Tuesday, 19 March 2019


    N.B. Very approximate position

Ever wanted to circumnavigate Australia? We still have a way to go...we'll be going on quite a journey, at least virtually, and clockwise. So as to make sure all states and territories are covered, we started in Western Australia and explored a little of the early history of a small part of this massive state via TROVE...from Rottnest Island to Broome..then across to Katherine Gorge, then Tennant Creek, from there to Darwin on the way to the Tiwi Islands, Bathurst and Melville.

We've had to travel back to Darwin, before leaving the Northern Territory, then across to Cairns, in North Queensland... but we didn't stop there, instead headed to the tropical north, to one of the most beautiful areas you can imagine... isolated yes, but perfect for that great getaway... to Cape Tribulation. It seems you loved that area so well, that Cairns was the obvious place to travel to next... not too far south. That was another very popular place...as was our visit to Fraser Island...

We then headed inland, on an approximately 6 hours flight to a place steeped in history.. what a contrast to the sub tropical island of Fraser ...no waterfalls or clear lakes or rainforest, but Longreach has so much to offer.

We then returned to Hervey Bay, by plane, and then took a short drive of approximately 25 minutes to a town founded in 1847... the charming historical town of Maryborough. So many of you loved that place as I do.

What a contrast the next destination was, though it is also very much steeped in history... a beautiful place, but it was a place of horror, of deprivation and loneliness... St. Helena Island. To get there, we left on a ferry from Manly, across to the island. 

Then we returned to Brisbane, to explore the beautiful, sub tropical capital city of the Sunshine State. Brisbane today, is the third largest city in Australia and growing rapidly... 

It has come a long way from it's beginnings as the Moreton Bay convict settlement, with such an interesting history. In an earlier issue, we explored some of the history of Brisbane, then visited Brisbane of a later period. There is so much to see and do in this beautiful city, once known as the biggest country town in Australia...

After a break, we resumed our travels...  heading in to New South Wales... not too far over the border, to a place that literally stands out, begging to be noticed. It was first given a European name by Captain James Cook...  he recorded seeing " a remarkable sharp peaked mountain lying inland". That place was the very imposing Mt. Warning.. you can refresh your memory here

The New Year saw us travelling again, refreshed and ready to go to yet another beautiful place. Many of you will have stopped there, if only to get a photo taken on the border between Queensland and New South Wales..Coolangatta one side, Tweed Heads on the other. Hard to believe that this was only known as Point Danger in times past, as indeed it was... the lighthouse is a clue... 

That place brought back many wonderful memories for so many of you...it was lovely to read your comments and receive your emails..

We moved south again, to a place that means a lot to my family, but also has a very colourful past. It is beautiful, a popular tourist place, the centre of a very busy district, steeped in Australia's colonial history.. it's the bustling town of Port Macquarie. It is around 5 hours drive south of Point Danger.

I concentrated on the convict history of Port Macquarie, perhaps we will return another time to see how the city has changed.

We then headed down the coast a bit, then inland, to another town connected to my family.. the country town of Aberdeen, where my father and five of his brothers were born, him being the youngest. It seems many of you have driven through this town, but never explored it. You would have passed my family's old home .. on the north side of town, just over the bridge on the left hand side heading north.

After backtracking a few hours and heading back to the coast, we explored the bustling city of Newcastle. It was great to hear that a number of you who thought you knew Newcastle reasonably well found a few new places to check out on your next visit.

It was only a relatively short drive, just a couple of hours away from Newcastle, to our next destination... Wiseman's Ferry. Heard of it, but never been there? It took me many years to actually visit, but I'm glad I did. This is another place that has a family connection for me... this time, on my maternal line...and so many of you enjoyed the visit also, going by your comments and emails. Thank you.

Now we're heading to a place that I'm sure most of have heard of, once a year at least... a reasonably thriving place which has the best New Year's Eve fireworks in the world. 

Sydney Harbour Bridge (i)

Ok, I could be slightly biased and yes, it is Sydney, capital of New South Wales, site of the oldest settlement in Australia and another place which is linked to my family.

Then again, this looks rather familiar to most...

Sydney Opera House (ii)

Maybe fewer of you have ever seen or know of this icon...at least from this vantage point..

Sydney Tower (Centrepoint)  (iii)

Darling Harbour is also a great attraction, there is so much to do and see there.. 
just one aspect of it is beautifully portrayed by 
this game...

Darling Harbour (iv)

All stunning buildings/places, however the ones that really get my attention are those places and buildings of long ago, some of which are still standing and a few are still in use, either for everyday needs or as monuments to the past.

Darling Harbour looked a little different in 1900.. 

Darling Harbour 1900.. (v)

Lachlan Macquarie, who was selected to be Governor of NSW in 1809 and took office in 1810, had quite a few ideas for the development of the new settlement of Sydney, as outlined in this article...

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Saturday 6 October 1810  National Library of Australia    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628087

By 1878, there had been lots of progress...

Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), Saturday 20 April 1878
National Library of Australia  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article162692441

This article appeared across several publications in a similar form...
National Library of Australia     http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article211166061

Among the many items available through TROVE is this interesting book.. you can read the whole edition here... courtesy of
The Australian Historical Society ...
Historical Sketches of Early Churches in NSW....

Two of the older buildings still standing and in use are as follows...

Lord Nelson Hotel & Brewery - Miller's Point, Sydney, New South Wales. Built c1836. Licence issued 1842. The Lord Nelson is the oldest working licensed hotel in Sydney. Located at 19 Kent Street, on the corner of Argyle Place.

Cadman's Cottage - The Rocks NSW

Cadman's Cottage - The Rocks NSW. Built 1816 as the Coxswains Barracks, it gets its name from John Cadman, the longest serving and final Coxswain to reside there from 1827 to 1846. It was located on the original shoreline of Semi-Circular Quay, as it was then known. From 1846 it was the headquarters of the Water Police up until the construction of the Water Police Courts in Philip Street.
It continued to be used as a lockup by the Water Police, and in 1864 became the residence of the Superintendent of the Sailor's Home next door. It was vacant by 1962 and in 1970 it was acquired by the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority. It is the third oldest building in Sydney. Located on George Street.
Three images above are courtesy of sv1ambo Some rights reserved
The following are courtesy of TROVE.. both still in use...one as a heritage home to visit..
Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta, 15 miles from Sydney. The oldest building in Australia, built by John Macarthur, a British army officer, who founded the Australian wool industry and pioneered the breeding of merino ship, on a grant of 1900 acres in 1793. Photographer J. Fitzpatrick 1961.

Garden Island Naval Base.. buildings 21 & 22...oldest buildings on the base. City of Sydney Archives.

There are so many more beautiful old buildings around Sydney, a thriving metropolis, which, at this stage, still has retained much of it's past... but for how long? Perhaps we need to revisit while we can...

Credits and further reading..

Sydney Harbour Bridge  (i)
Adam.J.W.C. - Own work      CC BY 3.0

Sydney Opera House (ii)
Solvasity CC BY-SA 4.0

Sydney Tower (Centrepoint)  (iii)
Market Street, Sydney, Centrepoint Tower in centre, monorail on the right (now dismantled) (6x6 slide scanned at 6400)

Darling Harbour   (iv)


Darling Harbour 1900  (v)

modern website        https://darlingharbour.com

Biography of Lachlan Macquarie

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