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


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.  ♦


Weekly 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/

River gum nest (Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes)

Here’s my first ever Weekly Photo Challenge, just had to do this one…

We’ve been ‘champing at the bit’ to go for a paddle on the Murrumbidgee River at Jugiong (New South Wales, Australia). Last weekend was our chance.

There’s a great little sandy beach under a towering gum at the end of Dixon Lane.

River gum, Murrumbidgee River, Jugiong, New South Wales, Australia

River gum, a ‘widow maker’


At this spot the river has a handy low-level shore for getting into the kayak.

At its deepest the river was only knee deep, with a sandy bottom, so very easy for us L-plate kayakers. (It’s also a great swimming spot for kids and pets at the moment.)

There are a couple of picnic tables back up the bank near the grass car park. But many noisy possums live in the she-oaks, if you’re thinking about camping!

But a warning: the gum tree above the little beach is a ‘widow maker’ so don’t sit under it in case it drops a deadly branch. In the last storm two sizable branches ended up in the water.

The resident cockatoo was happy, though, as it made a new nest hole for her. She very noisily guards this lovely spot on the river!

River gum, Murrumbidgee River, Jugiong, New South Wales, Australia

Any nest in a storm


River gum (detail), fallen into Murrumbidgee River, Jugiong, New South Wales, Australia

Broke on the water…


And for the three-photo story as a gallery:


Weekly Photo Challenge, ‘Threes’


Photos taken 18 November 2012 (no. 1) and 23 February 2014 (no’s 2 & 3)

with my old Canon PowerShot A550.

Jugiong, New South Wales, Australia

Murrumbidgee River picnic spot, Dixon Lane, off Riverside Drive (Old Hume Highway), Jugiong, New South Wales, Australia

– Turn south off the Hume Highway at Jugiong onto Riverside Drive (Old Hume Highway). In the village, turn left at Dixon Lane, a fenced track that leads to the river. 

Newspaper article on the bushranger days at Jugiong: ‘Jugiong: Historic town on the Hume Highway’, The Age (on-line newspaper), 8 February 2004, http://www.theage.com.au/news/new-south-wales/jugiong/2005/02/17/1108500196919.html


Holden (‘Aussie icons’ series)

Bailey's Garage, Yass Street, Gunning, New South Wales, AustraliaGrowing up, there were two types of people. Those that loved Ford and those that loved Holden. And ne’er the twain shall meet!

It was a matter of personal and family pride, like a clan war, who was the winner at the Mount Panorama car race held every October long weekend, at Bathurst (New South Wales).

Bailey's Garage, Yass Street, Gunning, New South Wales, Australia

Holden Wall of Fame, Gunning, New South Wales


So here’s my tribute to a great Aussie icon, The Holden, of which everyone has a fond tale to tell, or two …

I remember sliding across the bench seats going around the corners. Holding on to the ‘Jesus strap’. Seatbelts, what seatbelts!

A column-shift, of course! Big steering wheel with finger grooves.

AM Radio… if you were lucky!

Everyone squashed into the back seat to go to The Lake to swim. 

Windows rolled down for the breeze, if you got the door you controlled the ‘free air’.

The solid-sounding, heavy thud of the door. The boot that always had one smelly sports shoe and a football, no matter whose car it was.

Duco colours that you could find in a pencil set, no metallic this, pearl that. Chrome wherever possible and it always gleamed!

Bailey's Garage, Yass Street, Gunning, New South Wales, Australia

A Holden haven

(For a great photo of a line-up of old Holdens out the front of Bailey’s Garage, Gunning, see also  http://oldgmh.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/img_3249.jpg?w=700&h=

FE-HR Holden Owners Club ACT, Gunning Garage and Picnic run, post 2 Aug 2012)


There was a well-known advertising jingle for Holden in the mid 1970s. (It was apparently based on the Chevrolet jingle, by General Motors.) It went like this:


We love football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars. (Repeat over and over)

There they go together underneath the Southern stars,

Football and meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars.

And just about every kid I knew did sing it … over and over!  ♦


Aussie icons series 

– To mark Australia Day, on January 26, my posts this week feature good old Aussie icons.

Photos taken 11 December 2013 – coincidentally, the day before General Motors announced that Holden, the golden light of the Australian automotive identity, will be closing its car plants in Victoria and South Australia by 2017. A sad day! See the news report at http://www.news.com.au: ‘Holden to end car manufacturing in Australia and import cars’, December 12, 2013.

