Thursday, May 15, 2008

Kingston S.E, South Australia.

Kingston S.E is a lovely seaside town located 297 km south east of Adelaide. It is known as a substantial port which is famous for its lobsters. It also happens to be the home of the Big Lobster, one of those wonderfully quirky 'bigs' which Australians seem to love to build.

Before the arrival of Europeans this whole area was settled by the Ngarranjeri Aborigines who lived along the Coorong and extended across the Murray River to the present day site of Goolwa.

The first European to make contact with this stretch of coastline (except for the itinerant sealers who drifted along the coast from earliest times) was the French explorer Nicolas Baudin (pictured above) who discovered Lacepede Bay in 1802.
The district was the subject of a much publicised tragedy in 1840 when the Maria was wrecked off the coast. The Maria left Adelaide bound for Hobart on 7 June, 1840. About 28 June it was wrecked off the coast near Lacepede Bay but the crew and passengers managed to get to shore. It appears that the sailors began trying to take advantage of the local Aboriginal women. As a form of reprisal 25 of the 26 survivors were killed. One young girl survived and was looked after by the Ngarranjeri people until eventually handed over to Europeans.

The town of Kingston (it only became Kingston South East to distinguish it from Kingston-on-Murray) was established Archibald and James Cooke took up land near Maria Creek in 1856. The town was named after the government surveyor, George Strickland Kingston, (pictured below) by the Governor of South Australia, Governor McDonnell, in 1858.

The Cooke brothers saw the potential of the area and duly sublet some of their land and built the first jetty. They were largely responsible for the wool stores which were built in the town. It was formally proclaimed a port in 1866 and it was in that year that the town got both a police station and a post office.
Today Kingston South East is a charming coastal town which is an ideal holiday destination for people seeking somewhere which is quiet and peaceful.
The Cape Jaffa lighthouse(pictured above) was built in 1868-1872 on Margaret Brock Reef, 8 km from shore and 19 km south from here and rebuilt on this site 1975-76. It is open 2.00 p.m. - 4.30 p.m. on holidays. It is the first lighthouse on the Australian coast to be dismantled and brought to the mainland.

Below, a glorious image of the sunset from where we stayed at Kingston S.E. Quite amazing to see the sun go down into the water! It is such a lovely place,we shall return.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Umpherston Sinkhole, Mt Gambier..South Australia

James Umpherston involved was one of two men who was involved in establishing the South Australian Agricultural and Horticultural Society. He had arrived from Scotland in 1839 and became a successful farmer. In 1869 he purchased 250 acres at Beswicks Farm, near Mt Gambier. It included the cave, which bears the Umpherston name.
Umpherston Cave, just east of the city on the Princes Highway, is named after James Umpherston, who arrived in 1860, and was a foundation member of the Show Society and lived on a property nearby. An interesting display on the steps leading into the cave explains its colourful history, and a Mack logging truck and an old bull-dozer are among logging displays in the beautiful gardens surrounding it.
When James Umpherston first purchased the caves, it was described as an eyesore. He turned it into a tourist attraction, with ferns, shrubs and trees. A broad footpath was cut from the highest point to the bottom of the cave and a wooden staircase erected where previously there had been a dangerous descent. A 1/3rd of the bottom of the cave was covered with water and a boat was let visitors and friends view the grandeur of the cave. On a small island in the lake, at the bottom of the cave, a Robinson Crusoe type hut was erected to create a fairyland scene.
Wooden steps are now hidden behind cascading vines take you down into the centre of the sinkhole and its picturesque garden full of hydrangeas.
Today it is one of Mount Gambier's most popular tourist attractions. It is free to look around but to experience the real charm of this sunken treasure you will have to wait until night falls. At this time about 40 brush tail possums venture out to feed. Tourists are able to go down and feed them any night of the week.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Emu Bottom Homestead.

It was about 15 years ago now that my then fiance' and I attended a lovely wedding at a place called "Emu Bottom Homestead". We travelled about 40 kilometres out of Melbourne into a lovely country setting and found the homestead quite easily with use of a map and the markers along the way on the major roads.

The story of Emu Bottom Homestead begins on August 30 1835, when the schooner "Enterprise" sailed up Port Phillip Bay. On board was the first party of settlers who built the huts of the banks of the Yarra from which the City of Melbourne then grew. Among that group was George Evans, who after exploring the area, chose to settle 40kms from the city, in a picturesque valley.

Emu Bottom Homestead.

