit: 2014)
    Warracknabeal is a town that is 359 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 2,438 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Warracknabeal as part of my political campaign and I’m glad I did as it hosted a crucial aspect of my campaign that led to my current state payroll tax policy should I run again in 2018. Shutting down perfectly good franchises for inferior ones – Warracknabeal’s Target store in favour of Horsham’s. For a town it’s size, Warracknabeal does well.
  144. WARRAGUL (First visit: 1979 – Last visit: 2019)
    Warragul is a city that is 104 kilometres south east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 15,757 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve visited Warragul few times, the first for reasons I won’t go into. It’s mostly been for football, including the Ellinbank District FL First Semi Final in 1991 as well as follow up visits during the week. One time I took a metropolitan train that went all the way out to Warragul – a service that has long since been ended and is now impossible after the removal of the electric wires. My last three visits were in 2015 on my way to and from Darnum on my bicycle, in 2017 on my way to and from South Warragul where Ellinbank’s football ground is located and in 2019 for other research purposes. Warragul has changed a lot since 1979 and is well serviced.
  145. WARRNAMBOOL (First visit: 1980 – Last visit: 2021)
    Warrnambool is a city that is 265 kilometres south west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 29,661 as of the 2016 Census.
    I have a soft spot for Warrnambool. I’ve been there several times since my first visit on a family holiday in 1980. Not surprisingly mostly for football and multiple times, ranging from two VCFL championship grand finals in 1989 and 1991 to the Warrnambool District FL grand final in 2006. I also had a short holiday there in 2005 and 2021 and I visited twice during my election campaign in 2014. Warrnambool is the seventh largest city in Victoria and deserves more rail services than it actually gets. It’s also a shame that the beach is so far from town on foot.
  146. WAUBRA (First visit: 2010 – Last visit: 2010)
    Waubra is a town that is 146 kilometres west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 275 as of the 2016 Census.
    Waubra is infamous as a wind turbine town due to the turbines being so close and alleged health issues within the town. The jury is still out on that as far as I know. My own visit in 2010 was for football research and I also goal umpired there. It’s a small town with not many services. Once the wind turbine situation is sorted it should grow again. The wind farm is the fourth largest in Australia in area.
  147. WILSON’S PROMONTORY (First visit: 1971 – Last visit: Unknown)
    Wilson’s Promontory is a locality that is 240 kilometres south east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 13 as of the 2016 Census.
    This is one of three articles that doesn’t talk about a town. I stayed at the Prom (as it’s known) twice in the early 70’s. It’s probably changed heaps since then but I’ll never know because public transport is non existent. The campground has no power and the only powered accommodation are two cabins. The Prom is the southern most point of the Australian mainland, and Tidal River – the village providing the supplies – is the southern most locality. If you visit there is a must not miss – Squeaky Beach. The sand actually squeaks when you walk on it! I’m not kidding!
  148. WINCHELSEA (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: Unknown)
    Winchelsea is a town that is 110 kilometres south west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 1,954 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve only ever visited Winchelsea once. I can’t remember the year, but it was the late 70’s or early 80’s. The family was visiting a friend of my father who was the minister of a local church. Naturally the trip was on a Sunday so I wasn’t keen on it being the atheist I am. I don’t remember much about the town, located between Geelong and Colac.
  149. WODONGA (First visit: 2021 – Last visit: 2021)
    Wodonga is a city that is 307 kilometres north east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 18,948 as of the 2016 Census.
    For all the times I had been through Wodonga as the changeover for the bus to Canberra for all bar a short time when the changeover was in Albury (when the station in Wodonga was in the centre of town), I never actually had a look at the town itself until my COVID-19 Tourist support visit in January 2021. The visit was adversely affected by extremely hot weather keeping me mostly in my motel room but when I did go out what I saw was pretty good, especially given the much larger Albury is only just over the Murray. I may return in cooler weather but it entirely depends.
  150. WONTHAGGI (First visit: 2005 – Last visit: 2015)
    Wonthaggi is a town that is 135 kilometres south east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 7,917 as of the 2016 Census.
    My first visit to Wonthaggi for football research was in 2005. I thought there was quite a bit to do when I was waiting for the return journey for a town this size. I returned in 2015 to follow up as between the two visits the two clubs in Wonthaggi became one and if possible the facilities had improved even more. If it wasn’t for the inferior public transport I’d look on this area as a living option.
  151. WOODEND (First visit: 1983 – Last visit: N/A)
    Woodend is a town that is 70 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 5,806 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve visited Woodend twice. The first time was in 1983 as mentioned under Kyneton for a curiosity trip to take in the old Carlsruhe station. The second visit was to umpire in 2002. Woodend is a nice town and would be a living option except that it’s just a tad too big and half the town (the eastern half) is too close to Mount Macedon for comfort. However we did move to the region in late 2019.
  152. WOORI YALLOCK (First visit: 2019 – Last visit: 2019)
    Woori Yallock is a town that is 57 kilometres east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 2,913 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve made one visit to Woori Yallock for the 2019 Outer East Division 1 grand final. I didn’t get much of a chance to look at the town itself but what I did see surprised me compared to nearby Yarra Junction as it’s a bigger place but the Junction is better serviced from memory.
  153. WOORINEN (First visit: 2012 – Last visit: 2012)
    Woorinen is a town that is 349 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 260 as of the 2016 Census.
