Monday, December 31, 2012

#100 Wyangala


Whoo hoo it's a town!

You can imagine my horror when Lady Tom Tom squarked "you have reached your destination" and there was nothing, just trees and a sign post to places we had been.  Despondently we decided to trundle down the road towards the water's edge.  Great was my delight when a few kilometres later I saw this clutch of houses nestled below the dam wall.  And Mark you were right there was once an older town drowned beneath the waters but a new one was established ... whew.

Go visit 100 towns to see the Village of Wyangala Dam.

Now for a later problem, when I was tidying up the 100 towns blog last night I discovered I had done the town of Rylstone twice!  But no, I have not missed my target.  On the way from Wyangala to Cowra we went through Darby's Falls which I was surprised to find was another town.  So instead of it being a bonus town it saved my bacon! I've slotted Darby's Falls in position #76 to replace the duplicated town.

Hope you all have some New Year's Eve fun tonight.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Wyangala Dam


In the distance you can see the lake formed by Wyangala Dam.

This dam on the Lachlan River was built between 1929 and 1935 and is used for irrigation, flood mitigation and water supply for the large town of Cowra 20 kilometres west of here.

This area was greatly affected during the drought.  I remember television reports of the State Premier visiting the dried up dam which reached as low as 4%.  Today it is 90% full and once again a water playground and fishing spot for the locals.

Fingers crossed, I think there is a town down near the water's edge. My last chance to get to 100 before the year ends.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Garland


Such a pretty name Garland but nothing to make it a town.  The country is straw yellow with all the grass in seed.

It was a chilly 10C with the mountains shrouded in fog when we left home on Boxing Day.  The day after out here it was a very pleasant 20-25C.  So nice given that most other times we have driven through this area in the summer time is has been over 40C.

I've added Garland as a locality over at 100 towns.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Lyndhurst #99



We are off to a great start.  Lyndhurst is not only a town its a right Royal town.

Pop over to 100 towns to see more of Lyndhurst and I have also added this shot to the Royal Collection which I have been updating and revamping during the break.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Going west counting


Come west with me my friends to help me reach 100 towns -- we are heading out to Blayney to camp then travelling to some dots on the maps we have not yet visited in the hopes of finding two of them are towns.

These restored beauties we saw on the road are like the car Mum and Dad had when we were kids, bought sometime in the 1950s.  The sturdy little car towed 5 kids and Dad's home made caravan from Queensland to Victoria with the hundreds of miles of big wide wheat and sheep country of New South Wales in between.  Oh how we hated western New South Wales, the very land I love today.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas to all my blogging friends.  I hope you a have a great day.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

#98 Pyramul


Christmas is coming to Pyramul tonight and I've run out of towns!!  I will make a last effort to go west and get two more towns before the New Year.

The eye op went really well yesterday I have gone from being all but totally blind in one eye to having clear vision.  It's still a bit too sensitive to test out as a 'camera eye' but I am sure it will work very fine. 

Now I am over that fuss/stress of the eye there is much to do for Christmas so I am going to take a blog break. I hope you are all having a lovely time preparing for this most special of seasons.

I've will add Pyramul over at 100 towns and tidy up the loose ends over there during the break.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

#97 Glen Davis


As the crow flies 10kms from Newnes is another old shale oil town Glen Davis.  It is however 100 kms by road.  It is quite a remote tiny remnant of a town nestled in glorious country of the Capertee Valley.  There are a few houses and a small boutique hotel.  It would be a great place to stay for the weekend. If you don't want to afford the hotel tarrif, nearby there is a free camping ground - a bit of dirt patch but it has facilities.

There are shale oil ruins here too but in private land.  I haven't managed to get out there for one of their Saturday tours yet.

During the Christmas break I will add Glen Davis to 100 towns, and Glen Alice as a locality because there is just a community hall there.

P.S.  I am having my cataract operation tomorrow.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

#96 Newnes


Newnes is a relic town with plenty of relics.  Those who follow my Blue Mountains blog might remember a tour of the shale oil ruins that I showed a couple of years ago.  Of the town that used to be the old hotel is all that is left.

It is in the beautiful Wolgan Valley overlooked by the cliffs of the Blue Mountains which also now hides a six star resort.   You can enjoy it for $2000 a night or camp for free down the road. Either way I am sure you will enjoy it.

I will post Newnes as town number #96 at 100 towns sometime soon.

Friday, December 14, 2012

#95 Shadforth


Shadforth has often intrigued me because of the glimpse of these old dwellings as you drive along the road.  Having stopped by to photograph them I see there are three near identical ones in a row. Has me wondering if in fact they are modern replicas.  Either way, I like them.

