Easter Touring in the Western District

Easter, with its four day holiday, has long been a popular time for people to get away in the car and travel to a holiday destination.  I spent around twenty Easters working in Halls Gap, always overflowing with visitors there for the mountains and the ever popular Stawell Gift.  Just tonight, there as been a steady flow of cars passing my house, as people head off for the long weekend.

The early 20th century was no different.  The arrival of the car gave people new freedom.  Not restricted to railway routes, they could take off in any direction. 

THE NEWTON FAMILY. Photographer: Wilf Henty. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/38667

The RACV began producing tour maps and providing driving tips.  In 1912, The Argus proclaimed the educational and health benefits of touring in a car.  Autumn, it suggested, was the appropriate season to travel.

EASTER OUTINGS. CHARM OF AUTUMN TOURING. (1912, April 3). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 10. Retrieved April 5, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11665234

It may have been 1912, but the roads of the Western District were considered some of the best in the state.  Anyone who has driven the roads of the Western District in recent years will probably say that is no longer the case.   

Four Western District touring routes were suggested by The Argus. They were similar to those travelled today, only the estimated travel times have changed.

EASTER OUTINGS. CHARM OF AUTUMN TOURING. (1912, April 3). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 10. Retrieved April 5, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11665234

What might those able to afford a motor car driving through the Western District?  Maybe an E.M.F 30hp.

(1912, April 3). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 10. Retrieved April 5, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page381590