    I cycled to Woorinen from Swan Hill in 2012 for football research. Like other towns this size for the most part there’s virtually nothing there so I don’t know how they can maintain a football club, except maybe that they are close enough to Swan Hill to be an influence.
  154. WYCHEPROOF (First visit: 1981 – Last visit: 1981)
    Wycheproof is a town that is 276 kilometres north west of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 635 as of the 2016 Census.
    On the way to Mildura in 1981, we stopped in Wycheproof for lunch. I remember this because of a major attraction for the town – the railway line running down the centre of the main street. It’s a shame there were no passenger services to see as that shut down in 1977. I don’t remember much of the town itself and I saw nothing substantive as I travelled through in 2013 on my Sea Lake trip.
  155. YARRA JUNCTION (First visit: 2004 – Last visit: 2004)
    Yarra Junction is a town that is 66 kilometres east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 2,549 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve made one visit to Yarra Junction for football research in 2004. It was this game that caused me consequently to reject any use of a yellow football on a bright sunny day after the goal umpire fouled up on a score and it had to be because he couldn’t see the yellow ball and guessed. The Junction from memory is actually a well serviced town for it’s size.
  156. YARRAM (First visit: 2015 – Last visit: 2015)
    Yarram is a town that is 221 kilometres east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 2,135 as of the 2016 Census.
    For a town it’s size, Yarram has an amazing main street full of services. It kills Yarra Junction and Woodend above. I passed through on my way to Gormandale for football research. Given it’s size and services I’d consider this a living option – but for the lack of public transport to the frequency needed, both direct from Melbourne via the South Gippsland Highway and via Traralgon.
  157. YARRAWONGA (First visit: 1993 – Last visit: 1993)
    Yarrawonga is a town that is 268 kilometres north east of Melbourne in state of Victoria. It has a population of 7,930 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Yarrawonga once, and it wasn’t for football. It was on a short holiday in 1993 when we stayed in Mulwala. On the day of departure we decided to get the bus back from Yarrawonga instead and look around. Yarrawonga and Mulwala are twin towns on either side of the Murray River and Lake Mulwala. Yarrawonga was decently serviced as I remember.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

  1. ADELAIDE (First visit: 1972 – Last visit: 2019)
    Adelaide is a city that is the capital of the state of South Australia. It has a population of 1,259,959 as of the 2016 Census.
    My first memory of Adelaide was as an early family holiday destination in 1972 and 1973 before we switched to the Sapphire Coast. We stayed at a holiday unit in Glen Osmond. It was in 1972 that I had my first – and to this day only – taste of Adelaide’s tap water! I have not touched it since! There was a big gap between that time and my next trip. I recall visiting the State Library of South Australia for the first time in the late 1980’s but I’m not sure. I know I took a day flight in 1991 (only the second aeroplane ride in my life at that point). I spent the new year of 1994 in Adelaide, and most of the visits since then have been for football and pro wrestling. I spent 21 days in the Royal Adelaide Hospital in July 2014 in the lowlight. Overall Adelaide’s okay. If it wasn’t for the water and the rotten rail services – I’d like it.
  2. ANGASTON (First visit: 1973 – Last visit: 1973)
    Angaston is a town that is 77 kilometres north east of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 2,044 as of the 2016 Census.
    On one of the two family holidays to Adelaide (I’m sure it was the latter) I vaguely remember visiting Angaston while travelling through the Barossa Valley. Tanunda was part of that day trip. I don’t remember anything specific about it though, except that it was a decent sized town.
  3. BORDERTOWN (First visit: 1973 – Last visit: Unknown)
    Bordertown is a town that is 272 kilometres south east of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 2,669 as of the 2016 Census.
    As the bus from Bendigo to Adelaide goes through Bordertown I have seen a lot of this place. My first visit was an overnight stay on the way to our second Adelaide family holiday in 1973 (we did the trip in two days back then). Since then, the town has more or less been by passed. In more recent times the bus service used Bordertown as a meal stop – and once I got a bit of time to look around briefly when I was helping the bus driver find a missing passenger (who’d decided ad-hoc to leave the service!) A nice town and well serviced.
  4. COONALPYN (First visit: 2005 – Last visit: 2005)
    Coonalpyn is a town that is 163 kilometres south east of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 195 as of the 2016 Census.
    The bus from Bendigo to Adelaide goes through Coonalpyn so I have seen this place plenty of times. But the one actual visit in 2005 was unintended. I had booked for Tintinara based on the fact that my football fixture had Border Downs/Tintinara’s game against Karoonda down for Tintinara. But it was in fact in Coonalpyn, causing a botch with my accommodation booking. Luckily the owner was a BDT player so I got a lift anyway. The visit was for football research. Coonalpyn isn’t that badly serviced for a small town.
  5. GAWLER (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2018)
    Gawler is a city that is 40 kilometres north of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 26,472 as of the 2016 Census.
    I have a soft spot for Gawler. Chiefly because it’s the only place in the Adelaide metro rail system that has a caravan park and the basic facilities within an all round walking distance from a station. So on a number of occasions when visiting Adelaide, I have used Gawler as my base. The centre of town is nice and close with two supermarkets – the major takeaways a little further away but I don’t mind that. I haven’t tried the water there yet because I don’t know if they have their own supply or not. Gawler is not in the strictest sense a suburb of Adelaide which is why I have it separate. I stopped the visits for awhile due to the early departure of services from Adelaide going back to Victoria after 2006, but I returned to visit the Willaston football club in 2017 for football research and again in 2018 for the Barossa Light and Gawler Football League grand final.
