House at Parkdale, Vic., Australia

[For members of HomeLink, Home Base Holidays or similar organisations considering a home exchange]

The home of David and Hazel Beswick, designed by Barton Williams, built in 1994.

This comfortable modern home consists on the ground floor of an entrance hall off which there is a study, spiral stairs to upstairs rooms, a door from the garage, and door into a lounge and dining room, from which is there is access two ways to a family room and kitchen, from which there is a door to a passage giving access to the large main bedroom with semi ensuite, second bedroom connecting to family bathroom with spa bath, laundry and toilet, and back door into the garden. Upstairs there is a kitchenette and large living room, from which a balcony with view of the sea across the beach road is accessed, a double bedroom with bathroom, separate toilet. The downstairs family room opens onto a private outdoors living area with barbecue. There is a double garage with remote controlled doors. The house is centrally heated with airconditioning upstairs and has the usual modern appliances. Broadband Internet access is available. More detail on facilities may be seen in our HomeLink listing.

Parkdale is a very pleasant bayside suburb of Melbourne, about 25 kms from the city centre. The house is the second in a street off the beach road, about 50 metres from the beach, and 6 minutes walk from the suburban train station and local shops. These include a range of speciality shops, several restaurants, newsagent/post office, bank, library, churches, fruit and veg, fish shop, and small supermarket. In the next suburb, about 3 minutes in the car, there is a larger supermarket, and a major regional shopping centre is about ten minutes away along the Nepean Highway. The train to the city takes about 40 mins. In the other direction down the bay the built up area extends for about the same distance. Further to the east are the Dandenong mountains and Yarra Valley where our second home is located.

David is a retired professor still active at the University of Melbourne and a retired minister in the Uniting Church - see Personal and Professional background on this site. And for more personal information see "about us" at the time of our marriage in July 2002 and our Christmas letter 2007 and earlier years.

For more on our interests and activities see also our Christmas greetings for 2003 and Pictures from our caravan trip to the Northern Territory and Western Australia, 2003

Hazel, a retired nurse, still has relatives at Cheltenham, UK, her original home, and are interested in an exchange in Gloucestershire in October 2008. We have friends in the North East of the US and in California, and a long association with those regions, as well as various places in Europe, but we would be happy to consider new locations, just about anywhere. Besides our principal home, near the beach at Parkdale as described above, and we have a second home 1 ½ hours drive East in the Upper Yarra Valley, which is also a comfortable 2 story home: see details below. It is in a semi-rural environment, near vineyards and the bush, and close to the mountains. A car would be included.

Melbourne attractions and special characteristics:- There is much in common between large cities in the Western world, especially in English speaking countries, and Melbourne with 3.5 million people has many of the same characteristics as other cities in prosperous countries with advanced economies. Its distinctive character is related to its history, its geographic region and its multicultural nature with about one third of the people either having been born overseas or of parents who have immigrated. About half the migrants in recent years have come from Asia, most previously from Europe, but practically every country in world would be represented. It makes for an excellent cuisine and varieties of cultural events and an entrepreneurial, highly democratic and tolerant social environment. Melbourne began in 1835 as a private enterprise initiative rather than being a government directed colonial settlement, it prospered greatly in the late 1800s from pastoral wealth and as a result of the gold rush in the 1850s. Today it has the headquaters of some large international companies and financial institutions; it is a centre for sophisticated manufactures in which the car industry plays a major role both domestically and in international trade. How you relate to it depends on what you are interested in. If it is sport then Melbourne is a great sporting centre, the original home of international test cricket, the origin and headquaters of the Australian Football Lague, the grand slam Australian Open Tennis, and the Melbourne Cup, the Grand Prix, plus much more. If your interests are more academic or scientific, there are eight multicampus universities, many other colleges and several world renowned research institutions, especially in the biomedical area. The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne has the best art collection in Australia, including a good depth of European art, Australian colonial and contempory works and now a very good exhibition of Aboriginal Art in a new location. There are numerous theatres and the Melbourne Symphony. It is also the home of the Australian Ballet. Further afield of course one can enjoy the varied Australian landscape, ranging from dense wet forests of the hills to the East, the green diary farms of Gippsland, bay side and ocean beaches and rugged coast, to the often dry wide acres of sheep and wheat farming to the West, and further to the red desert centre of Australia the fringe of which is within a day or two driving to the North West. The Melbourne Zoo and its annexe at Healesville have many of the unique Australian animals and you would have a fair chance of seeing some of them in the wild at National parks in Victoria like Wilson's Promontory or the Gampians.

For general information on Melbourne see http:/
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Wesburn House

Our second home, which might be used to facilitate a non-simultaneous exchange, is at Wesburn, between Yarra Junction and Warburton in the Upper Yarra Valley to the East of Melbourne. Enter Wesburn into and zoom out to find its relationship to the Melbourne metropolitan area. It is about 75 kms from the CBD or half an hour on the bus from the suburban train terminus at Lilydale, from where it is 1 hour into the city. It takes about 1 1/2 hours or a little less depending on the traffic to drive the same distance. We do have two cars so we could probably work out something. The house is in 1 acre of garden - someone comes in to cut the lawns. It looks out onto Mt Donna Buang the foot of which is a short distance across the valley filled with vineyards, small farms and scattered rural residential areas. There are a few small towns. Mountains on both side of the valley are forest covered and have some interesting walks. It is a beautiful and relaxing place to be.

The Wesburn house has a large family room with extensive windows giving views into the garden and across to the mountain range with a recently refitted kitchen connected to it and a separate lounge room in an open plan. Also on the ground floor but at a slightly lower level there is a small study, and another large living room/library/or extra bedroom, plus laundry, shower and toilet. Upstairs are three bedrooms, a recently renewed bathroom and toilet. There is reverse cycle air-conditioning for heating and cooling and alternative gas heating. Attached to the house is a car port and there is a double garage or shed separate from the house. Our caravan is normally kept at Wesburn and can be used for extra accommodation.


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