Too young to drive? Try travelling by donkey

KITTY Burns wanted to go to the Colac Heritage Festival this weekend to see donkeys, horses and other working animals from a bygone age, but was too young to drive.

No problem, as it turns out.

The 16-year-old from Maldon passed through Ballarat at 10am with her own donkey, Susannah, on her way south after setting out on Sunday. Upon crossing Sturt Street, she had almost exactly 100km to go.

It is fair to say there were some bemused expressions as she navigated roundabouts and traffic lights. It is equally fair to say Kitty and Susannah were taking it all in their stride.

"We're holding up well," she said.

"I haven't done this before, but it is something I've wanted to do for a while.

"The best thing is you can go through the bush. You can see things that you can't see in a car.

"Plus, it doesn't cost much," Kitty adds, as Susannah stops to chew on some grass next to The Courier's office on Creswick Road.

Kitty has seven donkeys at her parents' place in Maldon although nine-year-old Susannah is the only one who is suited to hauling a teenager, several packs full of clothing, bedding, supplies and a tent. While the others are smaller varieties, Susannah is an American mammoth donkey, also known as a mammoth Jack.

Kitty had two more nights' camping to go before arriving on Friday, in plenty of time for the heritage festival, which starts Saturday at 9am at the Colac Show Grounds.