My latest adventure … Robe2Bendigo

In the 1850s (during the Victorian gold rush), those bastards in the Vic government decided to tax only the Chinese immigrants heading to Bendigo and Ballarat, as they landed in Melbourne. The tax was £10 (which is about what they paid to get to Australia from China).


Being smart buggers, the Chinese decided to get dropped off in Robe, South Australia, instead and walk to the gold fields. 16,000 walked about 500km. About 14,000 made it back to China.

My cousin’s husband, Alfred Tuet, and 4 of his friend (all Chinese Australians) are doing this walk and for 16 days are walking to learn.

Me, I’m the support driver/picture taker and general all rounder. I’m driving to appreciate the countryside and the walkers.


We are up to Day 7, and they are walking approx 34km a day. Most are over 60, one in his 40s. I’m impressed.

Things I’ve learned so far …


Drivers of large trucks are either nuts or on a ridiculously hectic schedule, or both.

The roads are littered with either road kill or rubbish (mostly drink cans and bottles).


Cows are curious, horses and sheep not so much.

Penola has great bottle shops with cheap Coonawarra wines.

Maoris like Mexican food. Casterton has a cafe run by a lovely Maori family, who do a Sunday buffet. We got Mexican food. And spicy soup. And 3 types of dessert. Bargain for $25.


Spending Saturday night eating pizza, watching the Doggies beat the Saints and drinking a 2010 Zema Cab Sauv in a nice motel room is very enjoyable.

If you wanna read more here is a link to Alfred’s charity he is raising $$$s for. They are doing a daily blog.

So far we’ve been to Robe, Penola, Casterton and Coleraine.



  1. Sounds really good Denise.

    Yes racism has an endemic presence in the history of White Australia. I wonder how many people learn about this particular episode in their schooling. I certainly didn’t. Being an Australian history buff i discovered it myself.

    Best wishes to the walkers.


  2. E.regnans says

    Great observations, Denise.
    And what a thing to be doing.

    Go well.

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