The Ballarat Botanical Gardens covers 40 hectares alongside Lake Wendouree. The main part of the gardens are a ‘Gardenesque’ style of a Victorian pleasure garden, with mature trees, green lawns, winding pathways, white statues, flowers and abundant flower beds. A Fernery takes up one corner and open parkland the rest. Central to the gardens is the Robert Clark Conservatory where the famous Begonia Festival is held in March each year and seasonal plantings rotating throught the rest of the year.
At the south end of the gardens is the Ballarat Tramway Museum. Formed to preserve the “tramway experience that existed on the streets of Ballarat from 1887 to 1971. Trams are operated along a public road on an original section of the track, using authentic methods of operation such as conductors, paper tickets, uniforms, tram stops, and even original style paperwork”
Further along, past the Tramway Museum you will find the memorial to Australian Prisoners of War. Its a sobering site, to see a long marble wall, filled with the names of thousands of australian servicemen and women, captured during wartime, snaking off into the distance
I found my two uncles on the wall, Harold Baron Dickson, and Stanley Bruce Dickson. My father’s two brothers were captured at Tobruk and spent the remainder of the war in a German Prison Camp. Both came home safely and went on to marry and have children.