Armidale

Bench Series : December along the Waterfall Way…

Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 093_4000x3000

Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 091_4000x3000

Look what I found in the small village of Ebor, along the Waterfall Way,  an hours drive outside Armidale. 

 I am going to take you back in time 4 weeks when we were in Armidale. We only had 2 days to explore this very interesting town.

Day 1 we took a Heritage bus tour. (Check it out here)

Next day we drove along the Waterfall Way. One of Australia’s lesser known, iconic and beautiful drives. It passes through National Parks, the stunning gorges rise on either side of you and then there are the waterfalls. So many of them. But being summer not many will be flowing. So we went to Ebor Falls as it never dries up.

These are some of the things we saw.

Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 038_4000x3000

Paddocks of white daisies. When we passed them near Dubbo I thought they were weeds, but Ruth of “Ruth’s arc” informed me in the comments that they are actually Pyrethrum Daisies. She sent me this information…

“Botanical Resources Australia Pty Ltd (BRA) is the Australian grower of over 60 % of the world’s pyrethrum, the botanical insecticide, and runs the most high-tech pyrethrum industry in the world.”

They are very photogenic…

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Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 046_4000x3000 Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 049_3000x4000 Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 045_4000x3000 Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 040_3000x4000

I think these may be growing wild though…

I will link this to “flowersoverflowers” I’ve been missing in action on this site for a while.

This is the Guy Fawkes river cascading over the gorge. Creating the Ebor Waterfall, described as one of Australia’s most attractive falls.

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Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 062_3000x4000

A walking track winds around the top of the falls and we find another bench to sit and admire the lookout.

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art gal Evor w fall jcsx50 102_4000x3000

On the way out we pull up at an old pioneer cemetery.

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How difficult life must’ve been for these hardy pioneers when they settled in this area in the 1800’s.

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Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 082_3000x4000

After a welcome cup of coffee at the “Fusspot’s Café” it was time to head back to our mini house sit in Armidale.

But one last side trip on the way to see another waterfall.

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Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 102_4000x3000

Wollomombi Falls was almost totally dried up. Can you see the small pool and the trickle of water falling into it? But look at that massive gorge and imagine the force and power behind the falls in full flow during the winter wet season that has created that. It would be an awesome sight.

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Now I have caught up with my travels to this house sit and we only have another 2 weeks here.

Weather up date. After the sweltering heat of 39c+ on Sunday, yesterday the temperatures dropped to mid 20’s and it started to RAIN, and today it is still steadily falling, mana from heaven. I can see the grass and weeds growing as I look at them!!!

Well Jude week 51 of your very popular bench series and only one more week to go…

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Categories: Armidale, Australia, bench series, Ebor Falls, flowersoverflowers, National Parks, Pyrethurem, travel, Waterfall Way, waterfalls | Tags: , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Discovering Armidale…

 

I did not know what to expect of Armidale. A country town set almost 1000 metres above sea level. It is surrounded by gorges, waterfalls and Heritage listed National parks.

But I found out that it is not just a country town, it is a city and there is much more to discover when I went on the “Heritage bus tour”

What a treasure this tour was. Two and a half hours guided by Norm, our knowledgeable local volunteer, and all they asked was to give a donation. It is certainly the very best guided tour I have ever been on.

Norm loved his city and was proud to tell us that with only a population of approx 24,700 it was a bustling and thriving city with a university and 2 cathedrals. Yet it retained much of its heritage past. As he slowly drove  around he told stories of the characters past and present.

First stop was to visit the Aboriginal Cultural Centre.

Armidale heritage bus tour pc 059_4000x3000

Notice this cute bench Jude?

Inside was examples of Aboriginal art work and crafts. Next door was the New England Regional Art Gallery (NERAM) but being Monday it was closed, but Norm gave us all the background history and we made a note to visit the next day.

Armidale has 2 cathedrals and after the bus tour finished we went back for a closer look and, of course, to take photos.

St Peters is the Anglican Cathedral and the brick work is stunning.

Armidale heritage bus tour pc 190_4000x3000

This Cathedral is only open in the morning so we missed seeing the interior. But the Catholic Cathedral, St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Cathedral is open all day so we looked inside.

