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House Hunting Road Trip


By Wolf


As I’ve commented elsewhere here on GOY I sold my house earlier this year and moved back in with my parents on a temporary basis. Well I finally managed to get some time off from both my jobs that matched up recently. So with that time off I went on a road trip as I am starting to house hunt, I’m currently looking for change as I don’t really like the area I’m living in it just doesn’t feel right.
So I had a list of places I was contemplating a move to. I have been keeping an eye on all the places on my list for homes that had appeal, potential or just the chance of potential and had been sorely disappointed time and again. So on the 5th I got the go ahead for my time off from my day job (I work 3 days a week at a local uni and 3 evenings a week at a supermarket) I sat down over the weekend and picked out places I wanted to inspect and planned a rough itinerary of my trip.
On the Monday I helped Pa at the farm and then when we stopped for lunch I made phone-calls to the different real estate agents. I managed to score a few inspection times that suited so booked them in and then prayed that I would make them all on time. So on the Tuesday I got up bright and early and headed off to Ballarat as my first inspection was in Canadian (a suburb of Ballarat) at 9AM. I had a nice trip up traveling very familiar roads at arrived at the house at 8.45AM so I pulled out the thermos and had a cup of tea while I waited for the agent. The picket fence was falling apart from neglect and the garden was non-existent but that didn’t really bother me it was the house I was more concerned with as I don’t really want to go through a major renovating of a house on my own. at 9.10AM the agent finally arrived and we went to look at the house. Unfortunately the house was as neglected as the fence so I thanked the agent and left again to make it to my next appointment. Unfortunately the other 3 houses I looked at in Ballarat all completely missed the mark on what I was after, either having a really bad layout that would require too much renovation or they had been recently renovated and very badly (I hate the modern looking style and prefer old cottages and the like). By this time it was 10.15 and I was wanting to pass through the Grampians on the way to Wallaroo (that is the long way). I made a brief stop at Skipton to visit a friend I used to work with and then hit the road again on the way to Dunkeld. I made yet another stop at Dunkeld to visit a friend whose wife had died in a car accident last year and found out about a house for sale nearby. We rang the agent but couldn’t get a booking for that day so I booked an inspection for Friday and hoped I would actually make it back in time. My friend commented on how much fun my trip sounded like and asked to tag along, so I left Dunkeld with a passenger and headed on up-to The Grampians. My first stop was to see what had happened to my parents house in Belfield that I used to rent and which got sold not long after my partner and I moved out into our first house. I parked the car at the lake carpark near the dam and went along the familiar bush-track that ran past the house. I was horrified they had cut down much of the native trees and plant life and painted the house a hideous bluey gray colour. The tree’s the birds used to sit in and watch us with our morning ritual of having a cup of tea on the deck – rain, hail or shine were all gone. The tree the sugar gliders used to live in, gone. I decided not to tell my parents about this as they would be heartbroken. We walked back to the car and drove down towards the township of Halls Gap. We turned off before we hit the town and went to visit my old house. This was much better. The house sat there pristine and white with it’s little garden still surrounding it, neglected but recognizable. My old neighbor saw me and came out for a chat and I soon learned that it was now a holiday house owned by a couple from Melbourne who by all accounts were lovely and treasured the house. We got invited in for lunch and although the bakery was calling we couldn’t refuse so stopped for lunch. After lunch we stopped at the bakery and bought some vanilla slice which went in the car fridge for later and we headed off. We travelled N – NE towards stall and the Western Hwy and didn’t stop until we hit Nhill. Here we filled up the car with rather over-priced diesel and had a quick stretch of the legs before continuing on. We stopped at Tailem Bend as we were on the Dukes Hwy by now and had afternoon tea. We then pushed onto Adelaide where we stayed with my Uncle for the night and then walked to two inspections. Once again I was disappointed, the terrace houses were lovely but they were asking far too much for them so I decided to refrain from making an offer. We had morning tea while we were out with my Uncle and then it was time to leave. I had planned to take my Uncle with me so we packed him into the back of 4wd and headed off upto Wallaroo.

I had an inspection there at 1 so we had a nice leisurely drive up. We stopped for lunch at a beautiful little bakery that still sold the best cornish pasties I’ve ever had in Australia and then walked to the inspection. This house was possibly the best one we had seen to date but discussion with the real estate agent revealed that the owners wouldn’t accept anything but the asking price for the house so I told the agent I’d have to wait until I had finished my trip and looked at the other places first as I wouldn’t consider it if there was something else out there that I could make an offer on that was better and I could get for less. We stopped at the petrol station and then headed from Wallaroo up-to Port Pierrie where my Grandmother now lived and visited her, my Aunt ironically was in Victoria visiting relatives so we missed her. We stayed in Pierrie wednesday night and all of thursday before leaving at 4AM to come back to Victoria. We dropped my Uncle off in Adelaide at about 6.30AM and shot off, it was too early in the day to stop at Hahndorf and we didn’t really have the time to spare as I had an inspection of a property in Dunkeld in the afternoon to make. We made it to Murray Bridge before we realized we were cutting it close with the petrol and stopped to fill up paying a ridiculous 1.47 for diesel. On the way back we stopped to photograph some unusual shaped kangaroo tails on the blackboys by the highway.

We arrived at Dunkeld only minutes before the inspection was due to start only to get a phonecall from the agent saying the owners were ill and didn’t want the inspection to happen. I stayed in Dunkeld that night before heading to Ballarat again but that part can wait for now.

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Wolf ~ what an interesting blog !
You could almost turn your adventures into a movie.:o)

The kangaroo tails are very fascinating shapes, and thanks for the other photos you've provided, which all add to the interest of your story.

Best wishes to you and Nimue for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Terratoonie, Conker and Crocus. xxx

20 Dec, 2008


Ireally enjoyed your blog, i felt like i was on the trip with you, all the best for xmas & new year.

20 Dec, 2008


I'm fascinated with those 'kangaroo tails' as well - do they just grow wild, or do people grow them in their gardens?

Your problem with house-hunting of course is the size of your country! It sounds like a major undertaking, and I wish you success in your search.

Happy Christmas and good luck for the New Year!

20 Dec, 2008


What a journey! All the very best for a peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year

20 Dec, 2008


Thanks for all the nice comments guys. Happy Holiday season to you too.

Spritzhenry the kangaroo tails grow on a plant we call a black-boy (I think the botanical name is something like xanohrrea). Some people do actually grow these in their own gardens, I've never had any luck bringing them into my garden (the ones I do die). I'm not sure wether it's an urban myth but apparently they only get their tales when they've been savaged by a bush-fire.
House hunting isn't really that bad as long as you don't have a number of different locations a fair distance apart in mind. Tell the truth I enjoy house hunting especially if I get to travel to do it.

20 Dec, 2008


Enjoyed you blog Wolf. Merry Christmas !

21 Dec, 2008

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