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Showing posts from October, 2012

Bylong #75

Bylong is a small town at the end of a beautiful valley of lush farmland watered by a nice river.  The Bylong Valley Way is a truly lovely drive.  Don't miss it.

Wollar #74

When I was researching to find out more about this town which I photographed some years ago I found a newspaper article of September 2011 declaring a wake for the town which was being bought up by a mining company with just a few people left to go.

So I wonder if it's there any more.  It wasn't totally tiny or dead, just decaying.

Cargo #73

Cargo is a small town (population 250) in the central west aboutn 37kms from Orange.

It started as a gold mining town and back then in the late 1860s boasted a population of 7000, shops a d flour mill and other enterprises.  Today it is a blink and you will miss it sized town.

Mandurama #72

Mandurama started in 1876 as a private village to house the workers from Coombing Park, a large rural property in the area.

It is a small town (population 300) where the history lingers.  The highway passes through this town and it is so easy to just rush through (I have done so myself) but do yourself a favour, stop and linger a while.

Dubbo #71

Dubbo is a busy inland city, the centre of administration for a very big chunk of New South Wales.  With a population of 40,000 it's much bigger than most of the places we've visited.

It services the rural community, with plenty of shops and government departments.  And there is much for a tourist to enjoy whether it be the farmers market, the Dubbo jail or the Western Plains Zoo.

Unlike most of the towns we have visited it has a daily train service with the XPT from Sydney going to and from once each day.

Canowindra #70

The site of the Royal Hotel at Canowindra was an inn taken over by Ben Hall's bushranger gang in the 1860s. Today the town has a nice historic feeling along its crooked main street which was once a bullock team track.

It has two other claims to fame being known as the Balloon Capital of Australia, with lots of ballooning during the delightful autumn days of April.

The other thing is that it is the site of one of the world's great fossil discoveries where there are huge number of fish from 360 millions years ago preserved in stone.  It is well worth a visit to the Age of Fish museum to see these fossils and the story behind them.

This town is a personal favourite with me.  Not too big, not too small and out the big wide country of western NSW.

Woodstock #69

Woodstock is a beaut little country town (population 200).  A backwater with many of its old buildings intact.  Its brief period of prosperity came with the gold rush and arrival of the railway, today it seems to  snooze in the western sun.

Cowra #68

Cowra (population 9,500) is a typical substantial western NSW country town.   Its history is as so many of the others, some gold, arrival of the railway in the 1880s eventually settling down to being a rural service town.

It does however have some unique aspects to its history.  It was the site of prisoner of war camp during World War II where Japanese prisoners attempted a mass breakout in which over 200 Japanese died.  Their graves are beautifully maintained at Cowra cemetery.

Today Cowra remembers this part of its history with a magnificent Japanese garden, seeks to promote international peace and hosts an annual celebration of International Understanding.

Tucklan #67

Tucklan seems to have some history with gold but whatever was there is now fading quickly.  There is a farm with what appears to be a community hall, an old school which is now a residence, and several buildings in a very advanced state of decay.

Gulgong #66

Gulgong is old gold mining town (and a railway town) and has hung onto enough of its history to make it an interesting spot to visit today.

It is also known at the $10 town because it was used the backdrop for the image of Henry Lawson on the old $10 notes.  Like some other towns in NSW they lay claim to Henry Lawson because he lived there briefly as a child.  There is a Henry Lawson museum.

And there is a fabulous Gulgong Pioneer museum full of just about every element of mining, farming and domestic history.

Well worth a visit.

Dunnedoo #65

Dunedoo is a pleasant country town -- not too big and not too small (population 800).  We have visited there on a number of occasions in a range of seasons and find it to be warm friendly community.  Worth stopping if you are driving that way.

Cassilis #63

The small town of Cassilis is a real gem for old town lovers.  There are buildings of various different eras all with a patina of age and untouched by modernisation.

Apparently the whole village is heritage listed and many of the structures listed as significant.

It is also set in lovely farming country and was established as a service town for the rural area back in the 1840s.

Turrill #62

I don't know anything of the history of Turrill.  It is a wayside stop on the road between Mudgee and Casallis, once upon a time offering fuel, a general store and church on Sunday.

Ulan #61

Five years ago
1. Old general store
2. Church
3. Worker's cottage
4. Former general store
5. Where once there was a church and cottage
6. Current day worker's accomodation

Ulan is one town that doesn't appear to have benefited from the mining boom.  It is over the road from a big coal mine.  When we visited some years ago it was small and down at heel.  Just like so many of the towns in this region the old general store looked like it has long closed.  Over the road there was a neat little church and the aging but attractive workers cottage.  A school, hotel and small cluster of houses completed the scene.

Today the general store is smart and repurposed.  But over the road the land is bare! The school and hotel are still operating.

Borenore #60

Borenore (15kms outside Orange) proudly announces on the entrance into town that it is home of the Borenore shop (note singular) and Australian National Field Days which according to their website is "Australia's oldest annual agricultural exhibition where visitors will see a vast range of agricultural machinery, implements, services and ideas. Each year over 600 exhibitors from throughout Australia and overseas display their products and services at our event." So for a few days each year the place becomes alive.

The Lagoon #59

The Lagoon is a small settlement not far from Bathurst. The Old School of Arts building is isolated from most of the houses.  Up on a hill from where the top shot was taken there is a school, homes and stables.  There seem to be a number of race horse trainers in the area.

O'Connell #58

O'Connell started as a wayside point on the road between Sydney and Bathurst. It is still a pleasant spot to linger. The hotel is always busy, the old Catholic church serves as a Bed and Breakfast, the tennis court looks like it has had busier days. It's the home town of Fish River Roasters so if you are looking for a good cup of coffee stop by at the cafe next door.

Tarana #57

Tarana is another railway town and the junction of a short 24km branch line to Oberon.  It's a tiny settlement set in beautiful rolling farmland. Today there is a church, another church that is now a residence, an artist's studio in the old schoolhouse, a closed cafe, a few houses and the old pub which appears to be doing a good job of catering for tourists.

There are numerous rural retreats in the area where you can spend a weekend away from the city.  I think that would be very pleasant.