A renewal of an acquaintance

We visited Canberra last weekend as a surprise for our younger daughter’s birthday.  While we were there we had a family day out at one of the historical properties in the Australian Capital Territory. There are not many historical properties as the ACT has a very short history in the scheme of things as Canberra was built as a planned city for the capital of the country.

The place we visited was Lanyon Homestead.

The homestead is now on the edge of the outer suburbs of Canberra.  You are literally one minute in the suburbs then round the corner in the countryside.  When we used to live in Canberra it was a fairly long trip from our suburb out to Lanyon and we were in one of the outer suburbs.  That was many years ago and Canberra has grown considerably since then.

It was lovely to revisit Lanyon as we used to take our children there.  Now there is a cafe in one of the outbuildings

and the homestead is manned by staff who will give guided tours if asked.  We had gone to have a birthday lunch at the cafe as well as doing a tour of the estate.

One aspect that we remembered that is no longer there was the Sidney Nolan Gallery.  The gallery had been there for 27 years but in 2007 it was decided that the gallery was no longer suitable for such a valuable collection. This is rather sad as the collection was housed in a rural setting at the request of the artist.  Now the collection is housed in the Canberra Museum and Gallery.

You can read about what prompted this move at Yolande Norris.

The Long Paddock

One of our favourite restaurants is The Long Paddock at Lindenow. 

On a recent trip to Canberra we saw the original long paddock in action.  I am not sure if “the long paddock” is a term used in other countries but in Australia it is the colloquial term for the stock routes that cross Australia – open stretches of unfenced land that anyone can use to move stock for feed in times of drought.

The farmers are doing it pretty tough here at the moment as we have had a very dry Autumn.  The farmers can make use of the feed along the side of the road as the paddocks are pretty bare.  It was a really nostalgic view of the countryside to see the riders on horseback and the cattle dogs keeping the herd in order.  We saw herds on the way up to Canberra and on the way back.

You can read detailed information about the long paddock here.

I had no idea that there were rules to be followed on the stock routes, eg the stock must travel 10km per day to prevent overgrazing by one mob, and I didn’t know that the routes could be identified by the wider roadsides.  It is worth checking out the link to the detailed information.

Hot! The best place was underground.

We have had some scorching weather here recently and last Friday we reached temperatures in the mid forties, about 113 Farenheit.  It was incredibly hot.  We had our elder daughter and two of our grandchildren staying with us and we had planned to go to Buchan Caves that day even before we knew it was going to be a hot day, I am so glad we did.

The caves are about an hour’s drive from Metung.  We arrived about ten o’clock so we were there before the caves became busy.

The entrance to the cave is dungeon like.  When the door was opened by the tour guide you could feel the rush of lovely cool air which was most welcome after the scorching heat outside.

The caves really are beautiful.  We visited the Royal Caves.

After we had finished our tour of the caves we went to the naturally fed swimming pool.  This pool is fed by water from the underground river in the cave system.

It was the ideal spot to be on such a blisteringly hot day.  The water was bracing when you first entered but then it was ideal.  It was a lovely way to finish off our visit to the caves.