Tuesday, 23 April 2019


N.B. very approximate location

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.

From there, we headed 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.

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. We explored a few of the heritage listed places and some of the landmarks, but there is so much more to see. 

We can't cover it all, but one place which is well worth exploring is Botany Bay... the proposed site of the first settlement. Lieutenant James Cook first landed there on April 29, 1770. 

To quote from Wikipedia... 
"Lieutenant James Cook first landed at Kurnell, on the southern banks of Botany Bay, in what is now Silver Beach, on Sunday 29 April 1770, when navigating his way up the east coast of Australia on his ship, HMS Endeavour. Cook's landing marked the beginning of Britain's interest in Australia and in the eventual colonisation of this new "southern continent".[6] Initially the name Stingrays Harbour was used by Cook and other journal keepers on his expedition, for the stingrays they caught.[7] That name was also recorded on an Admiralty chart.[8] Cook's log for 6 May 1770 records "The great quantity of these sort of fish found in this place occasioned my giving it the name of Stingrays Harbour". However, in the journal prepared later from his log, Cook wrote instead: (sic) "The great quantity of plants Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander found in this place occasioned my giving it the name of Botanist Botany Bay".[8]
Eighteen years later, in 1788, Governor Arthur Phillip sailed the armed tender HMS Supply into the bay on 18 January. First contact was made with the local indigenous people, the Eora, who seemed curious but suspicious of the newcomers. Two days later the remaining ships of the First Fleet arrived to found the planned penal colony. However, the land was quickly ruled unsuitable for settlement as there was insufficient fresh water; Phillip also believed the swampy foreshores would render any colony unhealthy as the bay was open and unprotected, the water too shallow to allow the ships to anchor close to the shore, and the soil was poor.[9]"
You can read more here  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botany_Bay

Somehow Stingray Bay doesn't have the same appeal.

Botany Bay, 1788 watercolour by Charles Gore   Public Domain

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Sunday 10 March 1805, page 2  National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article626666

From Botany Bay, explorations around the area were made...

Hobart Town Gazette 15 Apr 1826

The beauty of the area was apparent to all, it was the water supply that was the concern. What a great contrast to the English countryside left behind.

The Sydney Gazette & New South Wales Advertiser 2 Jan 1813


Black-eyed Sue and Sweet Poll of Plymouth, England, mourning their lovers who are soon to be transported to Botany Bay, 1792 Public Domain  NLA

The Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser 25 Feb 1815
 Where there are settlements....

  • This engraving titled - A View of Botany Bay - is from The Voyage of Governor Phillip to Botany Bay, by Arthur Phillip, published in London in 1789. A footnote states - "The annexed view of Botany Bay represents the SUPPLY. etc. at anchor, and the SIRIUS with her convoy coming into the bay".
          Robert Cleveley, 1747 - 1809      The Australian National Maritime Museum

Powerhouse Museum Collection   Gift of Elizabeth Bullard, 1967

Kyogle Examiner (NSW : 1912; 1914 - 1915; 1917 - 1954), Friday 18 May 1934, page 3
National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article235323356
Please click to enlarge

BOTANY BAY by Harold Denning

This gives an idea of the size of the bay...

Aerial photograph taken on a flight from Newcastle to Melbourne. 
Taken by Tim Starling   CC BY 2.0

Back in 1936...

Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), Sunday 29 March 1936, page 2
National Library of Australia   http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230831913

Without the arrival of the English in the exact time in 1788, which was planned "to get rid of 717 convicts", the country may well have been destined to be under French rule.. an interesting article.

Botany Bay Coastal Walk    CC BY 3.0  Attribution: Maurice van Creij

The following are from a series entitled BOTANY BAY and published in sequence in The Australian Women's Weekly.
Though I won't publish the lot here, I will add the links for you to follow... just click on the url, in bold to read the rest of this first instalment..

Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), Saturday 9 January 1943, page 3
National Library of Australia  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article46447301

The rest of the articles are at

Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), Saturday 16 January 1943

Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), Saturday 23 January 1943

Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), Saturday 30 January 1943

Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), Saturday 6 February 1943

Monument at La Perouse.  J Bar   CC BY-SA 3.0 

Bicentennial Monument at Brighton-Le-Sands  J Bar     CC BY-SA 3.0

The mouth of Botany Bay as it meets the Tasman Sea, as viewed from the air, above Kurnell
Botany Bay entrance, NSW, 26th. Nov. 2010 Phillip Capper

Botany Bay, a beautiful area, with so much history

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