To continue with the bus tour the next stop was at the Railway Museum and Station. While we learnt the history of how the railway opened up the outback we were served a welcome cup of tea and biscuits (Remember this is all for free or a donation)

The final part of the tour took us around the extensive University grounds.  This property comprised the old homestead, ‘Booloominbah’, with several other buildings and 74 hectares of land. Since the original gift, other generous benefactors have presented properties to the university, whose Armidale site now comprises some 260 hectares.

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We drive past extensive building projects in the University grounds. A sign of a thriving community.

The final stop is at “Booloominbah” situated in the heart of the University grounds.

The building now houses the offices of the University’s senior management, including the Vice-Chancellor’s office.

Armidale lr-2

Booloominbah reflects the Gothic revivalist influences of the ‘Queen Anne‘ style that emerged in England and the United States in the last half of the 19th century. Recent refurbishment has restored much of the original decoration. The building has National Trust classification, as well as being listed on the Register of the National Estate. It has been described as being “perhaps Hunt’s greatest achievement in the field of domestic architecture.”[3] It also has a New South Wales heritage listing.  (Wikipedia)

This impressive home was built in 1888 for Frederick White and his family, who decided to establish his family of seven children in Armidale because the cooler, fresher, drier air of the Tablelands was good for their health.

Norm took us around the downstairs area telling us tales of what life was like in the early days of colonialism.

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Armidale heritage bus tour pc 123_3000x4000

Follow us in and wonder at the amount of house work, with no modern appliances, that it would take. Dusting, polishing, cleaning, fires to be lit in winter, windows to clean, the list is endless. But, no doubt, if you have the money to build a house this size you also have the money to maintain an army of servants…

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An interesting piece of information, passed on by Norm, these chairs in the dining room, were made by “De Groot”, The notorious character who rushed in to cut the ribbon at the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (A very interesting part of Australia’s history)

It was 1pm when Norm delivered us back to the Information Centre. After 3 hours I now appreciate this lovely city. Time for lunch then back wandering through the streets to admire and take photos of the beautiful heritage buildings.

Come for a walk around with me…

 Armidale heritage bus tour pc 163_3000x4000

Just an example of how friendly the locals are. This worker noticed Jack taking photos and started a conversation. He said he was on the council and asked if we would like to see inside the Town Hall. He had the keys as it was shut today being prepared for an evening function. Of course we said “yes please”.

Armidale lr-6

This is just a small sample of the photos I took. This city has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and I could easily spend more time here. But we did get another day to explore, so I will show you where we went when next I have time to do a post. (Farm life is very time demanding… )

I’m back with Restless Jo’s walking group again this week.

To be continued…

 

Categories: Armidale, Australia, Heritage bus tour, photos, travel | Tags: , , , | 35 Comments

How Airbnb turned into a house sit…

For a change I chose the inland route to Sydney on our way from the Gold Coast to the farm, house sit. Mainly because I had not been this way before.

Armidale was to be our first stop over, almost a 600 kilometre journey from the Gold Coast.

Have you heard of Airbnb? (If not check it out here.) I have used it a lot and love it. Well when I contacted Clare for a 2 night Airbnb stay in Armidale, she emailed back to say she would be away on the days we wanted accommodation. BUT she noticed we did house sitting, would we like to do a deal, stay 3 nights, pay for one and feed her chooks and water pot plants? Of course I said yes…

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It was in an ideal location. At the end of a quiet street, almost in the country, near the University and only a 5 minute drive to the CBD. If you look carefully you can see the few pot plants. It was rustic and basic but had comfy beds and every thing we needed.

I looked in the long grass under that big old apple tree.

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And found a worm farm tucked away.

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After feeding the 5 chooks and checking for eggs. It was time to explore Armidale…

To be continued…

Categories: Airbnb, Armidale, Australia, chickens, house sitting, photos, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 34 Comments

Bench Series : December…

Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 009_4000x3000

Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 012_4000x3000

Outside the Armidale art gallery we found this fun bench/installation/sculpture. What would you call it?

Of course Jack had to try it out…

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For the final month of Jude’s challenge we can choose any bench we like.

I will be telling you more about Armidale in future posts. (as time permits…)

Categories: Armidale, Australia, bench series, New South Wales, photos, travel, video | Tags: , , , , | 26 Comments

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