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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

In search of the Aussie canals

Took just an hour to reach Melbourne. Hardly any traffic and a real pleasure to drive on the highway. First views of the Melbourne skyline from Pipemakers Park.

So we found them, all four of the Melbourne canals. The first was easy as it was situated right by the Maribyrmong river in the Pipemakers park. This from WiKI 

Maribyrnong Explosives Magazine Canal

The Marbyrnong Explosives Magazine Canal was constructed in 1875-76 and opened in 1878, as part of the large Victorian government explosives reserve, known as Jacks magazine The magazine was intended for bonded storage of all gunpowder coming into the colony, and was used for both military and industry, in particular the growing hard rock mining industry. Barges transferred explosives from ships in Hobsons Bay up the Maribyrnong River and into the 400m long canal then, offload at the canal dock just outside the magazine walls. A tramway also ran along the length of the canal, with another section going from the loading dock into the magazine proper.

The next was not that easy to find. A road closure scuppered the sat navs directions so we had to continued on blind (so to speak). Finding a 3hour parking bay by the docks we thought we may as well try to walk to where we thought it was and what should we find... we had somehow got within several yards of it. This from WiKi again

Coal Canal, West Melbourne

The Coal Canal was constructed in the 1870s and 80s, initially as part of the drainage works for reclaiming the West Melbourne Swamp and was enlarged to allow coal barges to unload imported coal for the North Melbourne Locomotive Depot.

 With us being parked in a three hour zone we thought we may as well explore the area. We came across the Melbourne Star, a Ferris wheel overlooking the city. For $35 each we had a 30 minute "flight" to see the sights. Amazing views and another 'more by luck than judgement moment' when Ian spied the Coode canal in the distance.

Coode Canal

That's the Coal canal

 Coode Canal

The Coode canal was constructed in 1886-92, to designs for Sir John Coode by the Melbourne Harbour Trust to shorten and straighten the route up the Yarra River to Melbourne's docks

Elwood Canal
 The Elwood Canal was built in stages as part of a grandiose scheme by the Public Works Department to reclaim the South Swamp, a ubiquitous feature in Elwood in its earliest phases of post-contact settlement. Following the alignment of Elster Creek, the canal was intended to drain the marshy land east of St Kilda Street. Originally, the canal was designed to carry only flood water, with a large pipeline to each side to carry the stream at all other times. Construction commenced in May 1889, with the contractors, Messrs Hendon, Clarke & Anderson, engaging sixty workmen at a cost of £14,000.

And seen in and by the Elwood canal


Andy Gic said...

Fantastic shots of your adventure.

If you have some time the Queen Vic market is very good. The aromas from the food stalls are great while browsing with mojito's in hand.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks Andy. We only stayed a few hours before heading back so no chance of sight seeing.

Kelvin and Rachael said...

Here we are sitting in Melbourne and when you wrote that you were off to find the Aussie canals I just gave a rye smile and thought ...good luck with that! Well don't I look silly now! Didn't know these waterways were even canals, you never stop learning. Though I think we will leave Serafina over in England! Have fun on your trip.

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