The Benefits of Local Knowledge…

I enjoy house sitting, Airbnb accommodation and Couch surfing for many reasons, one of the main reasons is the information a local person can give you. 

A prime example of this was when I was deciding which way to come home after our recent farm sit.

“Have you heard of Putty Road?” Asked Kim.

The answer was “No”. So I Googled it.

The 174-kilometre (108 mi) Putty Road is very historic, closely following the Bulga Road (named after the Bulga Creek), first explored by John Howe, Chief Constable of Windsor, being the first road to link Sydney to the Hunter Valley. It was opened in 1823 and was initially a popular cattle-rustling route.[2]

Today, the road is fully sealed and from north to south, after leaving Singleton, passes through the settlements of Bulga, Colo, Milbrodale, and Putty. The Putty Road is bounded to the west and east by protectednational parks – the Wollemi National Park to the west, and the Yengo National Park to the east – both part of the UNESCOWorld Heritage–listed Greater Blue Mountains Area. The road is narrow and winding in places and very scenic. Wikipedia information 

Now that sounds like my kind of journey.

The start of the Putty Road section was Windsor and it was market day. Windsor is the third-oldest place of British settlement on the Australian continent. Settlement at the location was first established about 1791.

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It was a grey and drizzly sort of day and not many people around.

But this enterprising barber had customers waiting.

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We had an interesting chat with this bloke as he sat making clay models using clay from his own property. Notice the 2 mailboxes next to him, the old and the new.

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It is starting to rain again so time for a coffee before tackling Putty Road.

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Putty Road rolls along with the bush of 2 National Parks on each side. Narrow and winding it follows the contours of the Blue Mountains. This is a motorbike enthusiasts dream road as it twists and turns sometimes almost turning full circle back on its self. At regular intervals hoardings warn motorcyclist of the danger of speed and inattention. I feel like a rally driver, but lament the fact that there is nowhere to pull over for photos. The scenery is stunning, occasional glimpses of a stream following the road then disappearing into the thick Aussie bush.

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As we get to the other end of the road the bush gives way to fertile farm land. It was known as the “bread basket”, and in the early days of settlement it ensured the survival of the starving colony.

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A steady rain is now falling, not really photography weather. The storm clouds are gathering.

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As we neared the end of the Putty Road this poignant memorial tells of the dangers for truck drivers of this very tortuous road.

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A final stop is made in the small township of Kurri Kurri

This was a major coal mining area, but now only one mine is still operating. The town’s economy today is largely based on the surrounding wineries now that the aluminium smelter closed in 2012.

The monument below was erected about the neighbouring town of Cessnock. I’m not sure why they put it in Kurri Kurri.

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This pub is testament to the hey days of the mining, I can imagine all the miners making the pub their first port of call after knocking off work. Back then it was 6pm closing (known as “6 o’clock swill) and the blokes would swill down as much beer as they could before the call of “last drinks” rang out. Then stagger home with perhaps another dozen under their arm.

Today is Sunday and the town is deserted.

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What really caught my eye and made me stop here was this giant kookaburra…

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Nearing the end of our drive and the rain is now torrential and we learn later that the Putty Road had been closed  just after we got through, due to slips and dangerous conditions.

I found this old 4 minute video on You Tube. A small part of history in the making…

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Categories: Australia, Kurri Kurri, New South Wales, photos, Putty Road, travel, Windsor | Tags: , , , , | 39 Comments

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39 thoughts on “The Benefits of Local Knowledge…

  1. Kurri Kurri goes on my list – on a Sunday for a detailed photo-shoot of that splendid pub. The Putty Road is familiar to me from way back – we did a lot of motor cycling round the back blocks at the weekend in distant youth: even looked for land around Wisemans Ferry. Thank goodness we didn’t find it!

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    • Kurri Kurri is also known for its murals Meg, but as it started to rain we didn’t search them out this time. Wow motor cycling back then. Was it a dirt road? I have memories of a boyfriend with a motor bike back in the dim mists of time…

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  2. Interesting place and history. I love the giant kookaburra.

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  3. I remember hearing about the Putty road and all the truck accidents (many many fatalities) back in the 70’s before they sealed it. I don’t think I’ve driven it though, we came down through Wiseman’s Ferry from the Hunter Valley last time I went through there (gosh 2008 a long time ago!). PS: had a chuckle about the dishwasher

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    • I surprised myself at how quickly I adjusted to using that dishwasher. Back to normal again now though, my dishwasher is called Jack…

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  4. That kookaburra sculpture is amazing. The Cake Gallery sounds like hubby’s kind of place. 🙂 Your description of ‘6-o-clock swill’ made me laugh out load. I can just imagine it. What a very sad memorial that is. Thanks for the fascinating visit, Pauline. xx

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  5. Beautiful Pauline.. and that kookaburra was a Giant 🙂 I enjoyed my journey with you, and the story behind Putty Road.. Have a great rest if the week..

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  6. A girl after my own heart, I love to find a different route home and a windy road just calls out to me (not so the OH as his vertigo kicks in). Love the pub architecture – all that elaborate coloured Victorian (?) brickwork and the wrought-iron balconies and what a magnificent kookaburra. Is it made from wood? Looks very realistic. But most of all I like the way you snuck in a couple of post-boxes just for me 😀 😀

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  7. Pauline, how lucky you got through, experiencing the road before they shut it….but also good that you didn’t experience problems…..looks like it was more than a bit wet that day!

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  8. History, arts and great scenery, what’s not to love!

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  9. I’m new to your blog and I enjoyed reading and looking at photos of Windsor and the Putty road. The old pub looks quite grand. We used to live in Sydney (many years ago) and I remember the Putty road was always mentioned. Nice photos despite the weather..

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    • G’day pleased you called in to my blog and left a comment. Did you ever go along the Putty Road? Where do you live now?

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    • Just been visiting your place Gerrie. I see you live in Canberra. I house sat there in 2014 and fell in love with it. Do you not have a place to comment on your about page? I would like to put a like or a comment…

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  10. What an interesting post, Pauline. Shame about the weather but those storm clouds added an extra sense of drama to the photos. I enjoyed the clip too. Making the road from “hither to thither”struck me. I guess the hush hush business was because of the war.

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    • Amazing what can be found on You Tube. The reporting took me back to when they had news reels on at the movies + a cartoon as well as the main movie.

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  11. I enjoyed going over this trip with you.
    You picked out the best bits to prod my memory.
    Not only of that day, when you described the 6 o’clock swill.
    I remember those day I actually was got involved in them.
    My work mates and I would all push in at once and whoever got served first.
    Would let the others know. One evening the three of us got served at the same time.
    Another time I was pushing in and a bloke got nasty with me.
    My friend was built like a brick chicken coop.
    He shouted out you got a problem Jack and that bloke backed off real quick.
    Australians have the wrong attitude to drinking.
    To look grownup the young think they need to get drunk.
    I noticed boys drinking in Swaziland wanting to look like adults by staying sober..

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  12. Beautiful and fascinating. You live life well Pauline~

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  13. Beautiful and fascinating Pauline. You live life well~

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