There is one place that I have always had a yen to visit. It’s a castle, up on the tablelands near Innisfail FNQ. Paronella Park has always represented for me the determination, the dedication to family and the efforts in dynastic building, which many of our early emigrants bought to Aus in the last 150 yrs or so. They bought with them their dreams for a better future and this should be celebrated.
We have been on the Gold Trail in NSW now for several weeks and it has been a wonderful experience. I have written about it in a number of my posts but today, as we contemplate leaving the gold trail I want to tell you about something about which we know very little, and acknowledge even less.
I love research, and when I go into an area to explore I love to delve into the history related to where I am. It is one of my passions, but with moving into the gold fields I found it hard to discover the older history of these places, that which related to Australia’s unwritten history. It was difficult to find out information about the Aboriginal tribes of the area’s we visited, as with others.
Acknowledging that people of Aboriginal heritage actively participated in colonial history and particularly in the gold discoveries of the mid 1800’s is a reality that is rarely recounted.
We have been camped on the Turon River, near Sofala NSW, which is an old gold town of the colonial era of early Australia. Settled amongst the she-oak trees it is wonderfully peaceful and you can’t help but think of the golden era, where men panned here for the wealth of the earth in their thousands and history was etched into the banks of these rivers.
The wallabies and roo’s pass us by each day and the birds move between the trees. The song of the bush is beautiful. There are wild blackberries here and wild tobacco, a remnant of the gold mining days. Plants that the diggers often nurtured to provide the sweet things in life that were difficult to live without. Wild goats roam the bush and goanna’s stalk quietly like a visitor from pre-history. Continue reading
It was as hot as blazes in SE Queensland last week and due to the wave of heat… we are talking 40C… we have upped camp and moved south into the back plateau country of Northern New South Wales. This is beautiful country, they call it the Northern Rivers country closer to the coast but where we are is the Clarence River Catchment, otherwise known as Gold Country.
The Great Dividing Range runs down the eastern seaboard of Aus. separating the coastline and the rolling plains beyond with the hinterland regions. Then westward it sweeps across the great western farming plains. The rivers that drain west from this dividing range had the adventurers and surveyors looking for an inland sea, which the Aboriginal people said was one of stone and sand. They should have believed them. Continue reading
The lure of gold has driven men (and women) to many depths and lengths over the centuries of history and I do admit to a woeful lack of knowledge when it comes to the gold history of anywhere else but Aus. A smattering of history from the gold fields of America is as good as it gets, along with the background knowledge that a lot of gold came from the Inca’s or South America’s. A lot of it plundered with the arrival of the Spanish and English seamen centuries ago and I would love to hear of some current living history from anyone out there.
However it is a personal thing to me when related to Australia. I once loved to pull out our little vial of gold-flakes and itty-nuggets and tell of the days when we panned from the creeks of the hinterlands of the Great Dividing Range with our four kids when they were young. That little vial is now gone, replaced by others with different stories born of our experiences. These all represent great times though, those times spent camping in the hinterland mountains with the wild dingo’s calling to the rising moon as they gathered their hunting pack and were heard later snooping around the tents at night looking for scraps and stray kids… yes I am serious. Days when we enjoyed showing our growing brood of little bruisers that there was more to life than ice-cream’s on a boardwalk by the ocean, or bums on seats at adventure parks. Life is rich with experiences and rewards if you cared to really look about you.
Now a-days hubby breaks out the gold detector when we are bush and waffles around having fun, digging up old bullet cases, scraps of metal and the odd gold piece, be it small change or nuggets, sometimes even jewellery. It is something we take for granted in Australia, this freedom to reap of the earths wealth be it gold or gems, it is a great way to spend a couple of weeks.