Turret on turret (‘Iandra Castle’)

 

'Mt Oriel' homestead, known locally as Iandra Castle, via Greenthorpe, New South Wales, Australia

When one tower just isn’t enough.

As a youngun visiting my ‘grandparents’ I was fascinated by ‘Iandra Castle’. Iandra sort of backed onto the family sheep property between Young and Grenfell (central New South Wales) in a huge acres kind of way. I was always hoping for that country road detour to visit other rellies and a drive-by look at ‘the castle’.

A few years back we got to wander around inside ‘the castle’ on an open day! Sadly we weren’t allowed up in the turret. Can you imagine how impressive the view is from up there?  

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Weekly Photo Challenge, ‘Cherry On Top’

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/cherry-on-top/

Photo taken with my old Canon Powershot A550

‘Mount Oriel’, commonly known as ‘Iandra Castle’, is the elaborate homestead of the Iandra property near the village of Greenethorpe, New South Wales, Australia. The first home was established from 1880 and completed in 1911 in its current form by Mr George Henry Greene MLC, an Englishman by birth connected to aristocracy. Greene bought 32,000 acres of the poor wooded country, clearing it to grow corn and wheat. He built Iandra up into a very successful enterprise and pioneered share-farming practices. He also built the village of Greenethorpe nearby, for his workers.

‘Iandra Castle’ is located on Iandra Rd, 11 kms from Greenethorpe village, NSW, Australia at 34°04′51″S 148°21′51″E.

It has open days on some long weekends throughout the year. See their website for details.

http://iandracastle.com.au/

Riverside giant (Photo Challenge: Angular)

Giant eucalypt at Jugiong Creek Reserve, New South Wales, Australia

Giant eucalypt at Jugiong Creek Reserve, New South Wales, Australia

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It was a cooler afternoon in late Spring, after so many hot days, so we hit the road!

We had a vague idea to run along the Murrumbidgee River from the village of Jugiong to wherever the end of daylight left us.

The village of Jugiong has been by-passed by the Hume Highway and is a riverside oasis of ancient eucalypts, a traditional veranda-ed pub and one of the best RV camping spots in the region.

It was a birthday and we wanted no fancy restaurants or silver service. The treat for the day was to sit, with a coffee and muffin for afternoon tea, by the banks of the majestic Murrumbidgee River.

We dreamed of another day when we would come back to fish under the pines and paddle the kayak in the gentle ripples – but today we had dirt roads to explore! We hitched the wagon and nosed across the bridge to the paddocks and river banks waiting on the other side.  ♦

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Weekly Photo Challenge, ‘Angular’

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/angular/

Photo taken 17 November 2014 with my old Canon Powershot A550

Jugiong, on the Hume Highway and on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, in southeast New South Wales, Australia

The Long Track Pantry, Riverside Dr, Jugiong  http://www.longtrackpantry.com.au/

‘Woo Back!’ World Record

WE DID IT AUSTRALIA!

Heavy horse ploughing for the World Record near Yass, New South Wales, Australia on 4 May 2014

On Sunday (4 May 2014) the World Record for Heavy Horses Ploughing was set at the “Woo Back!” Event on a property in Yass Valley, New South Wales, Australia.

Twenty-eight heavy horses, in pairs or singly, tilled the ground with antique ploughs. A crowd of over 5000 spectators braved the autumn chill to watch the record go down in history!

The feat has now been set in the Guinness Book of World Records for “The greatest number of horse drawn ploughmen/women to plough a paddock at the same time.”

A two year old heavy horse in training with a young handler.

They came from near and far across the country – from the city and the town, across the ranges and the paddocks – and that was just our family!

The giant horses lined up before the crest of the turned paddock, facing into the chill wind. Leather collars and harnesses with brasses and silver shone under heavy skies.

 

The crowd huddled by the marshal’s stand and stretched down the paddock, lining the fences.

Bagpipes echoed across the green hills. Then a young voice’s sweet tones called a hush over the crowd singing “Amazing Grace” and the Australian national anthem, “Advance Australia Fair”.

A school bell rang out to mark the start.

 

Heavy horses ploughing for the World Record set at Yass, NSW, Australia on 4 May 2014

Twenty-eight Clydesdales, Shires, Draught Horses, Cobs and other heavy breeds pulled at their horse collars and plodded over the rise to the edge of the paddock and then turned back on their own furrows.

 

Heavy horses ploughing for the World Record at Yass NSW Australia, on 4 May 2014

All manner of reconditioned ploughs, harrows, and scarifiers tasted the dirt again, some after lying idle for a generation. Some of the ploughs had even been used on the “Willow Vale” property by the father of the current owner.

Woo Back! 2014, Yass NSW Australia_15_cpyrgt

What  a truly magnificent sight! History in the making and living history.

A glorious tribute to the farming pioneers of this country and a fascinating showcase for the beautiful horses.

Congratulations to all four-legged and two-legged participants!!

More photos of the “Woo Back!” Event will follow, including antique farm machinery, carriages and vintage tractors.

