Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published November 14th 2017
Quaint Clunes, Historic Buildings Tell The Stories
What amazed me on my recent holiday to Victoria was that the distance between towns was quite minimal and that in no time at all you were at your destination. The internet tells me Victoria will fit into Queensland six times. That really does seem unbelievable yet driving to intended destinations in Queensland does take a considerable amount of time.
The bridge to the town of Clunes (Author's photo)
The captivation for me in our southern State was the age and craftmanship of the buildings in the towns where sandstone was the common raw material used in buildings and rock fences were frequently seen along the roads towards Ballarat and beyond. It reminded me of convict stories told and movies watched relating to England and Scotland in centuries long gone.
Historic Buildings stand tall in Clunes (Author's photo)
The town of Clunes, which lies halfway between Ballarat and Maryborough, was registered as the first to discover gold in Victoria in 1850 by a man named William Campbell, although not made public until July 1851. Around 1893 gold mining came to an end, but the eloquence of the historic buildings remained and today Clunes is recognised as one of the most architecturally intact gold towns in Victoria. Driving into the quaint town took me to an era that in my lifetime has only been seen on the screen, but one in which you could easily imagine a horse and cart being driven down the main street.
Historic Clunes (Author's Photo)
Today Clunes is renowned for other events such as the International Booktown which was first held on 20 May 2007. That day's event saw fifty booksellers from around Australia setup shop in the heritage town. Subsequent Booktown days have followed and this event is now a major festival showcasing the largest collection of books in any regional centre of Australia. Clunes Booktown Festival, as it is now called, is held on the first weekend in May every year.
For a town with such history and remnants of bygone years etched in the facades of their buildings, it is quite assuming that Clunes would capture the attention of movie makers. The town has appeared in scenes of:
With all the activities happening throughout the year in Clunes, visitors need a place to stay and there is nowhere more fitting accommodation with the essence of yesteryear than Madam Saddler Corset Cottage located in Fraser Street.
Fireplace stacked with wood for a Winter's night (Author's Photo)
Proprietor Sam has displayed his passion for restoring the premises to its former glory and status. A friendly welcome awaits guests entering the front door where the fireplace has been set and the warmth of the embers embodies the whole room. The master bedroom looks out on a delightful courtyard garden allowing the natural light to filter in. Although the guest house is suitable for one or two guests, up to two extra beds can be accommodated at any one time. A small en-suite is situated to the side of the main bedroom. If you prefer to bring your own meals the kitchen, dining and lounge are fully equipped, however, Clunes offers numerous restaurants throughout the town for dining. A list of these and what they offer can be found on Madam Saddler's website.
Antique boards aided in restoration of Madam Saddler Corset Cottage (Author's Photo)
Throughout the restoration of the building, Sam has retained timber that is more than 100 years old for the interior and exterior adding to the character of the furnishings within. It is a very homely feeling that awaits you as you embark on your weekend away.
Romantic weekend awaits at Madam Saddler Corset Cottage (Author's Photo)
Prices during the week start at $210 a night and up to $240 a night on Friday and Saturday and an extra bed between $40 and $70. The guest house does not cater for children under 12 years and any children over 12 years are classed as adults.
Fully equipped kitchen if you prefer to bring your own (Author's photo)
As Clunes is only one and a quarter-hour from Melbourne, Sam advised that many couples from the capital city travel to Clunes on a regular basis for a weekend away and choose to stay at Madam Saddler Corset Cottage so booking ahead is essential. Bookings can be made online, by telephone 0425 849 383 or email at email@example.com
Madam Saddler Corset Cottage certainly is a home away from home giving the guest just what is needed for a relaxing and rejuvenating time away from the stress of everyday life. As of first December this year, Sam will be adding another property to his accommodation in Clunes - Haswell Cottage.