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Showing posts from 2010

Merry Christmas

St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney ... a great place to worship this Christmas.
It is time to take a blog break until sometime in the New Year.

I'd like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year.  Thank you for all of your comments and friendship throughout the year, it has made it a great pleasure to record my travels.

Fitzroy Falls 2 of 2

We end this trip with a view of the valley below the falls.

Fitzroy Falls 1 of 2

Fitzroy Falls are in the Morton National Park.

Morton National Park

After lunch we took a drive into Morton National Park. Here the scenery is quite similar to the Blue Mountains. You can tell the photos were from last last year because it was an incredibly hot day and before the extensive rains we have experienced this year has started to fall.  The visibility was extremely poor due to smoke from bush fires.

Lunch

We stopped for lunch at Bundanoon and settled for simple fare ... a typical Aussie pie.

Guns and toys

The stencilled sign at this 'old and junkie' antique shop took me aback it says Guns and Toys.

Antiques

There are quite a few little towns in the area, most with an antique shop.  Here they come in two flavours  - the old and grand to furnish the mansions and the old and junkie where you say "I remember Mum and Dad had one of those".

People of the Highlands

The Southern Highlands are quite up market with lots of expensive properties and beautiful gardens.  Walking the streets with the weekend people doing their Christmas shopping you get the sense of this.

Royal Bowral

We spent the day doing the normal things, trawling bookshops and antique shops, eating and keeping and eye out for new Royal Hotels to add to the collection.

Christmas fruits

We are heading to the beach soon. Too fill in until then I'm going to show you some shots from a trip that we took to the Southern Highlands this time last year.

At this time of year the yummiest fruit is available from the roadside stalls -- mangos, apricots, peaches but best of all cherries. We bought a box.

Foxwood Farm

On the way home we stopped to eat at the Cafe at Foxwood Farm at Running Stream, where the fire was warm and the home made pies simply delicious.  This is going to become a familiar haunt for us because the big news is we've bought a bush block in the small village of Clandulla which is a stone's throw from here. In the New Year I will be blogging all about it.

In the meanwhile that's it for this trip, a new short trip starts tomorrow.

Homeward

More pretty scenery through the splashes of rain.

Weeds and seeds

To wrap up we took an afternoon stroll and I picked the roadside flowers.  When I walk around home I don't pick things ... after all it is ingrained in us not to pick the flowers in the national park.  But this isn't a town in a national park and these are all weeds so I was perfectly happy

Rescued

We were pleased to discover that as part of the festivities the Sydney Male Choir was doing a concert at the local school.  It was quite a treat, I like choirs and they were very entertaining. And as a bonus at interval there was a traditional country afternoon tea.  I haven't seen such a spread of cakes and slices since my home town.  It made our day.

We train travellers had to escape the concert a little early to go catch our train.  We didn't dare miss it, we felt we had dun all there was to do at Dunedoo.

Cottage

In our attempt to find amusements I would have liked to walk around the town streets but it was raining all the time and we didn't have umbrellas.  It is a typical town with a mix of old and new homes.  This cottage near the railway station was probably once the station master's cottage.  I reckon that's an impressive cactus in the front yard.

I don't actually like cactuses but I was getting desperate for things to see and do.

Not the big dunny

It's grain country so there are silos.  Would you believe the sign in the town says "In 2001/2002 a proposal was made to build a 'Big Dunny' in the main street with the idea it would help put Dunedoo on the map and help promote the town's unique name. The proposal was abandoned after public opposition."   Whew.

By the way, the name Dunedoo apparently comes from an aboriginal word meaning Swan.

Historic Cars

Between feeds we braved the rain to look at the exhibit of historic cars.

What next

It soon became apparent that there is not a lot to do in Dunedoo and the train was not going back until the end of the day.  So we did the museum, had a sausage sizzle at the Lion's tent, visited the antique store, had scones for afternoon tea -- when there is nothing to do why not eat?  But it was all worth it, after all I found a new Royal Hotel to add to the Royal Collection.

White Rose Cafe

It was cold and wet and the whole train load made a bee line for the cafe opposite the railway station.  In no time there was moaning and groaning about the speed of service -- the city types clearly hadn't read the sign.  "We sell good food not fast food."

Railmotor

It was the centenary of the railway link so on Sunday there was a celebratory ride from Gulgong to Dunedoo.  We decided to take the trip on the old railmotor brought in from Newcastle for the occasion. It was shaping up to be another wet day.

Older Weekend People at the Farmer's Market

Young Weekend People at the Farmer's Market

They start them young around here ... that is the real estate guide she is looking at.   Mudgee is popular with the city set for small farms and weekenders so is a mix of genuine rural and city slick.  Olive oil, wine, cheese and fine food at the market along with the usual crafty stuff.

