Wandering around the golf course on a quiet Sunday afternoon, looking for the kangaroos that spend their daytime snacking on the lush green grass to photograph. In the Spring the mothers bring their joeys with them and spend a lovely afternoon in the warming sunlight and I spotted this mother giving her joey a kiss. What a memorable moment.
Construction on the Prince Alfred Bridge at Gundagai was completed in 1867. Spanning the Murrumbidgee River and connecting the Hume Highway, it was replaced by the Sheehan Bridge in 1977. The timber trusses have deteriorated to such an extent that the northern approach is disused and is closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
Approaching Griffith from the east along Irrigation Way, the green leaves of the cereal crops, ripple in the wind like tiny waving flags. Eventually over spring they will grow tall and ripen into the golden cream stalks with grain laden heads of wheat, oats, barley and canola, ready to be harvested in Summer. The dry land farms give way to irrigated citrus orchards, the orange trees are laden with fruit, rice paddies and acres upon acres of rows of grape vines, their canes bare, their autumn leaves having blown away in the wind. The varieties of Shiraz, Chardonnay and Semillon the most popular.
Opened in 1971, Griffith Pioneer Park Musem was established by volunteers of the Griffith district and is still run with the help of volunteers. With over forty exhibits, featuring replicas of buildings as they stood in times gone by. Buildings such as the Myall Park Hall, which was built in 1936 and moved to site. The hall in excellent condition is now used for weddings and parties and is available for hire. The shearing shed was built on a property at Merriwagga in 1932. The rustic worn timber, still has pieces of wool hanging from the sheep pen rails and wool sorting table and the smell of lanolin hangs in the air and was moved to the site in 1982.
The building known as Bynya Homestead, is made from Cyprus Pine, that is currently the information centre, reception kiosk and coffee shop, started its life in 1879 as a homestead on a dry land cropping and sheep farm on Bynya Station. The building had been added to bit by bit over the years and when the farmer was dismantling it, he came across the core of the original split log cabin. With the help of volunteers, sketches were drawn, photographs taken and every log, piece of timber, hinge and screw, were numbered meticulously, the building dismantled and moved to the Park Museum and reassembled.
The materials used by the early settlers for constructing their cottages and farm buildings were generally sourced from the land they occupied. Cyprus pine trees were plentiful and needed to be cleared for cropping the land, they were not favoured by termites, the landowner chopped and adzed with a broadaxe, they were slotted between upright posts. Such was the construction there were many a small hole that rodents and snakes could try and make the cottage their home. The floors were often of bare earth, being trodden hard and swept clean by the farmer’s wife. The kitchen to the cottage was generally separate to the main building, or cooking was done outside to minimise the risk of fire.
Exhibitions such as the Italian Museum and the Wine Museum, help the visitor appreciate the beginning of the Italian population migration and their contribution to the beginning of an international wine industry. The Bagtown exhibition, shows the building and working conditions of the Pioneers who constructed the irrigation canals in the district. With regular workshops and a shop with very helpful volunteers, it is a fantastic way to spend a day reliving the history of Griffith and its population and industries.
Western Australia with its sandy soil and mild climate is a showcase for native Australian flora. With glorious proteas and leucospermum, bottlebrush, grevillea, the tiny little scaevolea, dramatic kangaroo paw, sweetly scented boronia, pretty delicate pemelia all unique and different, but when you view some of these growing wild with logs of driftwood, seemingly placed by a landscape gardener, all growing on the edge of the cliffs of Wilyabrup, you have an appreciation for nature that man can only wonder.
Spending three hours at the gardens, was not nearly enough time to appreciate the sheer beauty of the unique Australian flora. With 416 hectares of garden, there was no way three hours was long enough to explore the Jurassic Garden, stop at the restaurant and cafe for lunch or a drink, organise and enjoy a picnic or take an organised tour. Nor did I find the bird hide or Australian fauna. However, I visited in Spring and the gardens were at their most glorious.
With winding paths leading me into a new little garden with complementary colours, with red billybuttons and yellow of kangaroo paw and purple groundcovers and offset with silver foliage or pink and lilac scaevolea, grey foliage and white strawflower, offset with sandstone feature stones creating a natural scene. The gardens hug the hillside and take advantage of the glorious sunshine to show us their brilliant display.
Hugging the Niagara River and with 40 hectares of gardens, historic buildings and beautiful landscaping, The Niagara Parks Botanic Gardens feature rhododendrons, seasonal perennials, begonia borders, fuschias, and a rose garden. We visited the Butterfly Conservatory and the floral clock.
The Great Wall of China was built to protect China from the marauding tribes to the north. Construction began in the 7th Century BC and the most well-known section was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644).
Watch towers and garrison stations were built at strategic placements for protection from enemys. The wall was also used to transport of goods and to control immigration and migration. Archaelogical surveys determine that the wall measures over 21,000 kms.