This is about the shortest of the walk I can take from where we live, basically up to Victoria Street, along a block and back again. Admitted, it is a fairly long block.
The Eureka Hostel, which is on the left when you come out of the back gate at Hemsley Park, is, so I am told, for dementia patients. One of the reasons for the back gate is so that partners living in the retirement village can easily get to Eureka Hostel to visit their other partner who has ended up in the Hostel.
You can either turn left at Kenny Street and walk up to Victoria Street or continue along Balmoral Drive to Fussell Street and then turn left to go up to the main intersection where Victoria Street starts. I often go to Fussell Street because there are some nice little gardens along the way, not that I am very much into gardens.
Turning left into Fussell Street the East Ballarat Campus of Ballarat Secondary College is on the other side of the road and there is a large vacant block on the left which will no doubt be filled up with little houses for elderly folks at some time in the future. Turning left again takes the footpath alongside the slip road for Victoria Street, which is the entrance to Ballarat if you are coming from Melbourne. On the other side of the street is empty land and then the railway line to Melbourne, but I missed the train this time. There are some interesting looking houses along the street and about two thirds of the way along towards Stawell Street there are also houses on the other side of the road to view.
After we wander along for a bit there is a large block of vacant land on the left which stretches all the way back to Hemsley Park. A century ago all this land was owned by the Ballarat Orphanage with the buildings built up fronting onto the street and the land behind the dairy for the orphanage. Hemsley Park is also built on diary land with Specimen Vale Creek running through the middle. After the orphanage disappeared the land was taken over by Damascus College but it moved to a new campus out along Main Road a few years back. The majority of the buildings have since been demolished apart from two with some heritage value and the word is that a little shopping center will be built there with some more little houses down the hill.
If the weather is less than inviting I can turn left at Stawell Street and head home, but on this occasion I decided to extend my walk a little along Victoria Street to the old railway alignment which has now become a walking and cycle track. Following this you soon come to a junction with the Specimen Vale track, turn left and I’m soon home. All very pleasant and not too taxing.