Rural Landscape 3 of 3

Along with sheep, cattle, vineyards and olives it's quite horsey around here.

Rural Landscape 2 of 3

With the church spire poking through it looks so Old World. I'm going to take you to the Farmer's Market at the church a bit later in the sequence.

Rural landscape 1 or 3

Let's get the ball rolling with some landscape shots taken at the edge of the town of Mudgee. They are just pretty pictures but that is the point - it is pretty country around here.

Atishoo

Well dear readers I thank you all for staying the course of our marathon desert journey.  This trip will be shorter and greener.  It was the October long weekend so spring was still springing and, as we are all so busy saying these days, the countryside was incredibly green and of course it was raining a lot of the time.
Hay Fever was the only downside to a fun weekend with some new discoveries on the way even though I have taken you to these places before so I hope you enjoy this new adventure.

Little sky country

We’re back in little sky country.  The trees are tall and it’s still raining,  But even little skies can be beautiful. A rainbow welcomes us home and Madam Tom Tom chirps, "You have reached your destination."

One last royal

One I missed at Narromine on the way up and found on the way back.

Big yellow

It’s yellow yellow all the way. The canola fields we saw at the beginning of this long journey were joined by the beautiful spring flowering wattle.


Oh dear, in recent weeks farmers in this west, delighted at their great crop this year after years of drought had them devastated by floods. This beautiful land can be very harsh.

Big sky country 17

We are at Cobar, another mining town.  It’s our last night on the road, tomorrow we will heading home.

Waving and waves

Throughout the outback I noticed drivers wave to each other as they pass.  Time to put that hand away, we are heading back to the less civilised world. We are on the long flat drive from Broken Hill to Cobar.  More unexpected water in the desert and with the wind blowing strongly it sounded like the seaside.


Big sky country 16

Here’s the images I promised of the sculptures at Broken Hill.

Broken Hill art

Broken Hill is known for its desert artists and there was none more colourful than Pro Hart. He made plenty of money from his art and was brash enough to paint his Rolls Royce.   I liked Pro but really I think this is just plain tacky.

Silverton tramway

After our interesting sojourn at Terowie we got back in the car and headed off to Broken Hill where we can add a final piece into the railway puzzle.  You may remember Silverton the almost ghost town that we visited early in our trip. When silver was found in Silverton it needed a means to get the ore to market and rail was the answer. Now Silverton, while being in NSW, is much closer to South Australia so it made sense to send it that direction.  The South Australian government wanted to extend their railway to Silverton but NSW would not allow it.  The solution was to put in place a private railway company to construct the line from Silverton the South Australian border but it could not be called a railway because railways could only be operated by government – it was therefore named the Silverton Tramway company. 
With the discovery of ore at Broken Hill the line extended to there too.  The image is of the old Silverton Tramway station in Broken Hill, now a museum.

Old cars

Regular readers will know that I am rather partial to old car wrecks.  I found an amazing car yard in the sleeping town of Terowie.  This is but a sample.



The sad story

Terowie was known as a break-of-gauge town. Remember I wrote about the different railway gauges. Rolling stock on one gauge obviously can’t use the another gauge so where the two different gauges meet every single item --  parcels, livestock,  wool bales, wheat, minerals and passengers had to be transshipped from one train to another.  It was a huge operation and the town had a thriving population of 2000 supporting this.  In 1969 the broad gauge was extended to Peterborough and in 1970 the narrow gauge line was closed. Almost overnight the population fell to a mere 150 people.
All the stockyards, loading systems and other paraphernalia were removed and now just a few sad railway buildings remain and the shops of the town are closed but preserved more or less like they were the day they shut their doors.

Terowie

Another fascinating town ... watch the slideshow.




The town of Terowie really captured my interest. It appeared to be a living ghost town, There were lots of shops, some open, but most were closed but not derelict or boarded up. It was as if some day in the 1960s they went to sleep and didn’t wake up again.

What is the story behind this snoozing town? I will tell you tomorrow.

Yes the cat was alive.

Greenie

We headed north through more incredibly green farming country with soft rolling hills.  Just outside Burra the hills are topped with wind turbines … Australia’s largest wind farm.  I counted 30 of them.

Burra

Slidehow of my morning walk in Burra.




We visited Burra on the recommendation of my niece.  It is an old copper mining town with beautifully preserved buildings and is now a well functioning service centre for the surrounding farming communities.  It was a pretty place for an early morning walk and home to the only other Royal hotel I found in South Australia (a royalish one.)

Big sky country 15

We are back in the lush green pasture country heading towards Burra to spend the night.

Trains

Despite following railway tracks a lot of the journey we only saw one railway train.  These days road trains ply the inland highways … yes all the above is towed by the one vehicle.