Towns I’ve stayed in 6 — Wellington NSW

locality map It’s been a while since I was there, but being a relative of two local families — the Wests and Pickfords — I stayed in Wellington on quite a number of occasions. It was there that I first saw Aboriginal people in any numbers too. It’s quite an old town, overshadowed now by the nearby city of Dubbo.

The second oldest town west of the Blue Mountains, it was first settled in 1823 and has an array of historic buildings and homes. It was the site of the first hotel west of the mountains and that establishment, licensed in 1842, is still operating today. Believe it or not, opposite that hotel is the site of the last known duel fought in Australia in 1854.

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Towns I’ve stayed in 5 — Gilgandra

I was an honorary member of the Gilgandra RSL for a few days. Why? I was, along with my much-esteemed old friend and colleague R D Walshe, a visiting speaker at an in-service series at Gilgandra High School in the mid to late 70s dealing with “new” approaches to HSC English. I also took the opportunity to visit the parents of a young woman with whom I had been briefly associated in Wollongong who hailed from Gilgandra. They had a typical property – sheep and wheat — out of town. It was a good couple of days.

Like so many country towns, Gil has had its problems so far this century:

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Towns I’ve stayed in 3 — Hill End NSW

Now here is one very interesting town, if not the only one of its kind in Australia: an old Gold Rush centre, “a living village featuring intact goldrush streetscapes and buildings dating back to the 1860s. Preserved much as it was in its heyday, it’s the perfect place to relive the early goldmining days of 19th century New South Wales. Hill End’s landscape also played a significant role in Australian art, inspiring artists such as Russell Drysdale, John Olsen, Donald Friend and Brett Whitely.” As the National Parks site says!

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Towns I’ve stayed in 2 — Dorrigo

I don’t get around much these days, but in the past I have seen a fair bit of the state, though I suspect Thomas and The Rabbit, just to name two who read this regularly or occasionally, have already been further west… Not to mention even further in Thomas’s case. Dorrigo is on the eastern end of the New England plateau. As you’ll see from that site, there are quite a few tourist attractions nowadays. Not so when I was there in about 1965!

I trained to Urunga and then took THE BUS up this road, which seems much the same as in this pic, which is banned for re-use on other sites, but do look. Quite a hairy road back then, and the bus driver told me about a truckload of potatoes that had gone over the edge not long before.

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