March 2015: Lanyon Homestead

Lanyon is an historic homestead and grazing property located on the southern outskirts of Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory. It’s a fascinating place both for its history as an early homestead and as a case study for the management of historical homesteads as museums. As with many homesteads that have been occupied for long periods of time, each new head of the household at Lanyon made decisions about how they kept their house. Furnishing changed, the functions of rooms changed, rooms were added or taken away. When curating such a homestead, what story do you want to tell? Do you take everything back to one decade? Do you keep it as you have found it? The curators have gone to excruciating lengths to acquire objects and furniture that would likely have been in such a homestead during the 1860s. Where historical records and people’s memories of the place have allowed, they have tried to recreate some rooms exactly as they were during set times. I found the outcome of the two strategies very interesting.One of the things I really delighted in was the interpretation in the sheds out by the cafe – accounts from some of the people who laboured on the homestead. You can read more about the fascinating history of the homestead and its conservation management plan from the ACT’s Museums and Galleries website.

March 2015: Tuggeranong Homestead

Weddings are a fantastic excuse for a weekend away, catch up with old friends and generally eat cake, be merry and celebrate. The cast for this particular trip were the ladies from last year’s June trip to the Victorian Goldfields. The next couple of posts will be sharing the photos from our various jaunts around the Australian Capital Territory. Katie of Katie Writes Stuff once again acted as group photographer and scribe and has provided an account here on her delightful blog.

Today’s post: A morning at Tuggeranong Homestead. And what a fine homestead it was. You can read more about it’s history and role in the region at the homestead’s website. Many thanks to the owner who gave us an impromptu tour even though the homestead was closed to the public that day. I can imagine people have had some very beautiful weddings there.

October 2014: Breakfast Pie in Gunning

There’s not much to the main drag of Gunning but it is cute.  Historic streetscape,  delicious pie (from a Goulburn pie maker) and a cemetery all before 10 am? Pure luxury.

October 2014: An afternoon in Yass

Cobblestone Cottage, Yass. Source: Wikipedia, Mattingbh

One fine afternoon after a long drive from Balranald with nothing but myself, the God awful Amarok and an even more God awful (but fun) Matthew Reilly audiobook for company, I found myself wandering the streets of Yass like some kind of reprobate. And like all reprobates of calibre, I found myself in the local historical society’s museum. People, we need to stop a moment and appreciate tiny little leather boots and hand drawn cardboard cut outs of Yass’s historical street scape with photos. And Hamilton Hume’s telescope. And fossils! I had a great chat with the historical society member at the desk about the value of a historical streetscape and the threat of urban sprawl from Canberra before continuing down the street, ducking in and out of op shops. I stopped to admire a beautiful old cottage down near the park along Yass River and found myself chatting to its devoted owners. That beautiful cottage turned out to be one of the oldest buildings still standing. Cobblestone Cottage was built as a store and Post Office and an extension hosed the first Commercial Bank in Yass. The owners had poured a small fortune into its upkeep and its facade gleamed like the glossy and full coat of a living creature that was well loved. On cottage dwellers’ recommendations I continued my explorations with a walk along the river. Eventually the sun began to set and I wandered back to the motel and fell into an exhausted sleep. Learn some more about Yass here.

Overland Corner

The Overland Corner is a nature reserve managed by the National Trust of South Australia and is situated on the Murray River at the Heron Bend Cliffs. The limestones that make up the cliffs are full of fossil oysters, lace corals, sea urchins, lamp shells, snails, cones and cowries. The layering of the cliffs indicate the presence of a warm shallow sea some 15 million years ago and then the retreat of that sea around 5 million years ago, leaving a river and creek system in its place. There are three short self guided walks which take you to quarries where you can see the changing geology and fossils, with bonus Aboriginal sites like canoe trees and an ochre quarry and 19th century hotels, police stations and cemeteries.

Source: The Geological History of Overland Corner, National Trust of South Australia.

June 2014: Castlemaine

Antiques and canon and coffee and alarming mower emissions in Castlemaine. Learn more about Castlemaine, named after a Viscount Castlemaine, from our ever favourite universal bastion of popular knowledge Wikipedia.

June 2014: Maldon Railway

A couple of times a year I get to tag along on adventures with an amazing group of creative women. Over the last decade we have written enormous collaborative plays and stories, gone on ridiculous roadtrips, abused road signs and gotten high on cheese, sugar and alcohol. Some have knitted bunny ears for their long suffering puppy, crochetted owls, researched the fun and the gruesome side of medical history, learnt, taught and played a range of musical instruments in an assortment of bands and discovered a passion for Korean pop and all things Korean.  Two years ago we sailed around some Pacific islands on some kind of floating amalgamation of a RSL and Westfield,  in January we relaxed in the town of Merimbula.  Over the next couple of posts I’m going to share some of our June adventures in the Victorian goldfields. Most of the photos are thanks to the very talented Katie. You can read about her craftiness on her blog Wool Geek, her retro biking adventures at the Bike and the Blog. More of her photos, cats and exploration of historical and abandoned places can be found on her flickrstream.

Today’s photo collection comes from the historic Maldon railway station. We may have gotten a bit silly. For the most serious, learn more about the railroads of Victoria.