Shadforth is a town, it has streets and a reasonable number of houses among orchards but no other town infrastructure that I could see.

I've added Shadforth as a town and Dunkeld as a locality over at 100 towns, just a house or two at Dunkeld.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#94 Lucknow


Lucknow has its mining history on proud display with two poppet heads speaking of the towns mining past. Apparently there is a near intact gold stamper battery in one of the sheds that is open to the public. We must stop a while and go look at it one day.

The other treasure in this town is an huge second hand shop full of loads of wonderful junk.

I will add Lucknow over at 100 towns.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Wheat harvest 3 of 3


Arthurville turned out to be this grain silo in a field nestled in a broad field of wheat.

This is the last town on this trip, time to head home.  In the next few posts I will show you some more places I have picked up on the road between Orange and Bathurst.  We are up to #93 and racing towards the finish line.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Wheat harvest 2 of 3


The blond fields had me thinking of the Bible verse "The fields are white unto harvest but the labourers are few."

The fields were certainly white unto harvest but apparently the labourers were plenty.  The people next to us at the caravan park were contract harvesters and said they could only find four days of work in the district because the crop was nearly in so would be heading north again.

I have added Finger Post as a locality over at 100 towns.  I think it was the sign post at a junction in the road.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Wheat harvest 1 of 3


I will end this trip with a few shots of the wheat harvest.  Throughout the weekend we often found ourselves behind harvesters lumbering their way from paddock to paddock.

We went out along the road to Yeoval looking for Walmer. We knew it was not a town but wondered what might be there.  It turned out to be yet another grain silo.

I've added Walmer as a locality over at 100 towns.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bodangora


It's a town.  Well this photo might not convince you of this but it is an old gold mining town that went into steep decline since the 1920s when the mine closed so 100 years later there is not much left.

There is a photo of the war memorial over at 100 towns.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Spicers Creek


I didn't expect to find anything as Spicers Creek ... towns don't usually have names like that.  My expectations were fulfilled, a couple of houses, a little church high on a hill and a partially constructed railway underpass -- more evidence of the railway track that never happened.

I will post as a locality over at 100 towns on the weekend.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Goolma


We saw the very nice little school at the intersection of the road but could not see a town.  Madam Tom Tom said we were at our destination Goolma but hubby insisted that there had to be a town, I was not convinced.  We set off down the road and he was right.  First a church, then another, an old general store a little further along, then a hotel and this old shop.

I was thinking now that would make a nice little gallery (like the one we saw earlier in the trip) so decided to peep through the windows to see how much the artist would be in for to get it in order.




By the way Goolma was another town on that railway line to Maryvale that was abandoned part way through the project.

I will add further images of Goolma over at 100 towns soon.  Still very busy at the moment.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gollan



Gollan is a classic locality with a church and a community hall set in open fields.

There are two things of note here. The Silky Oak tree in flower.  There are lots of them dotted around the countryside looking great at this time of year with their golden flowers.  The other that this is a Baptist Church, usually the churches out in the countryside are Anglican or Roman Catholic.

I will post Gollan as a locality over at 100 Towns.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Muronbong



Muronbong turned out to be as I expected, a lonely grain silo beside the road.  But Madam Tom Tom insisted the town was further up the road so we went along with her.  But when she declared we had 'reached our destination' there was nothing of note other than the grain harvesting going on across the field.

I will add Muronbong as a locality over at 100 towns tomorrow when I hope to do my catch  up.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Ballimore


Ballimore has a grain silo and it IS a small town.

It's late again this evening.  I will catch up sometime on the weekend with posting over at 100 towns.  It will be #91 I do.   With so many of the places thus far turning out to be towns it is just possible I will make 100 by the end of the year.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Not green


Remember how green the pastures around Oberon were on our recent trip.  Just a week later and a hour or two further up the road the landscape is so different.  It's not a drought.  We are in wheat country and the crop turns from green to golden at harvest time.   It's an exciting time to be our here.  I will show you more of the harvest later in the series.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wongarbon


Much to my surprise Wongarbon also turned out to be a town.  It's another small town of about 500 people beside the railway line.  It has a school, general store, community hall, some closed shops, grain silo, big old pepperina trees and  a jacaranda or two in flower.

We also found this rather nice art gallery. The artist made his gallery by rescuing some old shops.  He said it was dirt floor with crumbling walls. When you see the state of some old buildings in these towns I have to admire his effort.

I will post images of Wongarbon over at 100 towns tomorrow as  I am rather busy this evening.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Geurie


Hooray it's a town.