It was here, in 1836, that he built the handsome stone building now known as Emu Bottom Homestead. George Evans named his homestead 'Emu Bottom' because he had settled in the low lying ground of the valley well frequented by large flocks of emus. He was a bachelor of 51 years when he set about building his homestead of sandstone. This was gathered from large rocky outcrops he had discovered in the valley. The timber was also cut from the surrounding countryside.

At this time there were five thousand sheep and well as other live stock which grazed on the large parcel of land on which George Evans had claimed as his 'run'. Evans also became a successful breeder of draught horses. It was a tough life for the early settlers, but George Evans' early efforts were rewarded and life flowed on successfully at Emu Bottom.

Emu Bottom Homestead

In 1843, when he was fifty eight, he married a young girl of eighteen called Anne Holden and in the ensuing years six children were born. Towards the end of the fifties, Evans purchased "The Royal Oak" in Queen Street, Melbourne. He became licensee of the hotel from 1861 -1865 and after that time he lived next door until his death in 1876.

Emu Bottom Homestead.. Sunbury. Victoria. Australia

Nowadays, Emu Bottom Homestead hosts many a get together for families, friends and people in the local community. Not only for picnics, but for weddings, birthdays and even fundraiser events for charities. The homestead is heritage listed as is the Woolshed which is in the outer yard of the property and used to host many a get together.

The Homestead was the setting for the movie "Cash and Company" (1975) which was set in the Gold Rush era of the 1850's. It was a story about a Bushranger named Martin Cash which is a whole other history lesson yet again!

If you click on THIS LINK you can scroll through and see the events up and coming, and also get to see some quality photos of the place. The gardens are just divine.

It truly is a place worth visiting if you ever want to go for a day trip out of Melbourne. A memorable one at that.
*Images courtesy of Click on images to enlarge them.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

First Post of 2008...Little River

Little River Goods Shed and Railway Station

Little River is a rural township 44 km. west-south-west of Melbourne, on the train route to Geelong.
The Little River (shorter than the Werribee River to its east and the Moorabool River to its west), has headwaters in the Brisbane Ranges. It was also known as the Cocoroc Rivulet, Cocoroc being a locality near the area later occupied by Metropolitan Farm.

The road from Melbourne to Geelong crossed the Little River and the Travellers Rest Inn was opened there in about 1840. In 1852 a township named Rothwell was surveyed in the vicinity of the Inn, on the west side of the Little River. However, when the railway to Geelong was built the line crossed Little River about one kilometre north of Rothwell, and the railway station and goods shed (1857) were built on the other side of the river. A township developed near the station and the Rothwell survey fell by the wayside. (The railway station and goods shed, and the Rothwell Bridge built for the old Princes Highway in 1866, are on the Register of the National Estate).

An Independent Denominational school and St. Michaels Catholic school were opened in 1856 and 1858 respectively. By 1865 the township had three hotels and a mechanics institute. The surrounding land was good for grazing, with some dairying carried out. It had been one of the Port Phillip Association's pastoral runs (the first occupier being James Simpson), and later a large part of the district was included in the Chirnside estate centred on Werribee. Small farmers had the benefit of an eight-thousand hectare common for grazing, and there were sufficient settlers for solid bluestone Anglican, Presbyterian and Independent churches to be built.
I have been to a few weddings and a Christening at these little churches an they were just so lovely and personal to attend. I have also been to a few parties in the old Mechanics Institute Hall..wonderful relaxed times. The sound of dancing feet on floor boards is always great!

Little River had remained virtually unchanged for several decades, known principally as an agricultural district on the way between Melbourne and Geelong, and as a resort for sportsmen. The substitution of the Princes Freeway for the Geelong Road took passing traffic further south of the village.

Little River has a few shops, a post office, a service station, three reserves, the mechanics institute, the primary school and its churches. A larger reserve exists where Rothwell was surveyed, and the Rothwell cemetery is further south.

Some great times have been had at The Little River Pub, and lovely meals served too. It may be an out of the way place, but you have to book to go eat there. If you are interested in Pubs Down a side note, HERE is a great site to go to.

For interest sake, The Little River Landcare Group is aslo a great read.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Transfer of History Lessons.... Australian/Victorian History.

Ok, I have catalogued the lessons and there are 33 of them in total. How to get them across to here was my dilemma. I think it might be better if they stay where they are in I Don't Do Mornings!!! It is where they began and so, I will begin new lessons come the First Friday of February 2008. Until then, the side bar can be used as reference for the previous lessons I think. On with doing that now :)

Friday, January 4, 2008

A second blog for my previous History Posts..

I had an idea to seperate my previous History Posts from my original blog so I know what subjects I have covered and then can foreplan what ones I want to cover. So, now on with the task of moving everything over to here from I Don't Do Mornings :)