Patricia Newell-Dunkley Photographs by Reginald J. Dunkley.

Greetings from down under where the Melbourne Cup known as “The race that stops the Nation” has once again been held. The event starts at 3.00p.m. on the first Tuesday in November and more than a hundred million dollars changes hands. The Melbourne Cup is one of Australia’s most prestigious annual thoroughbred horse races; it is a 3,200 metres race for three year-olds and over. It is known as the richest “two mile” handicap in the world and one of the richest turf races, conducted by the Victorian Racing Club on the Flemington Racecourse as part of the Spring Carnival in Melbourne, Victoria.

The day is one of Australia’s most popular social and racing events with more than 100,000 attending, marquees are set up for VIP Guests, including local, National and International celebrities. Fashion Parades on the field are held, and there is keen rivalry among the women for The Best and most colourful Hat or Fascinator. This year was no exception with Red and Pink being the fashion colour chosen, with Myer Ambassador Jennifer Hawkins wearing a dashing Red Hot Classic Pants Suit, paired with a wide brimmed hat. Michelle Payne, Jockey, who won last year’s Melbourne Cup, wore pretty pink. Champagne flowed, finger food flourished and good time was had by all.



Melbourne Cup Day is a Public holiday in Melbourne and has been since 1877, the first ever race was held in 1861. This year “Almandin” a seven-year old Gelding won the race with “Heartbreak City” second ahead of “Hartnell”, “Qewy” and “Who shot the Barman”. It was a second Melbourne Cup win for Jockey Kerrin McEvoy and owner Lloyd Williams.

The story of “Phar Lap”, Australia’s most famous racehorse a legendary New Zealand thoroughbred who won in 1930 and was nicknamed “Australia’s Wonder Horse” was made into a movie. Between 1929 and 1932 Phar Lap ran 41 races over a variety of distance and won 36 of them. When he died in mysterious circumstances in 1932, his heart went to The National Institute of Anatomy in Canberra, The Skeleton to Dominion Museum in New Zealand and the Hide to the National Museum of Victoria, in Melbourne, where he stands majestically to this day for all to see.

South Australia is the flavour of the day for travel at the moment, and chosen by Lonely Planet as the place to be. It has the best mix of wine, produce festivals, stunning landscapes, empty beaches, museums galore, and the Queen Mary 2 docking at its capital the elegant city of Adelaide founded in 1836.



For cricket fans the unique Adelaide’s Oval scoreboard is a must and it is possible to go inside the scoreboard for an insight into how it all works. Stadium tours are welcoming their four millionth visitor since its award-winning redevelopment two years ago.

10km northeast of the city centre is the Morialta Conservation Park covering 533 hectares. The park is effectively a canyon with a network of walking trails criss-crossing it. Big chunky rock faces, waterfalls and deafening chorus or birdlife will greet you.

Another big park is Cleland Conservation Park, and home to Waterfall Gully. Hike up to the top of Mount Lofty, where you will find cuddleable koalas and feedable kangaroos.

Linear Park starts in the Adelaide Hills with walking trails and cycle paths and finishes up at Henley Beach which is quite beautiful and not crowded.

The Bay Discovery Centre at Glenelg has an interesting Museum covering the initial settlement of South Australia and the early days.

For wine lovers nothing could be better than visiting The Barossa Valley, Clare and McLaren Vale. However, if time is short the National Wine Centre of Australia enables you to use a card to sample-sized pours of wine from dozens of top labels across Australia, located in Adelaide University grounds.

Port Adelaide has retained a great number of heritage buildings, handsome old pubs; The British Hotel, Lighthouse Inn, and First Commercial Hotel are all excellent for a fine cold beer.

Don’t miss the Migration Museum which is full of fascinating history.

The City of Adelaide was designed by Colonel William Light – who arranged Adelaide in a grid with five squares in Adelaide City Centre and a ring of parks known as the Adelaide parklands, surrounding it. There is always something happening in this spacious city and it’s the perfect starting point for a campervan holiday.

The City welcomes visitors and visitors never want to leave.

Here at Shelly Beach the weather is absolutely perfect, the surfers are out in full, and no matter what time of day folk are enjoying coffee and cakes alfresco. Carpets of lorikeets have arrived this week in the garden and White Cockatoo reappeared. Princess Pixie the Pomeranian is full of curiosity and continues to search for the lizard.

My books “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain, Letters of a Travelling Lady, Wallis the Woman I Love” are available at Amazon, Xlibris and my website.


Cheers. Patricia.