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Tuesday

Australia's Scenic Public Toilets #25 - Mt Hotham, Victoria

Snow on Mt Hotham, Victorian Alps




As the car gained altitude – all 1861 metres of it, to be precise – the temperature gauge was dropping faster than a beach towel in the tropics.

Entrance to Hotham Heights, Mt Hotham, Victoria
All the same, it was a warm-ish April day for Hotham Heights, Victoria's highest town perched precariously just below the Mt Hotham summit.

The outdoor thermometer showed 8° C, but I was going with the car gauge reading. 6° C seemed much more likely if the tendrils of cold creeping in through the air vents were any guide.

Parking the Silver Bullet on the exposed patch of bare windswept bitumen that passed for the car park, I stepped out into a wind so cold it hit me right in the … well, lets just say it sent me scuttling for the amenities!

Sadly, neither thermometer registered the wind chill factor I inexpertly estimated to be at least –20 …

Set up by women like the legendary 'Mother' Morrell to as a rest stop for miners travelling between goldfields, Mt Hotham lives up to its hospitable heritage by continuing to provide conveniences for travellers.

Situated in what would be the transit lounge if snow season had actually started, the amenities block was a welcome oasis of warmth from the stabbing blasts of frigid wind that treated my clothing with complete contempt.

View from the Mt Hotham Loo!









The Basin ...













... AND the tap!
But even more welcome was the proof of real civilisation I uncovered at the hand basin. Because whatever the season, at this Alpine altitude there's only one tap – and it's HOT!





The staggering view across the layer upon layer of Victorian Alps had my shutter finger twitching. But whether I could get any photos taken before my fingers froze solid was a near thing …
Mt Hotham:  Instant Ski Resort - Just ADD SNOW!!

Suffering for my art, be damned! Where's a brandy-bearing St Bernard when you need one????
Mt Hotham Scenery, Victorian Alps, Victoria








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33 comments:

  1. It looks fantastic, but what is with the swathes of dead looking trees? The tap may have said hot, but what temperature was the water coming out of it?

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  2. @Andrew - They were burnt in a killer bushfire in 2006. At risk of offending the inhabitants, I think the stark whiteness of what remains adds to, rather than detracts from, the beauty of the landscape! Or is that just weird?!

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  3. We call it a "Burn Path", but, in about 7 - 10 years the trees n bush will be back. I can see new growth, although its not very tall. I like this photo Red, because it tells a story of the destruction and regrowth of Mother Nature.
    The entrance to Hotham Heights tunnel I find so interesting, with the rocks ?stuck? on the very different wall - are those lightning rods on top??
    You must have found this 8 degree weather quite chilly compared to most of the warm places you visit. This temp would be a nice day here in the Maritimes :)
    Have you ever skied at the ski resort or will you?
    I love the hills in your last photo Mt. Hotham Scenery - byw, that St. Bernard is resting on my deck - I shall send him directly with a keg attached. Thanks and have a great day!

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  4. It sure can get cold in them there hills. I'm very impressed with the soap dispenser - was there anything in it?

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  5. @Saucy - Well ... it's been 6 years now! The new growth takes ages because of the climate, I guess! This is getting close to being one of the highest places in OZ!! Rods are for ski season when the snow covers the arch and skiers are looking for trouble!! I'm sitting by the window now just waiting for that St Bernard to drop in!!
    @FruitCake - What? Are you serious??!! But who needs soap when you've got HOT water?!?!?!

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  6. Cold....? Nah, that's t-shirt weather over here, Red!

    And the St Bernards are over here too. :)

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  7. Beautiful Landscape Red. I Had to chuckle when you found hot water in the public restroom. That is one of my pet peeves. Cold water in public restrooms doesn't seem to make me feel very clean.

    Have a super day!!

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  8. That view from the loo is going to be pretty hard to beat Red, I mean the views AND hot water I do believe we have a new winner!! Stunning vistas.

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  9. HAHAHAHAHAHA! The comment about the brandy and the St. Bernard cracked me up! Lovely photos. You never know what you'll show us or where you'll take us. Or the comments that will ensue. Love it!

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  10. Absolutely stunning view of the rugged Aussie landscape. I guess if the water is too hot you could race outside, grab a handful of snow to cool it down a tad that's when their is snow :-).

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  11. Love the tunnel entrance and those trees look...stark.
    Hope the water was hot or the brandy was forthcoming at any rate.

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  12. I love that you're so high up, even if you had to get a little chilly. The picture you took were breathtaking--probably literally!

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  13. Oh well, I thought the burnt trees were snow or frost since you were talking about the cold. However, I really don't know how cold 8 degrees C is since I only know fahrenheit. You know we Americans can't be bothered with learning the metric system. Ha.

