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Showing posts from October, 2012


Conversations out at Clandulla way often go like this ... "Have you been out to the Bylong Valley?" "Yeh, isn't it beautiful" "You'd better go see it again because it's not going to be like that much longer, the mines are coming" Being generally supportive of mining and realising it fills the pay packets of many of the people in the area I've often shrugged but after the shock of Wollar and Ulan all but disappearing (see earlier posts) perhaps the longer term locals know what they are talking about. See more of Bylong and its beautiful valley over at 100 towns. If reached a milestone town number 75.  With 25 to go and only two months left it is going to be a stretch.


s The day I visited this town it was the day I made a decision to go find a little laid back country town like this and buy a property. And a year or so later we did, you can read about it over at Whistlers Rest . So Wollar has held a place in my heart.  But in researching a little of its history I find it likely doesn't have a present let alone a future.   It was bought out by a mining company a year ago! See Wollar as it was over at 100 towns.


I can't remember all that much about Cargo -- other than it was a tiny town. I like old buildings like this, low set with shady verandahs. Visit Cargo and learn something of its history over at 100 towns.


Mandurama, on the road between Cowra and Blayney,  is one of the very first towns that caught my attention  just because for the beauty of its aging structures.  Its Royal Hotel also featured in my very first Royal Collection post. I've been holding off on posting Mandurama because I hoped to get back there and particularly the nearby town of Lyndhust because I've heard it has a Royal too. See more of Mandurama over at 100 Towns.


There is nothing like a field of canola in flower to get the cameras snapping. This was taken out Dubbo way in early October some years ago. Visit Dubbo over at 100 towns.


Driving north of Cowra you come across Canowindra - said to be the ballooning capital of Australia.  Many years ago I spent a crisp Easter dawn on a hilltop watching the balloons rise ... that was before I was a photographer.   This classic country town (population 2000) is a favourite of mine, with a meandering main street lined with buildings with iron lace verandahs.  It featured along with Shanghi in a recent Optus advertisement.   Maybe the rhino in the main street escaped from Western Plains zoo at Dubbo.  I'll take you to Dubbo next. See more of Canowindra over at 100 towns.


But for the sign on the highway announcing there was a Royal Hotel we would not have ventured to Woodstock and what a treat this little town was ... a place where history lingers.  I wonder if the verandahs on the Royal Hotel have been restored yet?  My photo was taken a few years ago but more recently than this photo  uploaded to Wikpedia in 2006 which shows it with its iron lace verandah. See more of Woodstock over at 100 Towns.


Sadly I don't have time to return to many of the places on my 100 towns list to get fresh photos. The year is simply going to run out on me.  So I am going to repost some images while we tick of the towns. Cowra is well known as the place where there was a breakout of Japanese prisoners of war during WW2.  Today friendly relations between the two countries are demonstrated through the lovely Japanese Gardens. See more of Cowra over at 100 Towns.

Home on the range

This is another shot taken at Tucklan which I am posting just because I like it. Over at 100 towns I have posted Home Rule as a locality which is on a rather nice drive between Gulgong and Mudgee ... lots of vineyards.


 Madam Tom Tom insisted there were no place called Tucklan but as there was a dot on our map and there was a road from Dunedoo called Tucklan road we thought it worth looking.  We found the remnants. See more of Tucklan over at 100 Towns.


Today's town is Gulgong.  The Pioneers Museum is piled to the rafters with stuff. A great place to browse. When visiting country town museums I always find myself lingering among the domestic appliances, linen, clothing and horse drawn vehicles. I don't find barbed wire, tractors, tools and rocks quite so compelling.  What interests you in country museums? Visit Gulgong over at 100 Towns.


We were nearing Dunedoo at lunch time and I was pleased, looking forward to lunch at the White Rose  Cafe.  We were disappointed to find that it was closed.  I do hope it's not permanent as it is one of those character spots that should be preserved.  Nonethleless we enjoyed a pleasant lunch at the Bakery up the road. I have grown to be rather fond of this town.   See more of it over at 100 Towns.   (Sorry for those accessing the site using a iPad, the slideshows are done with flash so not visible to you. As the project is nearing a close it is too much work to try and convert it to another format. We are up to #65).


Snapped outside the old community hall in the tiny village of Uarbry. See more the Uarbry at 100 towns.


I little further up the road is the small town of Cassilis.  This lovely little town set in lush farming country (we are much closer to the coast here)  will not suffer the fate of the buildings at Ulan -- the entire village is heritage listed. Go over to 100 towns to take a look at the wonderful array of heritage buildings in this delightful town.


It's got a General Store, a Church and a corrugated iron shed (all closed) so I am going to call Turrill a town. Visit Turrill over at 100 towns.


As we passed by the coal mines near Ulan,  I almost didn't bother to ask to turn in.  I already had a number of attractive photos of aging buildings from some years ago. I was in for a surprise.  The old general store pictured above was revamped and in use as a Mining Store. But seeing the store overlooking a bare paddock had me mystified.   Ever since I have been a photographer I remember the world in photos ... I was sure I had photographed a timber church and an old cottage framed by the big Silky Oak in flower.  Only the Silky Oak was there.  Hubbie thought I was imagining things. I asked him to take me around the tiny number of streets in the town just in case my mind was playing tricks ... no sign of the cottage or church.  Fortunately I had my old photos to check back on and confirm my sanity. See Ulan before and after over at 100 Towns.

Cooks Gap

Cooks Gap is a locality, no sign of a town past or present that I could see. Perhaps it is a gap in the mountain range because just before this point there is a sign saying "Great Divide".  The mountain ranges running along our eastern coast are known as the Great Dividing Range, rivers on one side run into the inland and the other towards the coast. I 've added Cooks Gap as a locality at 100 towns.

Budgee Budgee

I guess I hoped for more of a place with such an interesting name.  I spotted what looked like an old inn at the junction of the roads.  I bit of web research reveals that this is so.  It was always a very small settlement though once it had a school, a church, an inn and a butchers shop. It seems that this inn would have been one of my abandoned shots if I had come this way in 1990.  It was restored and used as a restaurant for a while but is now a private residence. I've added Budgee Budgee as a locality at 100 towns.


We went to Mudgee for the weekend with the specific plan and doing a bit of a circuit to pick up more of the towns. Having travelled the Ulan/Casillis road several times I as pretty sure there would be no town at Buckaroo.  I was right. What was there was the Short Sheep Wines.  There are lots of vineyards in the Mudgee district. I've added Buckeroo as a locality at 100 towns.

The Lagoon

A little way along the road from O'Connell is the small settlement The Lagoon. It is a horsey kind if place with race horse stables and training. Visit The Lagoon over at 100 Towns.


A little way from Tarana along the delightfully named Mutton Falls Road is the village of O'Connell.  The hotel is a popular drinking spot.  We however settled for the cafe next door to Fish River Roasters where there is not only good coffee but also good singing on a Sunday afternoon. See more of O'Connell over at 100 Towns.


Just down the road from Rydal, via the locality of Sodwalls, is the next small town Tarana. It's another railway town and the junction of a short 24km branch line to Oberon.  An active railway historical society is working on getting this line opened again as a tourist attraction.   It would be a nice ride, the farmland around here is lovely. S ee and learn more of Tarana over at 100 towns.