Last weekend, my partner Theo and I went on the Worldwide Photo Walk in Kyneton.
The Worldwide Photo Walk is a social photography event in which photographers all over the world gather to walk around, shoot photos, and hang out. I don’t fancy myself a photographer. My point-and-shoot camera sticks out in the sea of fancy cameras, but Theo is an enthusiast, and we both enjoy going out and snapping away. The local walk was organised by Robert Groom and took place in Kyneton.
Kyneton is a town in the Macedon Ranges region, about an hour from Melbourne, with a population of 6,629. Established in 1850, the town predates the Victorian gold rushes. It was a growing rural centre and served as a stop for those heading to gold rushes at Mount Alexander and Bendigo. Kyneton doesn’t have a lot of tourist attractions, but it has enough points of interest to make it a popular day-trip destination. It is a lovely town with botanical gardens and historic houses, many with bluestone architecture.
Naturally, about 10 minutes after we arrived, Theo and I decided we wanted to sell our Melbourne House and move to Kyneton. This happens often when we visit country towns, but Kyneton is special. It has a marvellous if slightly creepy abandoned old hospital. That’s where we want to live when we win the lottery and can afford a few millions in restoration.
The future of the old hospital is uncertain. It was finished in 1856 and has been derelict since 2005 when the new Kyneton District Health Service was opened. It would be a shame to see such a beautiful, historic, bluestone building demolished, but it would require millions in restoration. What it needs is an eccentric gazillionaire that loves the arts to buy it and turn it into something like Montsalvat, Melbourne’s Abbotsford Convent, and the Convent Gallery at Daylesford – an cultural and community arts hub with museum, studios, cafe and restaurant, and event venues.
Victoria is full of charming country towns. Do you have any favourites?