I followed what used to be a railway line in the 1800's, now a meandering bike trail, out to the little town of Axedale...where a good old fashioned country pub lunch awaited. A thriving little community with plenty to explore...
Excerpt from the Summer issue of the Bendigo Magazine...
"Bonfires & sparklers…the water slide at Arakoon...the river that connects sprawling paddocks…all memories that take on the kind of golden glow that only nostalgia can provide. I have fond memories of Axedale. My primary school had about 30 kids total. Sweet as that may be, even when the reluctant preppies were recruited, we didn’t have enough kids to round out a full team for a game of anything much other than ‘Kick The Can’. I think this is why `Group Days’ were invented, where little pockets of rural schools would join together for larger activity days. Our school had a fierce rivalry with Mandurang, but Axedale was one of my favourites to visit. Their school was almost three times our size and far enough away to seem slightly mysterious. I remember going on camp, making damper, and beginning a friendship that continues 25 years later. And so, long after family homes were sold and university in the city beckoned, I decided to revisit the little hamlet of Axedale just outside of Bendigo. To remember and rediscover.
If you’re up for the scenic route, the O’Keefe Rail Trail is a great way to meander your way from Bendigo to Axedale. The sandy gravel trail runs for approximately 19km, and because it was a railway line in the late 1800’s, it’s beautifully flat and easy to walk or ride on away from traffic. In some stretches you’re covered by the dappled shade of towering gums, and others the track follows the fence lines of expansive green paddocks…from which inquisitive cows may lazily follow your progress. I will admit the cows weren’t the only inquisitive ones as I did enjoy how in places the trail takes you close enough to check out properties and houses along the way. If you let your imagination wander (because you’ll have time to do so!) you could easily picture a custom homestead nestled amongst the country side…something worthy of a visit by Kevin of Grand Designs because that’s how my imagination rolls! "
Click here to read the full article, or grab a copy of the Bendigo Magazine from your local newsagent to catch up on some other summery reads :)
Check out Axedale Our Town, Our Future for information on everything that's going on...love their newsletter! Below are links to other places mentioned.
- The O'Keefe Rail Trail
- The Axedale Tavern
- Rivergate Wines
- Axedale Gallery
- Three Farmers (Barbed Wire Art)
- Bridgeward Grove Olives
If you've got any information to share about Axedale, or other good bike rides in the area...feel free to drop a comment below or join in the conversation via social media. I'd love to hear from you :)