The Woo Back! event was held at “Willow Vale”, Hardwicke Lane, Yass, NSW, Australia on 4 May 2014

"Willow Vale" property near Yass, New South Wales, Australia

“Willow Vale” property near Yass, New South Wales, Australia

For more information on WOO BACK! 2014 see the official website and Facebook page: 

www.wooback.com.au

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wooback-Yass-World-Record

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For the TV news coverage of the World Record go to:

Heavy horses set a new ploughing record in Yass.

ABC News (online), Mon 5 May 2014, 7:34am AEST

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-04/horsepower-on-display-at-yass/5429350

Big Horses – Big Hearts

ABC News (online), Mon 17 Mar 2014, 1:32pm AEDT

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-17/big-horses—big-hearts/5326006

From hotel to eternity (Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold)

The old Commercial Hotel, in Yass New South Wales, Australia

Poor old pub, on its last legs.

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This grand old watering hole sits abandoned in the main street of Yass (New South Wales, Australia). It dominates Comur Street and is one of the oldest and largest buildings in the centre of town.

The last drink was poured around 2005. The poor old Commercial Hotel has sat idle since, a wry smile across its tooth-gapped facade. The chatter and din of merrymakers just a memory echoing faintly across the floor boards.

In its heyday it was one of 27 inns in Yass or nearby. It was the coaching stop for Cobb and Co. coaches connecting Yass to the railway that terminated at Gunning at the time, half an hour away, and to places further bush.

Although the pub sold in 2010 it has remained abandoned, slowly falling apart bit by bit, helped by some wanton vandals. The beautiful wrought iron has been broken panel by panel. Precious stained glass windows and door panels have been kicked in.

Last year, though, some effort to band-aid the decay was made. The downstairs doors and windows facing the street were painted with bright murals to celebrate the ‘Turning Wave Festival‘.

But as I was taking these photos on Sunday a passerby told me that the Commercial was going to be pulled down soon and a three storey building with shops and apartments built instead. History gone.

But a new beginning awaits!

So raise your glass to the poor old pub and ‘be on yer way home now’.  

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Weekly Photo Challenge, ‘Threshold’

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/photo-challenge-threshold/

Photos taken 2 March 2014 with Fuji FinePix S2980

Commercial Hotel, established in the 1840s, cnr Comur and Lead Streets, Yass, New South Wales, Australia

For some photos of the interior of the pub see the real estate pages from May 2010.

 

Sydney Harbour Bridge aka (affectionately) ‘The Giant Coat Hanger’

Australians like to poke fun at things*, especially themselves. So it’s with mostly pride and a fair bit of self-deprecation that we nicknamed our wonderfully unique Harbour Bridge in Sydney, ‘The Giant Coat Hanger’!

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney, Australia

The Giant Coat Hanger

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I don’t know if kids still call it that? But my family did.

And although it was an absolute must for many school excursions and family holidays from ‘the Bush’, and everyone had the obligatory harbour shot with The Bridge front and centre, we still pulled it down a peg* and called it The Coat Hanger.

So I was amused at myself, a couple of weeks ago, when we were on a Sydney Harbour lunch cruise…

Apart from a couple of tables and us the boat was patronised by large groups of older tourists. Cameras on the swaying foredeck was the order of the day.

I resisted.

After all I’d seen The Harbour before, had even lived in Sydney where the harbour was my daily commute, and we had already done a hop-on hop-off harbour cruise a few years before where I wore out my shutter button. And, of course, there was lunch! Well, it wasn’t gourmet but that was part of what we’d come for.

So we were enjoying the harbour, the views and the beautiful day. We ate and drank and reminisced, watched the other boats, a ferry or two, and slipped in and around the coves and bays of blue water gawking at the amazing waterfront real estate.

But when it came to the final promenade up the main basin of Port Jackson, past ‘Pinchgut’ or Fort Denison, and approaching the Opera House and ‘The Giant Coat Hanger’ … I just couldn’t help myself!

Sydney Harbour by lunch cruise, Sydney, Australia

The grand icons of stunning Sydney Harbour

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The cruise would end at Darling Harbour so it meant we would go UNDER The Bridge! I’ve been on, over, around, and at the base of The Bridge for New Year’s Eve, but never UNDER it by water!!

So I scrambled last minute to the top deck, braced myself against the lurching railing, and waited for the money shot!

ZOOOMMMMPP! That was the sound of my camera closing back up again, due to empty batteries!!!

So I laughed at myself for succumbing to the innate tourist urge … and sat and enjoyed the rest of the view!  ♦

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But here are some of my past views of The Giant Coat Hanger.

I like to do things a little differently – being on ‘the road less travelled’ and all that – and as an Aussie I guess I don’t take The Bridge too seriously, so I usually look for oddball angles!

 


Aussie icons series

Photos taken with my old Canon Powershot A550, 2008-2014

* ‘to poke fun at’ – to make fun of in an affectionate, cheeky way.