  6. GUMERACHA (First visit: 1994 – Last visit: 1994)
    Gumeracha is a town that is 37 kilometres east of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 701 as of the 2016 Census.
    My one visit to this town in the Adelaide Hills was in 1994 on a tour. Various places in Australia have attractions called the “Big” whatever. Gumeracha has the Giant Rocking Horse! The attraction also included the cheekiest cockatoo I have ever met! I was trying to get a response from another one in a cage on a lower level, and this voice floated down from the cage above. Automatically I shot back “I wasn’t talking to you”, to which the upstart bird retorted “Why not?”. When Lee and I realised what had happened we all but collapsed with laughter!! I made a point of going up there, but the bird decided to be quiet. However there was a sign warning of his cheek!
  7. HAHNDORF (First visit: 1994 – Last visit: 1994)
    Hahndorf is a town that is 28 kilometres south east of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 2,180 as of the 2016 Census.
    In 1994 Lee wanted to visit this town so we did. It’s rich in history and is probably the closest Australia gets to re-creating Germany on our soil. It’s a cute town with lots of charm. There was a model railway exhibition which I loved as it was so detailed. I should go back there one day.
  8. KEITH (First visit: 1972 – Last visit: 2005)
    Keith is a town that is 225 kilometres south east of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 1,076 as of the 2016 Census.
    The bus service from Bendigo to Adelaide goes through Keith, but my first visit was the overnight stay on the 1972 Adelaide holiday. From an unknown date until 2006, Keith was the afternoon tea stop for the bus service (since then it’s been a roadhouse outside Tintinara) so I got to see a bit of the town while visiting the newsagent and the supermarket for on board supplies. It’s a nice town and decently serviced.
  9. MOONTA (First visit: 2009 – Last visit: 2009)
    Moonta is a town that is 165 kilometres north west of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 4,174 as of the 2016 Census.
    My one visit in 2009 was for football research, and I remember this day for a squall that hit during the third quarter – possibly related to a rather nastier weather event down at Noarlunga on the same day. Strange weather conditions. Moonta is quite a nice town in the Copper Coast triangle of towns and is well serviced.
  10. MOUNT BARKER (First visit: 1972 – Last visit: 2012)
    Mount Barker is a city that is 33 kilometres south east of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 16,629 as of the 2016 Census.
    I have visited Mount Barker a number of times to collect the Hills FL fixture as their office is there, but the first visit was in 1972 – in particular a windmill on what was the main highway before the freeway was built. The windmill is long gone now. But in March 2006 I used this town as a base for an Adelaide trip for football research. It was going to be Murray Bridge, but the unexpected move of the Adelaide Cup and consequent timetable changes forced the move. The bus service from Bendigo to Adelaide calls at Mount Barker on request, and Adelaide’s metro bus services do include Mount Barker. My last visit in 2012 was for wrestling at the Mount Barker Showgrounds. This is a very nice city in the Adelaide Hills.
  11. MOUNT GAMBIER (First visit: 1973 – Last visit: 2018)
    Mount Gambier is a city that is 450 kilometres south east of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 26,142 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ll leave aside the fact that Mount Gambier is home to a couple of enemies of Autism, and say that I do like this place. My first visit was in 1973 when the family took the long way back from Adelaide instead of the direct route – and I remember seeing the Blue Lake for the first time. I returned in 1988 as part of my Victorian statewide pass trip (as V/Line serviced Mount Gambier it was included), but my favourite visit was in 1990. It was combined football/pleasure visit with Lee on my elbow for the first time for a long trip. The football was for a video at Vansittart Park. That visit was in mind when we returned in 2006 for a few days. My visit in 2013 was unintended as I slept in and missed my regular bus back home from Adelaide, and because I needed to get home quick I opted for going via Mount Gambier and a short night before an early morning connecting service. My last two visits in 2016 and 2018 were for more convenient access to Adelaide to make it to a wrestling show and yet leave Ballarat later in the day for the former and to avoid the early direct departure to allow for camping in 2018. As a place I do like Mount Gambier.
  12. MURRAY BRIDGE (First visit: 1992 – Last visit: 2005)
    Murray Bridge is a city that is 76 kilometres south east of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 16,804 as of the 2016 Census.
    Until I dealt with some problems, Murray Bridge briefly served as a base for my football research in Adelaide over the summer of 2005/2006. But my first visit was in 1992 for a football video of the game between Mypolonga and Mannum. In 1994 Murray Bridge was part of a tour, and Lee and I visited a chocolate factory and a wildlife park (both long since closed). I like Murray Bridge. The rail and road bridge over the river are unique examples of architecture, and who doesn’t like the mighty Murray? I will likely be making a football research visit soon.
  13. PARINGA (First visit: 2011 – Last visit: 2011)
    Paringa is a town that is 257 kilometres east of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 984 as of the 2016 Census.
    The visit here in 2011 was for the Riverland FL Independent grade grand final. Paringa is separated from Renmark simply by a bridge and causeway that crosses the Murray River, and as a result it’s services are limited – reliant by and large on Renmark. It’s not bad though considering.
  14. RENMARK (First visit: 2011 – Last visit: 2011)
    Renmark is a town that is 254 kilometres east of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 4,634 as of the 2016 Census.
    The unofficial capital of the Riverland region, it’s not surprising that Renmark is well serviced. I spent a little bit of time there while waiting for the bus returning to Adelaide from the Paringa visit in 2011. It’s worth a return visit, and likely that would be for the Riverland FL A Grade grand final.