Geurie turned out to be a small town with shops, a hotel (not a Royal), swimming pool, homes and historic buildings.  It even has a daily railway service because it's on the Sydney Dubbo XPT line.

A large grain silo looming large beside the railway line has my heart sinking a little however, I plan to visit 13 dots on the map this trip and what are the chances that lots of them turn out to be nothing more than grain silos beside the railway line?

Visit Geurie over at 100 towns.



Monday, November 26, 2012

Maryvale


Oh dear Maryvale turned out to be another locality.

There was apparently a railway branch line to go from Gulgong to Maryvale and construction was started but never completed so I am not sure what the railway line is that we can see in this photo.  But there sure is no town out there.

I have added Maryvale as a locality over at 100 towns and upgraded the localities I mentioned the other day to towns.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hunting


We went hunting this weekend.  Hunting for new towns and hunting for some warm weather.

Friday midday we packed up the van and headed west.  It was 15C and nothing would convince me it really was 35C out there over the hills. I packed my jumper and winter pyjamas just in case.  As we headed north west the temperature slowly climbed.

3-4 hours later we arrived at one of our favourite camping spots beside the river at Wellington.  Warm at last.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mount David


We end this tour by calling into the small town of Mount David which had a brief period of prosperity as a mining settlement from 1900 to the 1920s when the copper ore run out.

Today it is still a small cluster houses and a church converted to a residence.  There is also some new building going one.  These old towns are becoming popular with tree changers and as weekenders for city folk who like to build on the cheap.  It would certainly be over capitalising to build a brick city style mansion in these places.

See more of Mount David over at 100 Towns.

Now regarding some of your questions.
1.  Why does the 100 towns project have to finish at the end of the year?  Because without a deadline nothing gets finished.
2.  Have I included localities in the count. No and there have been 37 of them thus far in addition to the 85 towns visited.

On reflection, I think I have incorrectly assigned some towns as localities when they are in fact "relic towns".  I have decided that any place that has a grid of streets (no matter how empty today) was once a town and will be "promoting"  Neurea and Home Rule on that basis also Cudgegong which had a grid of streets before it as drowned.   


Friday, November 23, 2012

Isabella


There was no sign of a town past or present at Isabella.  There was a cluster of farm houses, one with this nice garden plus some derelict farm buildings.

I've added Isabella as a locality over at 100 towns.    I am getting a little worried.  I am only up to #84 and the 'Still to go' list is getting shorter. Even though there are 38 names on it I think most of them are localities.  Maybe we are not going to get to 100 towns after all.  Also we are running out of weeks left in the year to go find what's there.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Road to Isabella


We were off looking for  Isabella the next dot on my map.  Rather too late I call "turn here" then "stop"  I wanted a photo of the post boxes that caught my eye that were on the corner.

Edith is also in this area (they must have had a thing about women's names). I've added it as a locality over at 100 towns.  


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Porters Retreat


We decided to go see what was at Porters Retreat even though it is outside my 100 towns grid because it was just down the road from Shooters Hill. It too turned out to be a locality.  I decide to show this shot because I really like the tussock grass that grows around this area ... what I don't know is whether it is the dreaded serrated tussock -- the one that makes councils put signs up along the road saying "Have you treated your serrated tussock?"

Over the road the horses came up to the fence.  That's the nice thing about horses -- unlike cattle and sheep which scarper off at the mere sight of a human near the fence.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Shooters Hill


We were looking for a new town to tick off the list, though I as I expected it turned out to be a locality. Some sheds and farm houses and this little beauty in a paddock.  Up the road we found a cemetery so perhaps it was once bigger.

I will add Shooters Hill as a locality over at 100 towns.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Rolling hills


This is a beautiful part of the world -- glassy dams, tall timber forests and emerald green parklike acres dotted with sheep and tussock grass.

We didn't go to Jenolan Caves on this trip but I posted quite a few shots of that lovely spot over at 100 Towns.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hampton


Today we went for a drive out Oberon way with a view to ticking of the remaining towns in that area. On the way you pass through Hampton, a little hamlet on the road to Jenolan Caves. The most prominant part of the town these days are the two wind turbines on the hill.

We don't have a lot of them around these parts so they are really quite exciting.

 For a glimpse of the rest go visit 100 Towns.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Windyer


If you've been following this blog for a while you might remember the frosty walk I took in the town of Windyer last year.  Windyer is also in the general vicinity of Hill End and Sofala so a good chance for me to tick off this town.

I have posted more photos of Windyer over at 100 towns.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's a blur


This is the image that did it.  When I was trying to photograph the old hut across the paddock I found the camera view finder was so bad that I couldn't even be sure it was in centre of the frame. After a couple of shots with it being off to the side somewhere (what I could see was even less clear than this), It's off to the repair shop with this annoying camera, I declared.

