Twilight Moment

Waiting for sunset one night we were watching some ducks going for their nightly exercise before bed time. This photo was taken near Sydney in New south Wales.

Paddlesteamer Cruising: 12 River Pictures

Our cruise up the spectacular Nepean River in New South Wales,  Australia was full of mirror reflections, bird life and sandstone cliffs. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Historic Windsor: 6 Colonial Buildings

It all started with the Hawkesbury River.

Flowing to the west of  Sydney,  Australia,  this mighty river has huge floods.   Engulfing  the surrounding countryside the river’s gift is rich fertile farming  soil.

This floodplain became the market garden for colonial Sydney.   The then Governor of New South Wales,  Governor Macquarie,  established several towns here known as the Macquarie Towns.

Two of these were Windsor and Richmond.

Libby and I went to Windsor searching for colonial history and hit the jack-pot.   At lunch-time we wandered down the street looking for ‘foodie’ places.

‘There’s the oldest pub in Australia!’  announced  Libby.

What a find!

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Still standing after being established by Richard Fitzgerald as a purpose-built Inn in 1815 the Macquarie Arms was just like the old pubs I visited in London.

Complete with low doorways as people were shorter back then.

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How many feet have trodden over this worn entrance?

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I wonder if a few of them were bushrangers.

Sipping beer and looking around the original cedar-panelled rooms and winding staircase I wonder what schemes were hatched over a few schooners of cleansing ale.

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Apparently one wild colonial lad was born in Windsor.   Captain Thunderbolt made his entrance into the world here in 1835.  An expert horseman he stole thousands of pounds worth of prize racehorses and evaded capture for many years.

Did he return to his birthplace to bend an elbow?  We will never know.

However, we do know the high mark of the worst Hawkesbury River flood on record (1867).   A plaque beside the pub gives me pause when I see how far it is from the river today.

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More fascinating discoveries await in the Hawkesbury Regional Museum.

Boomerangs, throwing sticks and axe heads  give us some idea of the life of the Darkinjung, Darug, Eaora and Kuringgai  Aboriginal people who lived here for thousands of years.

Grim reminders of our convict past such as leg irons and balls and chains are quite eerie.

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Gangs of chained convicts worked on roads and buildings.   These sinister relics bring this back to life.

Leaving the convicts behind we walk along Thompson Square past Howes House built in 1827 for free settler,  John Howe,  who was Chief Constable of the town for some years.

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Beside this is the Doctors House which was the residence for a series of doctors until 1992.

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Across from the Macquarie Arms beautifully restored shops and business places still stand.

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A humble colonial cottage sits just outside the town centre.

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Loder House in the Windsor Mall was built in 1834 for George Loder, a free settler, who never lived in it as he died the year it was built.

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More beautiful photographs of Windsor can be found on Libby’s blog.

Finally,  Libby and I venture a little further from the CBD to visit St. Matthew’s Anglican church (1817).

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Designed by the ex-convict Sir Francis Greenway (transported for forgery) the church has stained glass windows and a beautiful blue panelled ceiling.

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Headstones of all kinds are found in the churchyard – from the solid and ornate to extremely humble metal plaques.

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Saddest of all are the unmarked graves.  Some souls disappear without a trace.

 

Historic Windsor breathes history.

The Hawkesbury River floodplain has provided food for people for thousands of years and countless stories remain to be uncovered from this area.

Captain Thunderbolt rides through my imagination and is that the distant clink of  leg irons I can hear?   And didgeridoos?

 

Thanks for reading my post.  Happy travels.

Maria.

 

 

 

Fog Light

Woke up one morning while I was visiting an outer suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, and there was a pea soup fog. A great photo opportunity. I hope you enjoy the results.

Oldest Australian Church

My first visit to this old church beside the Hawkesbury River in New South Wales, Australia was fascinating.

Awesome Nepean Gorge

The Nepean Gorge is at the base of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia. I visited there for the first time recently.

2 Suburbs Different Planets

Some of my neighbours here are kangaroos. This outer suburb of Sydney has trucks, cranes, lots of houses, great food and marsupial residents.