  15. TANUNDA (First visit: 1973 – Last visit: 1973)
    Tanunda is a town that is 69 kilometres north east of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 4,324 as of the 2016 Census.
    On one of the two family holidays to Adelaide (I’m sure it was the latter) I vaguely remember visiting Tanunda while travelling through the Barossa Valley. Angaston was part of that day trip. I don’t remember anything about the town, but I do remember a huge sign over the highway proclaiming Tanunda as the gateway to the Valley. I don’t know if the sign is still there or not, especially as the Sturt Highway now bypasses the Valley from Gawler to north of Nuriootpa. The old highway is now called Barossa Valley Way.
  16. TINTINARA (First visit: 2005 – Last visit: 2005)
    Tintinara is a town that is 190 kilometres south east of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 266 as of the 2016 Census.
    The bus service from Bendigo to Adelaide passes through Tintinara so I’ve seen this town plenty of times. The one visit in 2005 was for football research although a fixture foul up pushed that to Coonalpyn. However I did experience their services and it wasn’t too bad. I do recommend the town’s hotel, which is value for money.
  17. URAIDLA (First visit: 2017 – Last visit: 2017)
    Uraidla is a town that is 17 kilometres south east of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 575 as of the 2016 Census.
    This small town is in the Adelaide Hills. I didn’t see any of the town itself but from what I saw from a distance at the football ground it looked like typical Hills – like Hahndorf and Mount Barker. This visit was of course for football research as the club represents several over a range of places.
  18. VICTOR HARBOUR (First visit: 1994 – Last visit: 1994)
    Victor Harbour is a town that is 85 kilometres south of Adelaide in state of South Australia. It has a population of 4,233 as of the 2016 Census.
    My one visit to Victor Harbour was in 1994 on a day trip on holiday. There’s a horse drawn tram from town to Granite Island which Lee and I rode on. Good fun. However we missed out purely due to a lack of time on riding the Cockle Train between Victor Harbour and Goolwa. I want to aim for that at some future point in time. I like Victor Harbour from what I remember of it.

NEW SOUTH WALES

  1. ALBURY (First visit: 1972 – Last visit: 2017)
    Albury is a city that is 588 kilometres south west of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 51,076 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve visited Albury on a number of occasions. The first was in 1972 on our return journey from Parkes, and we stayed at the old Travel Lodge. I made a point of returning there in 1988 on a statewide pass trip (I liked it that much!). Before that I accompanied the Diamond Valley FL crew to their 1986 challenge match against the Ovens and Murray FL at the Albury Sportsground. There have been other football visits, and there will be more in the future  the latest of which was to Lavington in 2017. I have also used Albury for the overnight stay travelling from Adelaide directly to Canberra. Lee and I also used Albury as the overnight stop on our way to the Gold Coast for our honeymoon in 1992. I like Albury a lot – it’s a shame the rail services aren’t more frequent.
  2. BEGA (First visit: 1974 – Last visit: 2006)
    Bega is a town that is 421 kilometres south of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 4,141 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve only been to Bega twice, and I barely remember the first time in 1974 as part of the family holiday to Merimbula. But the return trip in 2006 was far fresher in my memory – particularly the visit to the Bega Cheese Factory. Nothing special about the town however.
  3. CANBERRA (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2020)
    Canberra is a city that is the capital of Australia, located in the Australian Capital Territory. It has a population of 395,790 as of the 2016 Census.
    I don’t remember what the year was when I first visited Canberra, but I do know that every visit I have made since then has been for one purpose – football research at the National Library of Australia. From November 1996 to February 1999 I actually lived in Canberra, initially for work for the Defence Department – and then I was stuck there until I got the help I needed to return to Melbourne. If I couldn’t live in Victoria, Canberra would be my first choice. From my first visit I found that it suited me in a lot of ways. As much as my stay throughout 1997 and 1998 had it’s moments, I found the services there to be of a generally good standard. And I did make a lot of visits to Parliament House, not just when I lived there but since as well.
  4. COFFS HARBOUR (First visit: 1991 – Last visit: 2017)
    Coffs Harbour is a city that is 540 kilometres north of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 26,752 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve been to Coffs Harbour twice. The first in 1991 was interesting visit – particularly to the Big Banana. This trip cemented my relationship with Lee, and it was on the return journey from Coffs Harbour that I actually proposed to her. The visit over the Christmas/New Year period of 2015/2016 by Phil’s World members Scratcher and Tegan for their honeymoon pressed the return visit that was made in 2017, partly for the North Coast AFL grand final but also for Dolphin Marine Magic.
  5. COOMA (First visit: 1998 – Last visit: 1998)
    Cooma is a town that is 397 kilometres south south west of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 6,379 as of the 2016 Census.
    My one visit to Cooma was in 1998 and I was there to umpire the locals in the Canberra District FL against Murrumbidgee. Cooma won in a rough game that I umpired with Brian Chamberlain – younger brother of “Razor” Ray Chamberlain. I didn’t see much of Cooma otherwise, but I may be returning there for a football visit.
  6. COROWA (First visit: 1986 – Last visit: 1992)
    Corowa is a town that is 610 kilometres south west of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 5,337 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve been to Corowa twice, and both times the primary focus of the visit was social. The first in 1986 was a part of the Preston Mail Centre trip – and I did not enjoy that very much. The venue was the Corowa RSL for the pokies. It was the same in 1992, except this time it was with my then fiancé Lee and her mother. That was a better trip. I do mean to return there for football purposes.
