Friday, 2 November 2012

A brief visit to the South Coast

On 1 November we had occasion to visit the South Coast of New South Wales to assist a friend to remove a fallen tree.  We seized the opportunity to record some official visits to 4 towns.

The first of these was Braidwood, about 80 km from home.  This panorama shot down the main street is taken to show the overall 'look and feel' of the place.  In the 1970s it was really rustic, such that by removing a few power poles the town looked like the 19th century Glenrowan and thus the town was the base for filming Ned Kelly with Sir Mick Jagger!  This is an event still talked about in the area.
The main War Memorial is prominently placed.
The road down 'The Clyde", as the steep bit of the Kings Highway is known, has vastly improved since we first came down here about 30 years ago.  Interestingly the speed limit has been greatly reduced - but there are still quite a few accidents (a weekend on the beach with no sleep and much substance abuse will cause that combination of events).
I guess this truck just broke down  As there was no wreckage on the return journey we presumed no-one had needed the safety ramp in the interim.
Our friend has a corgi and the two dogs had a great time playing in the lounge.  (They would have have had an even better time in the garden but we hadn't given Tammie a tick prophylactic so tried to keep her away from vegetation.)

 Our next town was Moruya where the main memorial seems to be the swimming pool.
 This is adjacent to the car park which is transformed to a pleasant market on Saturday mornings.
I have commented in the past on how the buildings that used to be occupied by banks have changed use as the banks has 'rationalised" their activities (ie sacked staff, closed branches and basically done anything they hope they can get away with to chase profits.).  This former Commonwealth Bank is now a lawyers office.
 Moruya used to be a timber town but I am not sure if the sawmill still operates.  Frances got this interesting shot of a truck going down Vulcan St.  (The name reflecting the location of the blacksmith's premises in the past.)
The street is decorated with wood carving with broad links to the local indigenous community.  (The passing lady did not have a strange disease but I obfuscated her features for privacy.)
A dominant feature of the Riverside Park in Moruya is these huge fig trees.  For birders they are important as a good spot to find Channel-billed Cuckoos later in the year.  The bikes were a small sample of the horde of bikes (mainly rice-burners) on the road.  From a conversation while I filled up with petrol it turned out there was a large charity ride to Thredbo.  Checking the ride website, in 2011 over 3000 bikes took part (presumably the riders were going to Bega and up Brown Mountain - which would make it an interesting place to be having a drive, especially on Sunday evening when they all leave).

We then moved on to Bateman's Bay on the beautiful estuary of the Clyde River.
The town itself is not beautiful.  It is (nowadays) purely a tourist town which is quite quiet in Winter but a total zoo in Summer.  Here is the main drag.
I was surprised to find a Figbird squawking in a tree beside the river but it was waving around too much in the wind to get a good photograph.  These cormorants (Pied and Little Black) were in a more sheltered location.  Either the rock is above high tide or guano doesn't wash off easily!
The first War memorial we found was one to the Vietnam War.
Coming back into town we found this memorial wall outside the Soldiers Club....
 ... and this excellent wall of honour inside the Club.
 The most interesting element of the town's memorials was the Cenotaph.  This is described in Sacred Places by K S Inglis as being an anti-conscription memorial since by 1917 it shows there were enough volunteers from the district.
Note the range of dates!
The view of the Budawang Ranges as one leaves the coast.  Note the queue of traffic building up at some roadworks.
 Our last stop was at the village/town of Nelligen.  Those who grew up in Canberra before 1964 when the bridge across the Clyde River was built tell tales of the queue for the punt as they headed home after a weekend at the coast.  Here is the old mechanics Institute.
 We knew from the late Michael Southwell-Keely's site that there was a memorial in Nelligen but it doesn't appear in the Register - yet, but I have offered some advice (and the following image).  Update: a most interesting post has been added to the Register with information from Batemans Bay Museum and Eurobodalla Shire Council.  Note the reversed position of the rifle which according to Sacred Places is the conventional way of showing respect to the dead.
 We had driven past this site many times but never stopped so we didn't know that this tree was famous for having two bush rangers chained to it in 1867 while awaiting transport to Sydney for execution.
Finding such interesting facts, in areas we had thought mundane, is becoming one of the joys of this project.

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