Along the Way

It’s a four-hour drive from the old schoolmasters house to the city – it becomes a journey. I usually try to break the trip- find adventures along the way.

at the Rhododendron Gardens in Blackheath –

Early November it’s the Rhododendron Festival in Blackheath – my favourite little town in the Blue Mountains. Even just driving through on the Great Western Highway you see glimpses of the festive trees decorated with what looks like crepe paper flowers; orange, persimmon, pink, red, white and more. I didn’t get to see the festival this year, I’ve imagined floats of Carmen Miranda like splendor- but I could be completely wrong…
I did get to the old world rhododendron gardens, where you follow winding paths of Indian-like colour past ponds and under eucalypts. Mostly older people are there, everything feels very quite and still. It calms you down.

a path through the Rhododendron Gardens

the commanding facade of the Bathurst jail

industrial buildings in Bathurst

the bird egg collection in the local Bathurst Museum

Passing through Bathurst, Keppel Street is the best port of call. With it’s fun op shops, 2nd hand stores & cafes – it’s the arty side of town. The Bathurst Regional Art Gallery is there, and is somehow very easy to pop into, it’s only small but it’s like a bird having a quick sip of nectar from a delicious flowering bush.

at the Bathurst Mineral museum

There’s some wonderful nineteenth century architecture in Bathurst. The jail with a façade that Charles Dickens would have approved of. The domed courthouse that was meant for India but got redirected to here. Close by a tiny little museum, almost a private collection of random artifacts of early Bathurst. My favorite thing a beautiful bird egg collection, all different colours from china white to pale blue, some freckled with spots. Others have intricate sepia handwriting covering them. It’s a work of art.

outside the Mineral and Fossil museum

hills out of Bathurst

The Bathurst Mineral and Fossil museum is one of the amazing museums of the world, dropped into a country town. Standing in the darkened hall surrounded with cases filled with rocks and minerals – you feel energized. The crystallized rocks are displayed like abstract works of art, ones that you could stare into for hours, they become like little worlds, planets that Superman could have come from. I’ve been back again and again.


2 Responses to “Along the Way”

  1. tina says:

    The Bathurst Mineral and Fossil museum sounds amazing!!! I would love to visit it. How very ‘zen’ to be amongst rocks and minerals. I bet the sensitized amongst us can really pick up the energy…

    I didn’t realise the drive takes you 4 hours. Wow! Quite a distance when you’re trying to do up a place.

    I love how you describe ‘Bathurst’. Gorgeous x

    • Ingridweir says:

      It’s true there is a good energy there, you feel like you’re in another world. It’s quite a small museum, but I like that, you can absorb it better. This is really my take on Bathurst- it is better known for car races!