  7. EDEN (First visit: 1974 – Last visit: 1978)
    Eden is a town that is 478 kilometres south of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 3,041 as of the 2016 Census.
    I barely remember the visits we made to Eden during our family holidays to Merimbula and later Pambula Beach – except for the golf course there. It was an old fashioned course with dirt for greens instead of the proper variety. I did play a bit of golf when I was young but I was never any good at it. I don’t remember seeing much of Eden otherwise but it’s a seaside place so it should be a good holiday destination for the future.
  8. EUSTON (First visit: 1992 – Last visit: 1992)
    Euston is a town that is 934 kilometres west of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 510 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve made just the one visit to Euston, as part of a special coach trip from Robinvale run by the Steamrail folks off the rail tour Lee and I did. I remember this visit for two reasons. One, in one of my rare button presses of a poker machine I won $50 – after I accidentally put my hand in some bird poo earlier in the afternoon in Robinvale! Two, seeing on the TV screen poor Joan Kirner concede defeat in that day’s election handing power to Bloody Jeff Kennett.
  9. GOULBURN (First visit: 1997 – Last visit: 2014)
    Goulburn is a city that is 220 kilometres south west of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 22,419 as of the 2016 Census.
    I have used Goulburn as a stopover point over the years, either as a money saver travelling to Sydney in order to take advantage of their cheap interurban rail fares, or simply because I prefer train to bus and I go via Goulburn from Melbourne to Canberra instead of Yass or Cootamundra. In the first respect, Goulburn reflects my love of Sydney’s rail system. It also has one of the biggest supermarkets I think I’ve seen in the country. As a result I have a soft spot for Goulburn and it would be a great city to live in if the interurban rail services hadn’t been cut back from Sydney!
  10. LOCKHART (First visit: 2015 – Last visit: 2015)
    Lockhart is a town that is 517 kilometres south west of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 818 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Lockhart in 2015 as part of my football research and was my first visit to the region for that purpose. For a town it’s size, Lockhart isn’t too badly serviced and deserves more than just four bus services a week. It’s known as the Verandah Town and has a number of steel art works in various prominent locations around the town.
  11. MERIMBULA (First visit: 1966 – Last visit: 2006)
    Merimbula is a town that is 452 kilometres south of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 7,251 as of the 2016 Census.
    I just love Merimbula. From 1974 to 1976 the family holiday was spent there in May at the now closed South Haven Caravan Park and it was like a home away from home. We continued to visit while we stayed at Pambula Beach from 1977 to 1979. It was such a shame that we never went back – until Lee and I got back there in 2006. It was still as great as ever, and it’s a very popular resort town. Thoroughly recommended.
  12. MOAMA (First visit: 1992 – Last visit: 2010)
    Moama is a town that is 800 kilometres south west of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 5,620 as of the 2016 Census.
    I’ve been to Moama twice. The first time in 1992 was for football as I videoed Moama’s game against Union and I stayed at the town’s hotel. I remembered the town being okay, but I was less than impressed on the return visit in 2010 as part of our Echuca holiday. The town didn’t seem as good as I remembered it in 1992. I almost returned in 2014 for the Murray FL grand final, but I opted for Kyabram District instead.
  13. MULWALA (First visit: 1993 – Last visit: 1993)
    Mulwala is a town that is 650 kilometres south west of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 1,962 as of the 2016 Census.
    Our one visit to Mulwala was in 1993 at the local resort. We didn’t see much of the town – in fact we saw more of Yarrawonga in the finish. But the visit was good and I recommend the resort – Club Mulwala.
  14. NARRANDERA (First visit: 1972 – Last visit: 1972)
    Narrandera is a town that is 549 kilometres west of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 3,746 as of the 2016 Census.
    This was a stopover point for the family trip to Parkes in 1972, and I remember nothing good about it. The motel we stayed at was awful – the TV didn’t work and my mother told me more recently that the staff were very rude. It was partly why we returned from Parkes via Albury. I may go back there as the Riverina FL sometimes use Narrandera for their grand finals. We’ll see.
  15. NEWCASTLE (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2005)
    Newcastle is a city that is 162 kilometres north of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 322,278 as of the 2016 Census.
    I have only stayed in Newcastle a couple of times, and I have made day trips from Sydney as well. I’m pretty sure a day trip was the first visit but I don’t remember when. The first overnight stay was as a stopover on my way to Brisbane – I suspect in early 1999 or mid 1999 but I can’t be sure as I was experimenting with a few options. The last visit was in 2005 for Supershow 4. For a city it’s size I found the CBD some what “undernourished” (for want of a better term). Not much to the place. I prefer Geelong.
  16. PAMBULA (First visit: 1974 – Last visit: 2012)
    Pambula is a town that is 456 kilometres south of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 970 as of the 2016 Census.
    We stopped in Pambula a few times on our family holidays to Merimbula and it became our supply station when we stayed in Pambula Beach. It was also in Pambula that my mother was hospitalised in 1979. For a small town it did it’s job, as I found on my return visit in 2012 for the Sapphire Coast AFL grand final.
  17. PAMBULA BEACH (First visit: 1976 – Last visit: 1979)
    Pambula Beach is a town that is 456 kilometres south of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 654 as of the 2016 Census.
