Even though the day was lovely and the road very satisfying, we didn’t travel too far so thought I would take this opportunity to share some pics of the country towns we visited.
Both Canowindra and Gulgong (where we are this evening) were settled and developed based on the discovery of gold in the 1800s. I’ve written about Hill End before here but these towns managed to avoid Hill End’s ghost town status. What is a little odd about them, to me, is the presence of crowded main streets.
Multi-storey stone buildings with grand (if a little fading) facades, a real contrast to the single storey houses on large plots in the rest of the town.
Many of the buildings are also dated to help the historian.
These towns often prospered due to the arrival of the railways (often as a result of lobbying by locals) and then suffered when the railway closed. In Canowindra the railway arrived in 1910 and then closed in 1974. More information can be found here. Now all that remains are the tracks and old buildings surprisingly well kept as a fine monument to pass glory times.
The other thing that might keep these places alive are attractions they maintain for tourists. Canowindra has the Age of Fishes Museum, unfortunately only open between 10 and 4 (when you motorbike, you arrive later afternoon and leave first thing in the morning).
Gulgong has three museums (!), the Pioneer Museum (open 9-5! Fabulous!) is amazing. Stuffed with everything from recent to pioneer times, it seems that every person clearing out their house donated this museum something but that’s ok! From 1980s video recorders, to old carriages,
to world war artefacts, to actual colonial cottages, to schools photos from the early 1900s, to old farm equipment, to cameras from the last 100 years
to a collection of dolls clothes in various outfits made by a local woman,
I reckon this is more than a pioneer museum, it’s more a catalogue of the people of the area.
So, all I can say is, I love Australian country towns, they are a melting pot of history and creativity. I hope you enjoyed this post, we’re not done yet, tomorrow is another day of riding 😁🏍.