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Showing posts from March, 2010


State Mine Heritage Park, Lithgow

The blacksmith is an artist (unfortunately I didn't get his name). This piece made from old blacksmith's hoods, marine bouys and other found metal was in Sculpture by the Sea. In the exhibition is apparently had some sort of earpiece so you could hear water sloshing about.

Put your ear to the pipe in the image below and you can hear the water sloshing about many metres below in the flooded mine. I know it's out of focus but I still liked its arty appeal.

Blacksmith's Workshop

Blacksmith's Workshop, State Mine Heritage Park, Lithgow

Stepping into the workshop I was transported back to my youth ... my Dad was a blacksmith ... the smell of coal dust and metallic clutter everywhere. Pure nostaligia for me.

Looking out the window at the top right (click to enlarge) you can see the Poppet Head. It's not the actual Poppet Head for this mine, which was dismantled after the mine was closed. It is one from another mine that closed down in more recent years.

Cogs 'n stuff

State Mine Heritage Park, Lithgow

The grounds are filled with lots of interesting equipment. From my perspective 'twas their photogenic possibilities but for miners and engineers I'm sure they have more practical appeal.

State Mine Heritage Park, Lithgow

State Mine Heritage Park, Lithgow

Our next port of call is the Lithgow State Mine underground colliery, now derelict, which operated until the mid 1960s. Attractive industrial buildings of yesteryear are now operated as a museum to showcase the history of the Western Coalfields.

This was another photographic treat so you are going to get quite a few more days on this one.

Windows and doors

Blast Furnace Park, Lithgow

And a couple more shots before we move on to our next industrial find.

Nature reclaiming

Blast Furnace Park, Lithgow

I first learnt of this place from Winam's Static and Silence blog and knew right then I would have to explore it myself one day. I just love the way nature is taking over the ruin with all the summer flowers in bloom.

Industrial history

Blast Furnace Park, Lithgow

I was inspired by Martina's industrial photographs to explore our local industry in a series that is more about images than travels. Since the industry of the Blue Mountains is tourism (not quite what I had in mind) we went to Lithgow a small city just west of the mountains which has a proud history of heavy industry.
The blast furnace is where the first iron and steel were cast in Australia. It was established in 1886 and continued production until 1928 when the entire industry was moved to Port Kembla and one presumes the buildings left to go to rack and ruin.
A perfect place for photographers so there will be more over the next couple of days but in colour after today.


We had been driving all day and I didn't see one new Royal Hotel ... we saw them at Sofala, Hill End, Capertee and Cullen Bullen but I've already recorded those. We did however see this one outside Lithgow which I have passed many times but just not got around to putting in the blog.

That's it for this trip. Next we are coming back to Lithgow for a very different series, one I am quite excited about as it had great photo opportunities which I gathered over a number of weekends.

However I am going to slow down to posting just 3 days per week alternating with Blue Mountains Journal. It will give me a little breathing time to do things other than blogging.

Sky again

The sky was doing something interesting again. I went minimalist this time.

Fence and tree

For no other reason than I liked the texture of them. They were near the ford.


An attempt to rescue something artistic from the discarded reflections.


At this point I have to tip my hat to Julie who always manages such wonderful reflections. The water at the ford was like a mirror but I was disappointed with my images ... so here's an interesting tree root instead.


A this point I should be showing you are photo of Hargraves but there was a small problem ... there was nothing there ... not even a hint of the old mining town that once was. Just a sign saying "Locality of Hargraves".

This is a ford we crossed on the way back home still using back roads. I must also confess that about this point my map is not accurate. We didn't have a map with us and got somewhat lost and just followed our nose hoping that at some point we would get back out on the Mudgee road. I'm not sure what roads we drove along.

Over the road

Over the road from the church, a cottage with a paling fence around the garden, so typical of Hill End.

Church, Hill End

Hill End is another old gold mining town. We visited there last year and I showed photos of this church. This time I was on the other side and noticed the old bell tower.

More by the river

Another shot taken at Turon River. I was entranced by the big boulders and silvery seed heads.

Turon River

On the road between Sofala and Hill End we stopped by the Turon River. It was a delightful spot. (And the photo looks much better full size on my desktop)

Cafe Sofala

We had lunch as Cafe Sofala, a satisfyingly wonky building, chock-a-block with old stuff. A pleasant place to dine.

Sky watch

James Jordan says "If the sky is doing something interesting, find a place to take a picture." So I did.
We're still in Sofala.


Sofala is an old gold town, with quite a lot of old buildings giving it a real charm as a tourist town. But take a look at the building at the bottom right. Last time I was there it looked like the photo below!

Church, Wattle Flat

This old church at Wattle Flat is not used any more. Perhaps the fact that nearly every buttress is in the same state as this could have some bearing on the matter.

Wattle Flat, the name sounds like the type of place Henry Lawson would write about.

Blown Away

How's this for a variation on my usual abandoned buildings?

Rolling green

What a difference rain makes. Last time we were out this way the paddocks were dry and browning off in extreme heat. But with good rains they were turning green again, and we've had heaps more rain since then.