    Judging by the Census figures, Pambula Beach has grown since the 70’s and no wonder. The views over the bay towards Merimbula are spectacular. We had holiday units there from 1977 to 1979 and it was nice and quiet. There is a local bus service there now and if we can afford it I want to see if the holiday units are still available for a holiday again.
  18. PARKES (First visit: 1972 – Last visit: 1972)
    Parkes is a city that is 310 kilometres west of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 9,964 as of the 2016 Census.
    I don’t remember much about Parkes on the one visit with the family in 1972. The primary purpose of the visit was for Dad to apply for a job at the nearby radio telescope. It fell through and we returned to Melbourne. Maybe I’ll go back one day.
  19. QUEANBEYAN (First visit: Unknown – Last visit: 2009)
    Queanbeyan is a city that is 15 kilometres east of Canberra, but in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 36.348 as of the 2016 Census.
    I quite like Queanbeyan. I visited a few times while I was living in Canberra and it has also been used as my accommodation point for Canberra visits to the National Library of Australia – the last of which was in 2009. Queanbeyan is well serviced, and the bus service between there and Canberra is very good. It’s a good stay if you can’t find accommodation in Canberra. One minor negative – it’s the home town (or it was – I don’t know) of the 2003 hacker.
  20. SYDNEY (First visit: 1984 – Last visit: 2017)
    Sydney is a city that is the capital of the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 4,823,991 as of the 2016 Census – and is the largest city in Australia.
    I’ve visited Sydney a number of times over the years, but it’s not a favourite city of mine. It feels cramped and crowded compared to Melbourne, even though in terms of population the two aren’t that far apart. My first visit to Sydney doubled as my first trip interstate alone in my life. In 1984 I went to Sydney to watch Collingwood play the Swans. I repeated the trip in 1985 and 1986, with the 86 trip incorporating my first journey on the Indian Pacific from Sydney to Perth. Since then my visits have been for various purposes, ranging from a wedding in 1994, project trips of course, wrestling shows (such as Supershow 3 and 4) and a couple of other journeys. I visited Sydney a number of times while I was living in Canberra and even umpired a few football games up there as well. My visit in 2012 was impromptu after I missed the bus from Wollongong to Moss Vale so I quickly changed my seat to Canberra to a later train and got to Moss Vale via Sydney. The most recent visit in 2017 was on Australia Day on a day trip from Canberra to do football research as the National Library was closed. Sydney’s okay to visit and the trains are great – but I wouldn’t want to live there. (As of the 2016 Census, Gosford is now a part of Sydney)
  21. TATHRA (First visit: 1974 – Last visit: 1978)
    Tathra is a town that is 446 kilometres south of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 1,550 as of the 2016 Census.
    Every year the family holiday was in Merimbula we made our way to Tathra – in particular the Tathra wharf. My Dad was going through a fishing phase and Tathra wharf had a great reputation. No luck there though. I hated the road we used to get there (it has since improved markedly) so we used the main highway after that experience. I may return to Tathra one day. Just like Merimbula, Pambula Beach and Eden – the seaside towns of the Sapphire Coast are terrific.
  22. WAGGA WAGGA (First visit: 2015 – Last visit: 2015)
    Wagga Wagga is a city that is 452 kilometres south west of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 48,263 as of the 2016 Census.
    This city is well known as simply “Wagga”, and was the subject of an unspoken politically incorrect Kingswood Country gag; “You’re a Wagga Wagga Wog”. I had time to have a quick look around the immediate vicinity of Wagga both on the forward and return journey to Lockhart in 2015. What I saw wasn’t too bad but I need to see more before I make a judgment. I do suspect I’ll be coming through again on a football research mission or a COVID-19 tourism support visit.
  23. WOLLONGONG (First visit: 1998 – Last visit: 2012)
    Wollongong is a city that is 84 kilometres south of Sydney in the state of New South Wales. It has a population of 261,896 as of the 2016 Census.
    My first recollections of Wollongong are vague to say the least. I recalled that the CBD wasn’t as bare as Newcastle but I didn’t stay overnight there until 2012. I mentioned in my review of the railway line to the Illawarra about the view though. I do remember in 1998 about my return journey from Wollongong to Canberra where I was living at the time. The bus was running late and they arranged for me to get the train to Goulburn from Mittagong instead of Moss Vale. My 2012 visit was for a wrestling show in the suburb of Unanderra and I got a good look at the CBD this time, especially after I missed the bus (see the Sydney review). It beats Newcastle.

TASMANIA

  1. DEVONPORT (First visit: 2018 – Last visit: 2019)
    Devonport is a city that is 277 kilometres north of Hobart in state of Tasmania. It has a population of 23,046 as of the 2016 Census.
    I first visited Devonport on the forward and return journeys to Ulverstone in 2018 as it is where the Spirit of Tasmania berths. The population does include East Devonport and Spreyton to the south. It has a decent town centre and may well do okay during the week. But there’s not much to do on the weekends if my visit is anything to go by. There is a ferry across the Mersey (seriously!) but it doesn’t run on Sundays. The Bass Highway bridge is a fair way down otherwise. I returned in 2019 on my way to Hobart trying out the day sailing of the Spirit of Tasmania.
  2. EVANDALE (First visit: 2014 – Last visit: 2014)
    Evandale is a town that is 180 kilometres north of Hobart in the state of Tasmania. It has a population of 1,124 as of the 2016 Census.
    I didn’t get a really good look at Evandale as my concentration was on the football club, but from what I saw after walking the three kilometres from Launceston Airport looked nice and cosy. I guess you could say typical of Tasmania. I’ll know more as my destinations increase in number.
