Sunday Sightseeing

As we left Mean Mongrel Matt, Sassy Belle and Broken Spur to enjoy the rest of their weekend, Jack and I took a Left out of town and headed for the hills.

Well, hills being the Blue Mountains area; Lithgow, Katoomba, Laura, Wentworth Falls, Glenbrook, then down into the Sydney greater region heading North then to Newcastle.

The Blue Mountains

Aptly named for its haze, a mixture of fine drops of eucalyptus oil (given off from the Eucalyptus trees) dust particles, water vapor and that little thing called light waves cause this beautiful blue hue to the mountains.

The Blue Mountains were inhabited by aboriginal tribes when the First Fleet landed. First Governor of NSW, Arthur Phillip had seen these tremendous ranges from a ridge at Castle Hill some 40-60miles East of them. He had named them Camarthen Hills and thought them to be worthy of government stock.

In 1799 it was the place Gidley King established a town for political prisoners from Ireland and Scotland.

The name was first documented in Captain John Hunters account of Phillip’s expedition up the Hawkes yet River in 1789.

There is a whole other story about who passed over them first and when and the explorers who are actually noted for gaining passage through here but I’m not going into that today.

Suffice to say at its highest point at Mount Werong is 1215m/3986ft above sea level and it’s lowest point on the Nepean River at just 20m/66ft.

It is home to such beauties as;

The Three Sisters

A quick stop at Echo Point to get our own snaps at The Three Sisters.

Coffee with a view.

Jenolan Caves

And Wentworth Falls

Poets, artists, sculptors and lovers of nature have frequented the Blue Mountains region for years. One of the most notable and one of my favourites – Norman Lindsay.

http://www.normanlindsay.com.au/

So as we continued to wind through the eucalypts, past car shows, reminiscing about visits to the caves, galleries and sights; we eventually came out on the flat plains into Penrith, heading towards the outskirts of Sydney and onto Newcastle.

spectacular, spectacular!

Kat xo

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Bathurst, NSW

Not Barth-hirst it’s pronounced Bath-urst, think bat add the ‘h’ and urst on the end.

Bathurst, the next stop on the road is the oldest inland settlement in Australia and has around 35,000 people living in it.

Bathurst was established in 1814 and was site of the first gold discovery and where the first gold rush occurred in Australia.

In the early years of settlement, Bathurst was a base for explorers headed inland.

In 1823, flecks of gold were found in Fish River and later ‘payable’ gold was found in 1851 at Ophir and Hill End.

Here’s some trivia for you on the gold mining front!! Hill End’s claim to fame is the Holtermann Specimen (correctly the Beyers Holtermann Specimen) found on 20th of October 1871, it is the largest single mass of gold ever discovered in the world and still retains that record today.

Bernhardt Holtermann and the gold Specimen.

BUT! We are driving and almost anybody knows (especially in motor racing) that Bathurst is home to Mount Panorama, hosting the Bathurst 1000 and Bathurst 12 Hour motor races!

The track is 4 miles/ 6.213km in length, is technically a street circuit and is actually a public road.

Historically the circuit saw motorcycles and open wheel car races but times have changed, safety restrictions tighter and now only closed-bodied cars can be raced on the track.

In 1992, Jack was a driver in the Under 2litre Sports Sedans and has raced on this very track!! (I’ll post a picture of his car later)

So of course – as one does – and now we have a manual car – he had to drive the track, ride the curbing, touch the wall (I exaggerate here), and give a running commentary on gear change, speed and who overtook him where! 😂😂🏎🏆

Mount Panorama offers a great experience and spectacular view, and maybe just the occasional wallaby sitting in the paddock.

On to Mean Mongrel Matt and Sassy’s for a visit.

Start your engines, open the throttle and let ‘er rip!!

Kat xo

Flying Visits

It’s usually the way isn’t it, you make a plan to get a few things finalised and then you get a phone call that could change life’s plans and you aren’t there to take advantage of it.

Could have been a great role and hopefully still in the running for it come Monday.

……or sometimes things work out for better options ahead. 😉😉

Wednesday we lit out early (not as early as we thought, forgot about time change!😂) and headed down the coast.

We stopped in at Emerald and Paddlewheel’s to see how they were and then on to Dad and Mum’s for the night.

Catch ups with my brother, nieces, Fiona and of course a couple games of Scrabble with Mum never goes astray!

Onward to Canberra for paperwork and visits; stayed with Trooper for a couple of nights, dinner with Trail Rider and Wendy, lunch with my Rori boy and down to the poo farm to cause a bit of trouble. 😊

Saturday on our way through to Bathurst we take the road through Boorowa and Cowra.

Usually we are coming through here in the Spring where it was meadows of golden glow, field after field filled with flowering canola. The fields are bare and dry, a little bit of green in some places see the sheep surviving well.

Boorowa is a small farming in South West, New South Wales (NSW). There are only about 1200 or so people living here.

The first unofficial residents (1821) in Boorowa were two Irishmen, Rodger Corcoran and Ned Ryan, who were ex convicts having received their ‘ticket of leave’ or pardon from the Governor.

The first Land grant came to Thomas Icely in 1829 and by 1837 a mill was operating along with an inn and some houses on the future town site of Boorowa. The village was established at its present location in 1843.

As usual in those days, there was much lawlessness, mayhem, boundary disputes that led to livestock theft, arson and murder.

Bushrangers often took advantage of the remoteness of the town as they roamed the mountainous wild lands. They would make raids in the town and on stations.

With later large land parcels sold to ‘ticket of leave’ men, the area also went through a short boom of gold, copper and iron extraction. One copper mine continuing operation up until 1900.

Now the little town continues its sheep and cattle stations in quietness. No longer subject to bushrangers and outlaws, this is pure farm country.

We continue through to Cowra, in the Central West of NSW. Population approx 10,100.

The township of ‘Coura Rocks’ had its beginnings (European settlement) in 1844. 1847 the township site was called Cowra and it proclaimed a village in 1849.

Hmmm sometimes history makes me wonder, why is a village different from a township? If it was surveyed in 1817, technically did it not exist from back then? The mind boggles.

Miners heading to gold fields made their way through here and over the next 50 years expanded rather rapidly.

  • 1857 first school
  • 1870 first bridge built over the Lachlan River
  • 1880’s Gold was discovered at Mount McDonald
  • 1886 the railhead from Sydney reached the town
  • 1888 local government was granted
  • 1901 the first telephone exchange was established

During World War II, Cowra was the site of a POW Camp for mostly Japanese and Italian detainees – captured military personnel.

In 1944 the infamous Cowra breakout occurred. Some 545 Japanese attempted the mass breakout. Four Australian guards and 231 Japanese died during the recapture of the POW’s with another 108 wounded.

Still to this day Cowra’s Japanese gardens have those laid to rest in their with other memorials to those who served in Darwin and World War 1.

Photo by John O’Neill

Made a quick stop at Cowboy Guns and Gear and had lunch with Wondering Hans.

On to Bathurst!

Yours in travels

Kat xo