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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Batty for Bathurst

Hello Folks.
Having rambled on for ages in my last post, I will try not to blather on so much this time.

Last weekend my husband and I and our two dogs (who have been renamed Beauty and the Beast) set off on a jaunt to Bathurst.
Bathurst is a town I know and love since my paternal grandparents were both born and raised there and it plays a big part in the family history. My husband was also born in Bathurst and he returned there as a young adult to attend Charles Sturt University.

To get to Bathurst from Canberra, we took the road through Gunning, Grabben Gullen, Crookwell, Binda and Tuena. It was approximately a four hour drive.

Binda, by the way, was where we lived for a few years when I was a kid.

Here is a little stone church at Tuena, where we stopped to let our doggies out for a run around.

(R)The view looking back towards Binda. That's Maggie (the Beauty) in the foreground looking for a stick to chase.

Tuena is in a hilly little valley with the Abercrombie River running through it. The town was the site of a gold rush back in the 1850s, but it is hard to imagine the hustle and bustle of a mining settlement on a peaceful Friday evening.

                                                                     Here's the Beast. 

The Beast doesn't like to look at the camera. This is not because he is shy (far from it). He has been blinded by the flash a few times and so decided to never smile for the camera again. Even when the flash is off!

Bathurst is also a gold mining town, but much larger and more prosperous than little Tuena. It is the oldest inland town in Australia, having been founded once the convict settlement in Sydney ran out of land for agricultural purposes. Explorers crossed the Blue Mountains to find rich grazing land and Bathurst was doing very well from sheep and cattle grazing before gold was discovered there in 1851. The gold rush brought prosperity to the town and also bushrangers who would rob the stagecoaches transporting the metal to Sydney. 

Here is the view from the house we borrowed for the weekend. It was on the road out of Bathurst towards Orange. 

Here are the iceberg roses lining the front verandah. Icebergs are not my favourite rose, but you can't beat them for a dramatic display of white blooms.

We had breakfast on Saturday at a cafe in an old hotel called the Royal Hotel. During the goldrush days many fine buildings were constructed in the town. I wish I'd taken a photo of the outside. But a photo of some of the timberwork inside will have to do. Back in those days beautiful Australian cedar was in plentiful supply. It has sadly all been logged out and is now very precious and rare.

Here is the beautiful park in town.

A rotunda frames the cast iron fountain underneath shady trees.

Geraniums used as bedding plants

We went to Morrisset Street where the residents were having a monster garage sale. I wanted to buy this house. I looked but I can't find any information about it on the web. One of my dreams is to wait until I win the lotto and have unlimited funds, and then buy an old house to do up. Of course all of the restoration will be historically accurate and when it is finished I will sit on the verandah and knit while waving at passers by. Sounds like a nice dream, right?

Lovely old plane trees have been butchered to fit round the power lines. I guess the trees were planted first?

In the afternoon we ventured out for a drive through the countryside. We went to historic Millthorpe. If you want to see some lovely photos, have a look at their website. The red marker on the map at the top of this post shows the location of Millthorpe.

Here's an old pub. The Grand Western Lodge. Note the stone gutter running down the street.

enormous silk tree.  

 Millthorpe is in a cold climate grape growing region. Here is a vineyard across from the railway station.

roses + picket fence = ♥

(L) A room at Millthorpe station. Was this the lost property department? 

This cute little building is the Millthorpe CWA. The Country Women's Association is an Australian Institution. Most country towns have a little building like this where women can meet for tea and companionship as well as participate in charitable activities.

Autumn crocuses growing in a front garden in the town. Swoon! Someone remind me to plant some of these later on in the year. 

Well thanks for reading my blog post. If you have any questions about Bathurst, please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them.


  1. That church is stunning! I love the door photo!! Such beautiful flowers too:)

  2. I always love these peeks into your lovely country...

  3. Thanks for the tour! Wish I could visit Australia some day!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us. I almost feel like I have visited Australia.