  3. HOBART (First visit: 2008 – Last visit: 2019)
    Hobart is a city that is the capital of the state of Tasmania. It has a population of 178,009 as of the 2016 Census.
    My first visit in 2008 was a combined football/wrestling visit and I remember it if anything because it was the weekend that I got rid of the All Aussie Wrestling website. Consequent visits for project research and some tourism with my wife revealed a nice city with a more substantive CBD than certainly Newcastle. The view of Mount Wellington is terrific especially during the winter as it is usually snow capped. There is a motel in Sandy Bay with spectacular views. I like Hobart. Such a shame you can only get there by plane or by bus from Devonport off the Spirit of Tasmania.
  4. LAUNCESTON (First visit: 1972 – Last visit: 2015)
    Launceston is a city that is 198 kilometres north of Hobart in state of Tasmania. It has a population of 75,329 as of the 2016 Census.
    I barely remember my first trip, my first experience in a plane. I know it didn’t excite me much and I didn’t fly again until 1991. My Dad had a job to do but I vaguely remember seeing a bridge over the Tamar River (likely the Batman Bridge). I returned in 2015 for football research and got to see more of the city than I may have the first time. It’s okay but for a city it’s size it’s a bit undernourished.
  5. RICHMOND (First visit: 2016 – Last visit: 2016)
    Richmond is a town that is 27 kilometres north east of Hobart in state of Tasmania. It has a population of 858 as of the 2016 Census.
    Every state in Australia has a “Richmond” (except for Western Australia), but only Tasmania and Queensland have them not as suburbs of the capital cities. Tasmania’s Richmond is rich in history, a convict town much like Port Arthur. I visited in 2016 for the project and only got a glimpse of the town itself on the way to the football ground. Much like Evandale it was typical Tasmania and I was looking forward to seeing more towns like this one.
  6. ULVERSTONE (First visit: 2018 – Last visit: 2018)
    Ulverstone is a town that is 283 kilometres north of Hobart in state of Tasmania. It has a population of 12,032 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Ulverstone in 2018 for the North West FA grand final. The population here includes West Ulverstone and Turners Beach and for a town it’s size it’s pretty good. I didn’t get a good look round especially up to the beach but it may be worth a return visit.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

  1. AUSTRALIND (First visit: 2011 – Last visit: 2011)
    Australind is a city that is 163 kilometres south of Perth in state of Western Australia. It has a population of 14,539 as of the 2016 Census.
    I didn’t see much of the city itself because I was focused on a wedding at St.Nichols Church – apparently the smallest church in Australia. It is seen as a part of Bunbury now but still qualifies as separate.
  2. BROOME (First visit: 2006 – Last visit: 2006)
    Broome is a city that is 2100 kilometres north east of Perth in state of Western Australia. It has a population of 13,984 as of the 2016 Census.
    I have made one visit to Broome, in 2006 as part of my three week football research mission. I was there for four days, and really there wasn’t much to do aside from my research. I did go to the local football and got to goal umpire (and pick up a report while I was at it!) in what was my favourite day of the trip otherwise. I also lucked out on an excellent view at my campsite so the visit wasn’t a total negative. If I do return one day I’ll have to fly however.
  3. BUNBURY (First visit: 2011 – Last visit: 2011)
    Bunbury is a city that is 175 kilometres south of Perth in state of Western Australia. It has a population of 53,498 as of the 2016 Census.
    Like Australind, I didn’t see much of the city because of the wedding (reception in this case). I do intend to return for a visit, likely as part of a football research visit on the railway line and having to stay in Bunbury to get back to Perth.
  4. CARNARVON (First visit: 2006 – Last visit: 2006)
    Carnarvon is a town that is 906 kilometres north of Perth in state of Western Australia. It has a population of 4,426 as of the 2016 Census.
    My two visits to Carnarvon were around the same time in 2006, with the first being a last minute change. It was all part of the three week football research mission in Western Australia, and the first visit was originally scheduled for Exmouth only for a fixture change to bring them to Carnarvon. The planned visit was on the return journey, and Carnarvon is well serviced. It recorded one of the hottest days in Australia on record for March in 2007 of 47.8C.
  5. DENHAM (First visit: 2007 – Last visit: 2007)
    Denham is a town that is 837 kilometres north of Perth in state of Western Australia. It has a population of 699 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Denham in 2007 on a trip to Monkey Mia. It wasn’t a visit by choice, as we needed supplies that Monkey Mia didn’t have. The main street is quite nice for a town this size, and there is a tourist attraction called the Shark Discovery Centre. I actually liked this place. It’s a shame about the distance and the poor public transport.
  6. EXMOUTH (First visit: 2006 – Last visit: 2006)
    Exmouth is a town that is 1264 kilometres north of Perth in state of Western Australia. It has a population of 2,486 as of the 2016 Census.
    Exmouth formed a major part of the three week 2006 football research mission. I spent a couple of days there and it was spoilt somewhat by the weather. It looked a bit like a town in the tropics and somewhat battered in a way – but I put that down to Cyclone Vance back in 1999. This town was okay I suppose and I do intend to return if I can for a follow up football visit.
  7. KALGOORLIE (First visit: 1994 – Last visit: 1994)
    Kalgoorlie is a city that is 595 kilometres east of Perth in state of Western Australia. It has a population of 29,875 as of the 2016 Census.
