A City girl at Healesville
Some extract from a City girl's letter to her parents recounting a holiday experience at Healesville
We go for long drives. Mother's heart would be in her mouth - up mountains and down mountains through the most glorious fairylands. I am always up and dressed before 6 a.m. The air is so exhilarating; I feel I can't lie in. I walk out of the window on the verandah, and sit there and read and admire the perfect scenery. Clouds are always resting on the mountain tops in the early morning, but when the sun breaks they melt away. We have walked over forty miles up to today (Monday). We drove to Maroondah Weir yesterday. We were on the way to Mathinna Falls. We can only drive to the foot of Mount Monda, and then you have to climb it to reach the falls, which is four miles of almost perpendicular climbing. I can tell you it requires all ones energy to do it. At last you reach the summit summit not to drop, but you must go a few more yards amidst the bower of tree ferns and you see and hear the water dashing down from an immense height to the river below. It is a lovely sight, and you feel at once revived and fit for anything. It is so magnificent. I feel like one of the poets; I long to steal the beauty of that scene and put it into words. We sat by the Upper Falls, under a bower of graceful spreading tree ferns, and I thought what a wonderful gift that Australian poet had wrote that poem we so much love - every word is no true - The tall fern spread a graceful wing to shut the light away, and even the mountains were laughing and singing, and the moss and maidenhair climbing and clinging. We had our lunch there before we attempted the dangerous descent to the middle and Lower Falls. You have to jump from rock to rock and if one missed their footing they would come to grief. We though nothing could be more beautiful than the Upper Cascades, but when we reached the Middle Falls we were surprised at their magnificence, and the Lower Falls were even lovelier. We sat on a fallen tree in front of the falls, and were quite wet with the spray that was dusting on us. The climb back was very hard, but we got to the Upper Falls in safety. Mrs H. thought B. and I. would be killed. The guides said if we liked they would let us see where the falls came from; and we went. We had to climb ever so far up the slippery, damp side of the falls, and when we got halfway up we had to cross the falls itself. We had no idea we had to do this, or we would not have gone. If we had missed our footing we would have been dashed with the water to the river below. The men threw tree ferns across for us to avoid treading on the slippery moss covered rocks. and after summoning up all our courage we walked across, and it was not till then that we realised what a dangerous thing we had done, but it was well worth it. The scenery was grand. We sat on a huge fallen tree, big enough to have a picnic on and the guides got us Sassafras Alpenstocks, and peeled then carved our names on and the places we had been to. Coming back we went a different track and didn't cross the falls, thank goodness. We were glad we went because so few have seen and down what we did. Coming down the mountain was worse than going. You could scarcely keep from running and it shook us up terribly. We reached the bottom in safety dipped our feet and boots in an icy creek. It was so hot they soon dried again. The horses were soon put on the wagonette and went full speed to Maroondah Weir, where we had tea. We had our photo taken there B. and I. together. We had then taken the wagonette crossing the ford on the way home I am driving. It is no use coming here for a holiday unless you have plenty of money. The drive yesterday cost 1 pound, and it wasn't far. We have walked to Maroondah Weir. They put it on to visitors. I'm sure. We felt quite fresh when we came home. We washed our feet, which were almost black, and went to the post but didn't get a thing. My word though today we feel it we are stiff as pokers. We are going to the Watts River this afternoon. It is just over the way. We are going to try and get some blackfish and trout. We went to the Don Ford early on Monday morning, it is very pretty. Did I tell you we were going to climb Mount Juliet? It is 3,600 feet high. We are going to drive to the foot. It will cost 1 pound. The Observatory used to be on the top, and remains of it are still there. A mound, 15 feet high, on which, if you climb, you can see Mount Macedon, the You Yangs, Melbourne, and the bay distinctly. There is a visitors book in a box at the top, and we were anxious to see it. I'm sure you have not seen the beautiful scenery I have. Gippsland is nothing to it.