Traipsing to Temora part 1

In lieu of our flood-cancelled cruise on the Murray River (see yesterday’s post), we decided to use our free time to visit a country town called Temora, in the north-east of the Riverina area of New South Wales, 418 kilometres (260 mi) south-west of Sydney.

First off, we broke our journey with an overnight visit to friends in another country town called Crookwell. This town of around 2500 persons sits on the top of the Great Dividing Range in the Southern Tablelands, and therefore has a relatively high altitude of 887 metres (don’t laugh), meaning it sometimes snows in winter! It’s rural land, both agricultural and pastoral, offering such products as seed potatoes, wool, fat lambs, beef cattle, oats, hay, dairy produce and cold-climate fruits. They hold an annual Potato Festival and it should be coming up soon. I don’t know what happens there, but there have been news reports saying we are suffering a potato shortage and McDonald’s is gobbling up all the supplies of French Fries, leaving nothing for the takeaway fish and chips shops. (More first world problems).

Crookwell also has a wind turbine farm, first established as a trial of 8 in the late nineties and expanded in recent years. What it doesn’t have is a railway service, but before leaving we visited the disused station. These simple timber structures from the late nineteenth/early twentieth century are common, and I used such as inspiration for a scene in my unpublished manuscript Louisia’s Legacy. This one has been painted and upkept, as there is a small museum inside, sadly closed on the morning of our visit. The track itself doesn’t look in too bad condition, but I don’t think there is anything going up or down it in the near future.

Leaving there, we set off in roughly a straight line heading west. These are secondary country roads and we don’t have hedges, so you see lots of scenery. Except that scenery is wide-open spaces of mostly brownish grass dotted with sheep and some cattle. Verdant green indicates a crop, but as a city-born girl I can’t tell my lucerne from my oats, from my barley. Having said that, we were headed towards an area marketed as (look away now, Paol Soren), the Canola Trail. I think that’s harvested around November, but it would be golden-yellow just before that.

Here’s what our route looks like on a map. You can see our original starting point, Wollongong, way over to the right on the coast.

Our first stop was Boorowa, population about 1600. One of the young women who worked in our on-site restaurant while she was studying at the local university to become a teacher hails from there and returned after graduating last year or the year before. I thought about standing at the school gates and screeching out her name but saved her that embarrassment. Besides which, it wasn’t break time.

Another reason I wanted a look-see is that Boorowa often comes up when I am doing family history for friends with Irish ancestry. Once upon a time there was a north-south drovers’ track – a stock route – that passed through here on account of large pastoral holdings in the area. That attracted Irish workers, the originals being convicts assigned to English who had received land grants, followed later by squatters making a land grab. It got to where the town was nick-named Irishtown, and even now they have an annual Irish Woolfest which includes a Running of the Sheep down the mainstreet. You can follow The Shamrock Trail to view the major buildings and sights of interest (it won’t take long). The streetscape is still in historic condition, and we wandered up one side of mainstreet and down the other before settling on coffee and cake. This was a Tuesday morning, so it was pretty quiet, as most of the locals, being farmers, were out doing whatever farmers do on Tuesdays. There is a cake shop in town called Superb. I thought that a bit of a boast until I realised we were in the breeding areas of the Superb Parrot.

Most country towns (and many city suburbs) have a war memorial in a central location, constructed originally to commemorate those who served in WW1. Boorowa’s, constructed in 1933, is one of the most substantial I have seen.

Boorowa NSW War Memorial Source:

Having enjoyed our tiny taste of Boorowa we got back in Red Dwarf (aka our 2012 Hyundai i30) to continue on to the much larger town of Harden – twinned with Murrumburrah (only a bridge demarcates where the mainstreet changes from one to the other).

It is here that we encountered, among other colourful characters, Bill the Bastard. But to explain his story will make this post too long, so I’ll just leave you with that thought for the moment.

If any of you who read yesterday’s post went through to the link on our 2012 road trip along the Murray River, here is a link to the second episode of that story:

Following the Murray River: Corryong to Yarrawonga

25 thoughts on “Traipsing to Temora part 1

  1. There’s nothing like reading one of your posts to remind me that Australia is a continent. When you reach Temora you’re still not even halfway across your home state and I’d already be in Scotland!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Two of my thoughts come to my mind when I read this.
    There are closed railway stations in many parts of Australia now. Some are kept nice and some not. Express trains just rush through now.
    I booked myself into a pub in central Queensland a few years ago. Shown the ‘facilities’ and told to buy dinner/tea/supper before the restaurant closed for the night. I had a good sleep and a nice shower. When I woke up in the morning there was not a soul in sight at all. They had all gone home when the pub closed. I could have got off with the silver or all sorts of things.

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  3. Pingback: Traipsing to Temora Part 2 | The Reluctant Retiree

  4. “It is here that we encountered, among other colourful characters, Bill the Bastard. But to explain his story will make this post too long, so I’ll just leave you with that thought for the moment.” – that sounds like a good story, Gwen! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Damn McDonalds! They come second only to rabbits as things Australis should have never allowed to enter.
    Wow! That war memorial is outstanding.
    And please, Gwen, you can’t jus throw out a name like Bill the Bastard and then walk away.
    Thanks for the tour, both prose and photos.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. We loved Temora when we stayed there, in the pub, for a gliding weekend. Where else to stay – great place! Very interesting museum too.
    As for gliding – never again for me – I was terrified & left fingerprints in the thighs of my instructor! Everyone else loved it – of course!

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