Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2012

Geurie #89

Geurie is small town (population 500) around midway between the larger centres of Wellington and Dubbo so I guess began as a wayside spot.  It is on the railway line that is serviced by the daily XPT passenger service from Sydney to Dubbo.

I noticed a big grain silo beside the railway line too.  I am sure that also played a part in its history.

The town today has shops, a swimming pool, community halls, sports fields and of course houses.  It seems like a nice well functioning community.

Neurea #88

In the late 1800s Cobb and Co coaches ran regularly along the highways of the country until motor vehicles in the 1900s  killed off the business.  There were Cobb and Co changing stations at Neurea and Bakers Swamp.

Home Rule #87

Home Rule, located in a farming land near Mudgee has just an old public school, now a private residence.  I wonder where the odd name comes from?

Cudgegong #86

Cudgegong in the 1870s had a couple of hotels (one of them a Royal), two stores, a school, church and post office. There was mining in the area and it also served as stopping off point for teams carrying wool. By the 1890s there was a butter factory processing local cream but later modern transport brought about its decline. There was little left to the town when it reached its final extinction in the 1980s, drowned by the waters of Windermere Dam. The headstones from the churchyard cemetery have were moved to higher ground and now look over the lake. I'll try to go and see them one day.

Mount David #85

Mount David is a small town in the Oberon district.  In the early 1900s it was the location of a major copper mine.  In the 1920s the ore body run out and the mine closed and the town dwindled into the tiny town it is today.

There is evidence of some new homes being built and the old church is a residence.  The extensions to it were in progress when we visited this town years ago and seemed to have totally stalled.  It's now up for sale.

Jenolan Caves #84

Jenolan Caves is a popular tourist attraction in the Blue Mountains wilderness.  The limestone caves have attracted people in droves since their first discovery by white man in the 1830s despite being in a quite inaccessible spot.  Even today the road is steep, winding and narrow.

The road comes to a dramatic end running through the Grand Archway and coming out the other side to the iconic Caves House (with a special place in the memory of many honeymooners), cafe and ticket office for tours to a wide selection of caves.

Not a town as such, it is a busy spot especially in weekends.  A pleasant place to spend the weekend, though Caves House goes through times of being comfortable and vibrant to being plain run down.  The caves are fun and there are lovely walks by the lake and in the surrounding area.

Hampton #83

Hampton is a small village on the road to the popular Jenolan Caves.  Perhaps in the days when the winding road was a more difficult drive Hampton was a welcome rest spot on the way.  Today it has a pub, the remnants of an old cafe and garage, a cluster of houses and two big wind turbines beating over the town.

Windyer #82

Windyer is an old gold mining town of which there is little left. Parts of the town are spread over quite a distance along the road which gives some indication that it was once a substantial settlement but today is home to about 50 people.

In the main cluster there is is a hotel, a church, a sports field, some houses and a rather nice camping ground. A good place to spend a weekend for those the like to camp out or stay in cabins. We stayed on a frosty night in a cosy cabin and had a great time.

Wattle Flat #81

Wattle Flat started as a farming village that was boosted along by the gold rush in the 1850s when tens of thousand descended on the area.  After that it settled down into the sleepy village it is today.

There are old miners cottages, stone churches, a school and general store. It looks like the kind of place that could be nice to spend a weekend to explore.

Hill End #80

Hill End was at the heart of the first big 1850s gold rush in NSW.  At its height there were up to 30,000 miners in the area which boasted as many as 50 hotels.   But is was boom and bust for this town. By the turn of the 20th century the population had dwindled to just 500.

It may well have disappeared but in the 1960s its was proclaimed a historic site and placed under the care of the National Parks and Wildlife Service which began preserving and restoring the buildings. Today is survives with just a small population of around 150 people and is essentially a tourist attraction.

It's quite lovely and feels authentic not staged.  Well worth a visit.

Hargraves #79

Hargraves is the man that started the gold rush in NSW by finding gold near Bathurst.  I assume this town is named after him, though while it is in the general vicinity it is not where the rush began. There was however gold found in the area a little later and a couple of thousand miners soon followed.

The village has never been large with 60-70 houses in the 1850s and is still a bit off the beaten track. This may change now there is sealed road all the way through to Hill End making for a very interesting drive from the tourist town of Mudgee through to the old gold towns of Hargraves, Hill End and Sofala. Today there are still quite a few houses and a general store.

Cobbora #78

Cobbora which is just 15km on the main road west from Dunedoo was once the bigger town.  Today its all but gone while Dunedoo is ticking along nicely. It missed out on the railway back in 1910 and has been going downhill ever since.

There are still a few houses - some alive and lovely and others old and abandoned.  There is a corrugated iron community hall but not much community. The streets all laid out but empty and none of them paved.Most of the life seems to have drained into the cemetery with lonely clusters of graves dotted over its acres.

Birrawa #77

I am guessing that Birrawa sprung up because of the big grain silo. It turned out to be a cluster of houses and churches beside the highway but most were in a pretty sorry state.

Darby's Falls #76

Oh dear, I noticed that I posted Rylstone twice so have slotted my very last town Darby's Falls into this spot.

Darby's Falls is a small village (population 70) on the road between Cowra and the water playground at Wyangala Dam. The school is closed and there are just a few houses.  We noticed there is an astronomical observatory there too.

Apparently it has a gold mining history and like a lot of these old gold towns is currently the focus of new exploration for other minerals.