We often do this with a serious looking face, then a delayed grin or a wink when the person takes you seriously. Some people, like my uncle, always teases with a straight face and I get caught thinking he’s serious just about every time! You think I’d have learnt by now!!

* ‘to pull something/someone down a peg’ – to treat something / someone with a dose of reality so they don’t become too full of vanity at their own greatness.

My new Aussie blog: ‘History Head in Walking Boots’

Ein Paar Schuhe (A Pair of Shoes) by Van Gogh - Wikipedia

Ein Paar Schuhe (A Pair of Shoes) by Van Gogh (1887) – Wikipedia

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I’ve been happily blogging on Daytripper Sippers about ‘living and wandering on the road less travelled in country Australia’. That’s in the here and now.

But some of my travels have followed in the footsteps of my ancestors. So I have created a new space for sharing those places.

History Head in Walking Boots

I love the stories of people and their lives: everyday people I have come across in history and the people I have found while climbing my family tree. History Head in Walking Boots will share those stories and show the old things I have been given – as well as the places my history hunting has taken me.

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History is a work in progress.

We live in history,

where we walk others have trodden before – and others will again.

The stories from the past and our present are stories for the future.

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I am also the story keeper of my family – and having recently lost my elderly father – it’s time to pass on what I have learned, for others.

Learn the stories and pass them on!

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Join me on my discovery trail at HISTORY HEAD IN WALKING BOOTS.

Once a week blog – I’m thinking HHinWB will have a once-a-month longer researched topic and the other weeks of the month photo posts or history vignettes and snippets.

I would love to hear your thoughts or suggestions for HHinWB as it develops. So drop me a line.

And feel free to fire away any questions. I have a wondering nature, so I love questions. That just gives me an excuse to go hunting again!

I hope you enjoy sharing my discoveries with me!

CC, a Daytripper Sipper and a History Head in Walking Boots

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Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Van_Gogh_-_Ein_Paar_Schuhe1.jpeg#file

A weekend of Aussie wonders

Last weekend was a most amazingly diverse kaleidoscope of a few of my very favourite things – from ancient maps and antique ships at two museums…to a light show festival…to the waters of Sydney Harbour…to coffee by a fountain and brunch by a lake!

Ok, they were not all off the beaten track – but sometimes you’ve got to play ‘tourist’ in your own backyard too!

Here is a smattering of the pics I took (although I didn’t take the new camera or tripod, being ‘on the hoof’ and à la backpack).

It was the most wondrous weekend and it looked something like this:

Friday night: Night session at the ‘Mapping Our World’ exhibition at the National Library of Australia in Canberra

Friday night was one of the special event openings of this exhibition. It was great to be able to wander through after hours.

Many of the maps have never been seen in Australia, some have never been out of their home country. They included:

* the maps made by Captain Cook, who charted the east coast of Australia, paving the way for the penal colony of New South Wales * Matthew Flinders’ instruments and charts * Medieval maps of the ‘known world’ and a few guesses at the unknown * Maps from the 9th to 11th centuries, including a reproduction of the work of Ptolemy from the 2nd century AD.

It was so engrossing, two hours flew by. I was awestruck to see artifacts that are so old and to gain insight into how people viewed the world then.

ENLIGHTEN Festival, Canberra

We then wandered outside in the Parliamentary Triangle to see the national buildings illuminated with intricate slides and patterns. There was a food fair, music and performances in the gardens and parks between the monumental buildings of Canberra. Just magical!

Saturday: Lake Burrinjuck picnic via Good Hope Rd, Yass NSW

Cows grazing on Burrinjuck lakebed, Good Hope Road via Yass, NSW, Australia

Just our little old picnic spot down the road!

After the late night we decided on a lazy picnic at one of our favourite spots. Cue meandering cows, a flock of pelicans soaring and landing on the dwindled lake, a sea eagle overhead, (the only faint hum of) wave jumpers and water skiers, all with a backdrop of an ancient rock wall and a purple, swelling storm front.

Sunday: Drive to Sydney via the Southern Highlands detour, to stay at Ultimo

A great Wotif.com discovery of a large double room with balcony, 2 blocks from the Powerhouse Museum and a nice easy walk past terraced houses and converted historic warehouses to Darling Harbour. All for only AUD $130 per night!

Monday: (Canberra long weekend)

Lunch cruise on Sydney Harbour, wander around Darling Harbour

Sydney Harbour on Fusion lunch cruise

Stunning Sydney Harbour

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With some time before our harbour cruise we wandered through the beautiful Chinese Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbour.

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour, Sydney

Then after the cruise we strolled around Darling Harbour some more, having coffee at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe by the brolga fountain, browsed the shops at Harbourside, and pottered around the antique ships moored at the National Maritime Museum.

We’ll be back to Darling Harbour some time as I want to explore inside the Onslow submarine and the replica of the ‘Endeavour’, the ship that Captain Cook sailed to Australia and the Pacific in 1770.

Oh and we bought the obligatory tacky souvenir magnet for the fridge!  ♦

The next few posts will feature these destinations with more photos.

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Photos taken with my old Canon Powershot A550, 8-10 March 2014