Gulgong / Mudgee & Hill End
After meeting at Harrington Park our coach headed for Wentworth Falls for morning tea. Great sunshine allowed spectacular views for our cameras. Blossom trees were not quite ready to bloom. Could be an excuse for another visit?
Heading to Lithgow for lunch, but first------a quick detour to Govett’s Leap for our keen photographers, followed by a slow drive through Hartley to allow us to see picturesque stone buildings from another era.
After a sumptuous baked meal at Lithgow Workies (local spelling) we are on board once again, heading for Gulgong.
On arrival, we were invited to a two hour concert at the local “opera house”. I can’t find the words to describe it! Only those in the audience would appreciate this treat. A couple of genuine bush whackers filled the bill. One, Des Kelly had a lot of talent and entertained us with Henry Lawson prose and a variety of our own folk songs. Old fashioned entertainment at its very best, a lot of very clever one liners thrown in for good measure. Did I see our own Mike C. taking notes of some of these?
A new day. First up, an extensive tour of Gulgong. Our guide just happened to be Des Kelly, our entertainer from yesterday. Des had the history of the town at his fingertips. Many tales relating to the gold rush days made for an interesting tour.
Next, was a stop at the Henry Lawson museum where guide Hazel, gave us a synopsis of Henry’s life. We learnt that Henry was deaf from childhood and seemed to be an insecure young man. He discovered alcohol and in his mind, it gave him the security he craved. He did have two children and eventually met up with an older lady who cared for him until his death. While his life was flowing around him, he still kept up with his writings and what a wonderful legacy he has left us!
Before heading for Mudgee, a visit to the Gulgong Pioneer Museum was planned. If you were looking for anything from past times, I’m certain you would find it here. Every manner of items, both household and rural, were housed in the various buildings. A genuine miner’s cottage, donated by a local family, was displayed on the site.
Mudgee Brewing Co was our venue for tastings and lunch. What an innovative owner/couple who put this business together. Husband Peter was away, his wife filled us in on how they started their enterprise, as well as serving many samples of their beers for tasting.
Unfortunately Mudgee railway station is no longer in use but thank goodness this magnificent building has been left to grow old gracefully. Our ladies spent a pleasant half hour browsing and buying good quality craft wares.
You can see how busy we have been. Our next stop was Honey Haven, which offered tastings of honey & mead. Most of us came out with a bag, holding a variety of products, including beauty creams guaranteed to make us look younger.
Our final stop for the day was the winery. Of course Mudgee is famous for its wines. After tastings, our folk seemed to find suitable wines, to their satisfaction to take home
After breakfast & our farewells, we are on the bus for our last day, heading for Hill End, where we were met by host Malcolm, who introduced us to his museum, containing a lifetime of paraphernalia and collectables relating to the heady mining years in the area.
We enjoyed lunch here, before heading down the road for a very quick tour of Hill End village. Looking a bit tired now, although I did see some renovations in progress, also work on new builds in the old style.
Kangaroos roamed & picked as they chose.
We have enjoyed excellent weather, great commentary from our driver Gary, and organiser Steve, good meals and the company of our fellow members. It is easy to see why Probus clubs are doing so well.
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