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  14. @Kath - Bummer! I was hoping the OZ Alps would make a great Aussie/Swiss crossover post!!!
    @MJWC - It was too cold to care about cleanliness - I needed the hot water to warm up my hands!!
    @PDP - Yep, there's a bit of a dearth of hot water in the outback composting loos!!! But winner? HHHMMMmmm... not sure!!
    @Courtney - Well, there IS a Mt St Bernard close by - you'd think the dogs would be hanging around there, wouldn't you??!!
    @Windsmoke - Hahaha!! It actually snowed up there the next day!! But the air was cold enough to cool my hands right down!!
    @Jayne - Yes, and no respectively. I think a St Bernard brandy program needs to be set up in the Alps! And I'm willing to help!!
    @TMWH - It's close to being the highest I've EVER been!!! And the temperature would have been OK if not for the wind!!!
    @Rubye - And I can't tell you how cold it is because we Aussies can't be bothered with the conversion!!!! Only kidding ... it's about 45 degrees F!!!

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  15. That scenery certainly does look cold.
    I'm intrigued by the rods sticking up from the tunnel entrance. What are they? Lightning rods? Mobile phone receptors. Mini wind turbines? are they communicating with ET?

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  16. I love this view. Last time I was there it was 10C in mid-summer and 30ish down the bottom of the slopes.
    That's what mountains do for you ... it was 9C in my house at midday yesterday before I gave in and turned the central heating on.

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  17. The mountain scene is fantastic, perfect for greeting card.

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  18. Blimey! You make me feel colder than it already is. Did your bum stick to the toilet seat?? It sure is a wonderful nearly white view.

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  19. Thank you for enduring the bitter cold to get these beautiful photos. The mountains are spectacular.

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  20. Two things we don't have in South Florida - hills and cold. We do have a tunnel but we put ours under a river. Nothing like seeing a sailboat right in front of your car then driving (diving) under it.

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  21. Views and hot water at the top of the world! ... Now that's worth a visit for sure.

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  22. @River - I think they're snow markers! Hang on, that explanation is WAY too dull - maybe the tunnel is actually a portal ...
    @Joan - It was considerably warmer at the bottom of the range that day too, but the next day the Mt Hotham temp was something ridiculous like 1 or 0!! And no one wins any awards for freezing inside their own home!
    @Indrani - It's magnificent, isn't it? The real thing is even better!

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  23. @diane b - the miracle of civilisation means the actual amenities block was heated!!! I wonder how different the stark white trees look in actual snow!
    @George - It was my pleasure ... NOT!!! SO not used to the cold - but the scenery did make it all worthwhile!
    @SFlaGuy - Haha, I'd like to see that!!! Much of the rest of OZ doesn't have severe cold either, so it was a new experience for me too!!
    @Dianne - Sure is! Now - if only there was a bakery ...

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  24. VERY impressive view from the loo....You were very brave to endure your -20deg weather to get these shots!!!

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  25. I agree, it does make for an interesting landscape.

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  26. Beautiful photos! I appreciate the pain you went through to take them. Love the sign, "Cool, isn't it?!" And never, in my whole life, have I seen a tap by itself that wasn't cold! Another reason to visit!

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  27. Hi,
    Fantastic views, and I love the entrance to the tunnel, very unusual, a well thought out idea.

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  28. It's been a dream of mine since I was a teen to visit Australia and after seeing these beautiful pictures I want it even more.

    Welcome to TTUT thanks for linking up to our fun party!

    ~S

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  29. OMGIGI I am obsessed with Australia I was fortunate enough to go in high school when I was 16 and can't wait to go back!! Thank you so much for sharing the lovely pics!!!

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  30. @Annie - Hahaha, Anyone can be brave with a warm car and vivid imagination as backup!!!
    @Andrew - I have no point of comparision for 'before' and 'after', so no idea if it's an improvement or not!
    @Diane - I expect it's the only solitary hot tap in the whole country!!
    @magsx2 - you really ARE passing into another dimension through the tunnel!!
    @Shawn - It's been a pleasure! If you can't come for an actual visit, stick around and go virtual!
    @Gigi Baby - Obsessed, huh? Well ... you've come to the right place!!! Thanx for dropping by, come back anytime you need an Oz fix!

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  31. Hey Red, You can have scenic toilets anywhere with my latest giveaway. You're entered in the draw to win complete Whiz Freedom which means you'll be able to line up with pilchard against a tree.

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  32. I had lot of fun at Mt Hotham and hospitality towards travellers are too good.

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  33. This one wins. best view from a loo.

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