The Easter long weekend break has come and gone. In Tanjil Bren the population swelled from 8 people to more than 100 with most of the cottage owners and their friends and families escaping their city lives to spend some time up here in the hills. People who had known each other for many years had the rare chance to reconnect and chat about where their vastly different lives had taken them.
The village was almost unrecognisable with all the people, cars and dirt bikes. The weather was perfect and the cottage owners took advantage of it to mow, brushcut and burn. Their weekenders took on an air of neatness and serenity.
Children could be seen and heard happily riding around on pushbikes and dirt bikes. Children's laughter is not a part of the normal life here, so it was refreshing to remember the exhilaration and play of childhood.
All three accommodation lodges were full to capacity so business was good too. Guests had the chance to go on walks, feed the parrots, discover a crystal or few at the old crystal pits and just relax and unwind amongst the tall mountain ash gums.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
16km up the road is the Mt Baw Baw ski resort which is the closest ski resort to Melbourne. A small resort, it is ideal for beginners, families and cross country skiing.
After several years of traveling and working about Australia the opportunity arose to work and live in Tanjil Bren......a privilege indeed. I like to think that my job and lifestyle rivals that of Ben Southall who was chosen as Tourism Queensland's Islands Caretaker, or what was called the 'Best Job in the World'.
The difference being he had the ocean and all its critters and I have the mountain wilderness and all its critters.
His was in Queensland, sunny one day and perfect the next, and mine is in unpredictable Victoria, warm and sunny one day then cold and snowing the next.
Apart from the environment and climate my lifestyle is just as beautiful, peaceful and relaxing.
Oh! and the pay of course...mine is miniscule, his was mammoth. A trivial difference really when it comes down to it considering that there are no shops, no pub, no fuel, no restaurant, no school and no medical services here to spend money at.
As well as not having any of the above there is no mains power electricity either. The one real concession we do have to signal that we have not been forgotten by the rest of the human race is that we have a solar powered public phone booth in the town square.
The other difference between the two lifestyles would definately be the population......you see the permanent population here in Tanjil Bren is 8 on a good day!
We are a self sufficient assorted bunch of odd characters who do have the best drinking water, best mountain fresh air and best tree fern studded mountain ash forests at our doorsteps. Our trusted friends of the forests are possums, rosellas, king parrots, rainbow lorikeets, kookaburras and a couple of foxes we get to hand feed on a daily basis.
Our surrounding forest is studded with little known walking tracks, crystal clear streams, waterfalls and cascades and many hidden forestry roads ideal for dirt biking, 4WD and mountain biking. In winter if it snows on our doorstep we can toboggan down the winding driveways, otherwise it is a short 16km to ski at the Mt Baw Baw Resort.
Our drinking water comes directly from a flowing mountain spring.
holiday lodges which are mostly only busy during the winter ski season. For some reason most people are unaware of Tanjil Bren's existence. That is not astonishing as it isn't shown on most maps. So its hidden beauty is one of Victoria's best kept secrets.