    I have only visited Kalgoorlie once. I’ve been through it a few times on board the Indian Pacific, but I’ve stayed at the station each time except the once. And I won’t forget it either. I’d left my bum bag in Adelaide, so I had to get some more money out of an ATM. Result – I learned something straight away. Never walk the streets of Kalgoorlie at night on your own, even just after dusk. I was punched – unprovoked – by an Aborigine. Twice. I was stunned. I didn’t report it because I knew Kalgoorlie’s reputation – that any Aborigine reported to police would be poorly treated. I had a sore jaw for a few days after that. Kalgoorlie has it’s problems, and I would stay away from there as a tourist if you are travelling by yourself.
  8. KARRATHA (First visit: 2006 – Last visit: 2006)
    Karratha is a town that is 1575 kilometres north of Perth in state of Western Australia. It has a population of 15,828 as of the 2016 Census.
    I have visited Karratha twice – in the space of a few days as a part of the 2006 three week football research mission. Karratha mainly served as a recovery and preparation stopover for the undesirable overnight journey between Karratha and both Exmouth and Carnarvon. And I have to say I hated it. All the facilities are concentrated in the one area, and without a town bus service this place is not for someone without a car.
  9. MANDURAH (First visit: 2011 – Last visit: 2011)
    Mandurah is a city that is 72 kilometres south of Perth in state of Western Australia. It has a population of 80,813 as of the 2016 Census.
    Like Australind and Bunbury, I didn’t see much of the city here either – I used Mandurah as a changeover place as I was picked up from there by car to travel to Australind, allowing me to travel by train from Perth on the new line. The review of the journey is on the Trans Perth page in the Rail Travel Australia blog. I may well return as Peel Thunder in the WAFL are based in Mandurah.
  10. MONKEY MIA (First visit: 2007 – Last visit: 2007)
    Monkey Mia is a locality that is 862 kilometres north of Perth in state of Western Australia. It has a population of 0 as of the 2016 Census.
    This is one of four articles in this category that doesn’t talk about a town. Monkey Mia is a stand alone resort which Lee and I stayed at in 2007 and Phil’s World members Eagle Eye and Twinkles used for their honeymoon in 2011. The main feature of this place was the dolphins. Feedings are carefully handled in the mornings by employees of Western Australia’s Department of Conservation, as an extended family of dolphins are used to it and provide delight for those who see them – especially when there are cheeky young dolphins fooling around! It’s a long way from civilisation, but if you can get there it is well worth it!
  11. MUNDIJONG (First visit: 2006 – Last visit: 2006)
    Mundijong is a town that is 41 kilometres south of Perth in state of Western Australia. It has a population of 1,484 as of the 2016 Census.
    I visited Mundijong towards the end of the three week football research mission in 2006, getting there by train and back by car to Armadale thanks to the football club. I was there for football only so I didn’t see much of the town, but with the decent football club they have it must do okay.
  12. PERTH (First visit: 1986 – Last visit: 2018)
    Perth is a city that is the capital of the state of Western Australia. It has a population of 1,811,097 as of the 2016 Census.
    My first visit to Perth was in 1986, and much like Canberra there was something about it that appealed to me. I would have visited a lot more if it wasn’t for the distance. The issue with Great Southern Railway (now Journey Beyond) doesn’t help either. Most of the visits since the mid 90’s have been for football research and since the rail issue arose the more recent visits have been by air. This includes 2006, which was the only time I flew from Melbourne. On all other occasions it has been from Adelaide. Perth just looks more modern and well planned, a lot like Canberra.
  13. ROTTNEST ISLAND (First visit: 2007 – Last visit: 2007)
    Rottnest Island is an island that is 19 kilometres west of Perth in state of Western Australia. It has a population of 334 as of the 2016 Census.
    This is one of four articles in this category that doesn’t talk about a town. Rottnest Island is primarily for tourists with only a token permanent population. It’s a nice place but Lee and I couldn’t stay for long as the day we chose to visit was hot (it so happens it was this same day that Carnarvon got it’s record high mentioned above) and it got to Lee rather badly. It would be great to return but the accommodation isn’t cheap.

QUEENSLAND

  1. BRISBANE (First visit: 1988 – Last visit: 2004)
    Brisbane is a city that is the capital of the state of Queensland. It has a population of 2,270,800 as of the 2016 Census.
    One of my favourite holidays was my first visit to Brisbane in 1988 for Expo 88. I enjoyed that, but in general (as indicated above) I don’t like Brisbane alongside not liking Queensland. The years spent under Bjelke Petersen has taken it’s toll on the psych of the state and it shows. My visits since then have been for football research and that’s the only reason I’ll be returning – either for State Library of Queensland work or club visits.
  2. GOLD COAST (First visit: 1992 – Last visit: 2005)
    The Gold Coast is a city and region that is 94 kilometres south of Brisbane in state of Queensland. It has a population of 540,559 as of the 2016 Census.
    Much like Brisbane, the Gold Coast was another destination of a favourite holiday – but the Queensland bug still applies. I first visited the Gold Coast in 1988 as part of my Expo trip to Brisbane, but the holiday I recall with fondness was in 1992 – my honeymoon. We took in Movieworld, Seaworld, Dreamworld and Currumbin Sanctuary. But my memories since then are bad ones, particularly if you mention the suburb of Bundall (despite the fact that the respective issues have since moved to Tweed Heads and Ashmore respectively). I have no plans to return to the Gold Coast at all.