Gunning, New South Wales, Australia

Bailey’s Garage, Yass St, Gunning, New South Wales, Australia, http://www.baileysgaragegunning.com.au/

Established 1/8/1945  – [http://www.fastlane.com.au/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=29078]

‘Opposite the Court House [in Gunning] is Bailey’s Garage, which originated with Frank Bailey during the First World War…  Numerous electrical items were also sold such as radiolas, refrigerators, hecla household appliances as well as Speedwell bicycles. The garage was purchased by Vern Southwell.’  [http://strlhistorymatters.blogspot.com.au/2009/06/baileys-garage-gunning.html]

‘Baileys Garage Pty Ltd (company name registered 24 April 1950) is a long established Holden dealership and mechanical repair business that has also operated school buses since the 1950s. It has been owned by the [Southwell] family since at least the early-1980s and is currently managed by Craig [Southwell].’  [http://fleetlists.busaustralia.com/nsw.php?info=BAI]

Shearers: Blue singlets and boots

'Westbourne', Berremangra Rd via Bookham, New South Wales, Australia

‘Westbourne’ shearers’ quarters


On a back road from Yass to Harden (New South Wales, Australia), heading into a rolling green valley, we drove on tar covered with cow pats.

A rambling old homestead overlooks a dam, a Soldier Settlement property of many decades and many acres.

Down the road the shearers’ quarters waits silently in the sinking gold of the afternoon. Many doors lead to many rooms. Nearby a meat hanging room is empty and well-scrubbed.

The well-worn tar road binds these shearers’ quarters to their purpose, the wool shed.

I wonder how many boots have climbed the stoop, weary from a long hot day bent over wool? How many heads have rested on a ticking mattress, too weary to undress before sleep?

And how many bristled chins have then risen with first light to a plate of eggs and bread? To stride to ‘the boards’ for another day bent over the shears in a blue singlet?

The shearers’ rooms are quiet now – dust motes dancing in the light through the windows – waiting for the next season.  ♦


Aussie icons, ‘One Shot Wonders’ series

– To mark Australia Day on January 26, my ‘One Shot Wonders’ this week will feature good old Aussie icons.

Photo taken 17 November 2013, with Canon PowerShot A550

‘Westbourne’ shearers’ quarters, Berremangra Rd, between Jugiong and Bookham, New South Wales, Australia


Sheep are an important part of Australia’s history. They were brought to Australia with the First Fleet of convicts and soldiers on 26 January 1788.

Yass Valley and nearby Harden Shire of New South Wales are among the important sheep raising areas of Australia, for meat and fine wool production.

Aqua vitae (‘One Shot Wonders’)

Water pump, Pye Cottage, Yass Street, Gunning, New South Wales, Australia

The vital drop

Instead of dreaming of a White Christmas, we’re all dreaming of rain.

It has been so hot this summer in our corner of Australia. And not only roaring hot, but endless days of it in a row.

A jump in the river calls like a siren.

I remember longingly the days of no water restrictions when the lawn was green and soft (shameful to think now!). And a sprinkler showered the middle of the yard for the squealing kiddies to run across or dare to sit on – with that fizz sound and a sudden face full of the water jet.

And there were those ice blocks in long plastic tubes, rationed out from the freezer, that left you with a red or green tongue.

Or a trek on hot tar around to the public pool with many hours of duck diving and ‘chasings’ – and more squealing – to walk home again only to become just as hot as you were before, although your fingers were wrinkly and blonde hair was green.

So we’re dreaming of a cool downpour. Or even a shower to settle the dust would do.


As my fervent rain dance, I will post pictures with a water theme this week – of the local rivers, lakes and other places. So bang the drum and sing for rain!  ♦


‘Aqua vitae’ – water of life. ‘One Shot Wonders’ series. 

Water pump at Pye Cottage, Yass Street, Gunning, New South Wales, Australia

Photo taken 11 December 2013, with Fuji FinePix S2980


Gunning, New South Wales, Australia – off the Hume Highway, the main road between Sydney and Melbourne

Map of Gunning

260 km (162 miles) from Sydney

75 km (47 miles) from Canberra [Wikipedia]

37.5 km (29 mins) from Yass [Google Maps]


Paddock Perfect: the pastoral way, not the Highway

Bookham – Illalong Rd South – Bowning (New South Wales, Australia)

On a beautiful, gloriously golden, sunny afternoon on the June long weekend we opened the sun roof on ‘the buggy’ and rumbled out for a drive and a cuppa.

Illalong Rd near Bookham, New South Wales

Illalong Rd near Bookham, NSW

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Our TOP 10 ‘Hidden Treasure’ day trips (Part 2)

Canberra region

We’re still on the lounge room floor, pouring over our old beloved map, looking for our best 10 ‘hidden’ day trips. (Though this is seriously hampered by the cat sitting on top of Goulburn… and ok, let’s face it, most of south-eastern New South Wales.)

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