As I reported the other day the camera man rang to say there was nothing wrong with it.  I picked it up today.  We put my lens in and he had a look.  It's fine he said.  I had a look.  It's all blurry I said. It's must be the camera I say because I can see everything else OK.  I asked my hubby to take a look.  It's fine he said.  I  think I am going nuts and we leave the camera shop.

Have a look with the other eye hubby suggests helpfully. I do so to humour him and I'm shocked to discover it's all clear. I close my right eye and the world is a blur.

I didn't have a clue.  My eyesight has seemed fine.  You see the only thing I am one-eyed about is my photography.

I couldn't even read the BIG letters on the optometrist's eye chart.  He says it's a cataract.

This is the world through both my eyes.


Wattle Flat


Wattle Flat is in the area we have been visiting on this trip and as I have not posted this town yet I thought this a good opportunity.  There are always old vehicles to be found in old towns and Wattle Flat is the kind of place that says "old town". Go visit 100 towns to see images of it.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Memories


I remember as a kid seeing flower domes like this in a shop window and thinking they were the most beautiful thing, I couldn't figure out why Mum was not similarly enthralled.

I've been keeping my eye out for one. The cemetery at Turondale had lots of them, and not broken like others I have seen.

At Turondale there was a few farm houses along the road, a church and the cemetery.  I have added it as a locality over at 100 towns.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chatting


The normally busy cafe at Sofala was nearly empty.  We struck up a conversation with a gnarled old local with a long beard who had popped by to drop off some stuff. A finely dressed old gentlemen came in an ordered a sandwich.  His story was a fascinating one of starting work as a lad in the shale oil mine at Glen Davis. Its such fun talking to strangers, like a lucky dip.

This gate is at Sallys Flat which I have added as a locality at 100 Towns.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Black faced sheep



To our surprise we found we had reached Hargraves and were still on bitumen.  Pressing on to Hill End  we were even more surprised that it didn't run out the whole way.  It seems less of an adventure but must be nice for the people living at Hill End to not have to bump their way over 80-90kms of rough road to do the weekly shopping.

We are in the area of New South Wales where gold rush began.  Hill End just reeks with old mining town history and charm.  Visit Hill End over at 100 towns.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday morning rush



There is a town of Hargraves with a church, a school and general store and quite a lot of houses. As the girls were doing their pony club thing down at the oval the men were having a chat at the general store.

The photos in this part of the journey are a horrible colour because I had not noticed that a setting had changed and I can't see the playback without my glasses so went along blithely taking bad photos -- which I have rescued a much as possible with the software. I haven't been able to see through the viewfinder of my camera for months, it got slowly cloudier and cloudier.  We dropped it off to the camera store last week to be cleaned and the man rang to say there is nothing wrong with the camera and it wasn't dirty.  I will pick it up this week and find out if I am going nuts or have cataracts or something.

Visit Hargraves over at 100 towns.  I have also posted Grattai as a locality (forgot to mention that yesterday.  You pass through it on the way to Hargraves)




Saturday, November 10, 2012

Looking for Hargraves


We're looking for Hargraves.  A couple of years ago we went on the 30 or 40 kms of bumpy road out from Hill End towards Mudgee, looking for Hargraves.  At the end of that journey we concluded it didn't exist because we reached a sign saying locality of Hargraves and as there was nothing remotely like a town turned back and bumped our way along back tracks getting rather lost on the way.

However since then I did a little web research as was surprised to find reference to town with church, school and corner store. So we had to go look again.

The driver decided to humour me and settle in for another bumpy ride.  We spotted this old building on the way.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The old inn


After Cobbora we went off in search of two more dots in the map on a backroad between Dunedoo and Gulgong.   This photo is from the home that had a sign on its gate saying Old Spring Ridge Inn.

I've added Laheys Creek and Spring Ridge as localities over at 100 Towns.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Missed out


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.

Have a look at what's left over at 100 Towns.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Surveyed


Well the laid out the streets but seemed to forget to populate them with houses, or more probably the houses that were there have long fallen down because the cemetery is quite large.

I'll show you some more tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fading


This one reminded me of a grand old lady who hasn't noticed that the brim of her hat is sagging.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Birrawa


This weekend we went wayfaring in a concerted attempt to reach 100 towns before the end of the year.

Birrawa is a small settlement flanking the road between Mudgee and Gulgong. There is a big grain silo there and some very sad old homes and buildings. I wan't sure if this was a community hall or a church.

See more of Birrawa over at 100 towns.