SHELLY BEACH SNIPPETS No. 66. May, 2016.
Patricia Newell-Dunkley – Photographs by Reginald J. Dunkley.
There has been exciting news with the discovery of Captain Cook’s ship H.M.S. Endeavour in Rhode Island Harbour. The remains of the ship the British explorer used for his voyage to Australia, supposedly uncovered in Newport Harbour, legally belong to the state of Rhode Island. Endeavour was one of the 13 ships scuttled in 1778 by the British navy in order to blockade a channel during the American Revolution. Hopefully what remains of H.M.S. Endeavour can be conserved and placed on display in Rhode Island.
The British explorer commanded Endeavour on his first voyage to Australia and New Zealand between 1769 and 1777, it was last seen in 1778 by which time it was being used as a transport ship during the American Revolution and renamed Lord Sandwich. Captain Cook landed at Botany Bay New South Wales in 1770, the H.M.S. Endeavour is considered to be the founding vessel for Australia. Captain Cook was killed at Hawaii in 1779, for those interested there is a Society for Captain Cook which you can join and participate in functions.
The first significant snowfall of the year has dusted the Snowy Mountains. Australia woke up to new snow across New South Wales and Victoria ski fields, and New Zealand’s Queenstown and Wanaka ski fields did likewise. The Snowy Mountains or ‘The Snowies’ as they are affectionately known has a rich and fascinating history. For more than 20,000 years it was home to a number of Aboriginal groups with a unique way of life. The coming of summer each year saw the arrival of large numbers of Aboriginal groups for a time of feasting and ceremonies in the high country. This coincided with the migration of the Bogong Moth from Southern Queensland to the region. The moths were collected by the Aborigines, cooked in hot ash and a very nutritious meal eaten.
The high country was first settled in earnest by European stockmen, graziers, and landholders in the early 1800’s. This endeavour immortalised in Banjo Paterson’s’ Poem ‘The Man from Snowy River’, created a myth that has become part of Australia’s identity.
In the 1860’s thousands of people from across Australia, Europe and Asia flocked to the gold rush town of Kiandra. Miners came in search of wealth and found gold along with a life that could be lived nowhere else in Australia.
Skiing as a sport first appeared in Australia in the gold rush town of Kiandra in 1861, originally referred to as a ‘Snow Shoeing’ and later as ‘Ski Running’, allowing Kiandra’s residents to maintain contact with the outside world when roads were closed by heavy snow.
Today it is a thriving ski resort with Thredbo Alpine Village, having the longest runs in Australia, Perisher/Blue Cow, Smiggin Holes, Charlotte Pass, Guthega and Mount Selwyn, and home to the famous Mount Kosciuszko the highest summit on Australia’s mainland.
The Snowy Mountains with its high peaks, Alpine Lakes, vast plains, fertile valleys and rich heritage is a favourite winter place of recreation and entertainment and attracts 700,000 visitors annually. Not only does it have superb accommodation, top class restaurants, boutiques, high class fashion shops, entertainment to suit all tastes, there is Kosciuszko National Park which is home to abundant Fauna and Flora and a favourite place to explore summer or winter.
The population of an outback Queensland town swelled to forty times its size in April when it celebrated the 30th year anniversary of one of Australia’s most well-known films “Crocodile Dundee” starring Paul Hogan. The Walkabout Creek Hotel at McKinlay was built in 1900 and featured in the movie. The two day festival included screening the iconic movie as well as a Street Party, and other celebrations such as throwing a shrimp on the Barbie.
McKinlay is a day’s travel distance from Mount Isa and Longreach. Mount Isa is one of Queensland’s longest running mining towns and a travel and lifestyle hub for Central Queensland. A night spent in one of Isa’s clubs may cause you to forget you are in the remote outback. Mount Isa Mines is one of the most productive single mines in world history, based on production of lead, silver, copper and zinc.
‘Outback at Isa’ has the title of ‘Rodeo Capital of Australia’ it also has the richest fresh water fishing event in Queensland. Experience a real outback holiday in the Gulf Country Region of Queensland and it will not be forgotten.
Longreach literally is a long reach from anywhere; it was named ‘Long Reach’ of the Thomson River on which this wonderful outback town lays beside. The heart of Queensland’s outback and surrounded and supported by some of Australia’s best grazing country. It has The Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Qantas Founders Outback Museum, which makes it a destination for that alone. With unique architecture, garden walks and all the streets named after birds. River cruises, Nature parks, Cobb & Co. Tours, and Spirit of the Outback Train. Longreach is a surprisingly fascinating town in Central West Queensland.
Shelly Beach is having beautiful weather and glorious orange sunsets over the lake, cool mornings and evenings but still warm enough for the surfers. I had six magnificent crimson headed Rosellas in the garden this week, their colours are truly stunning, yellow, purple and green, very different from the Lorikeets who have more royal blue on their heads, orange and yellow-green. We also had two Kookaburras, one in the front garden and one in the back obviously looking for something tasty. Meanwhile my Yellow-Wattle bird is still being hand fed three times a day, while Princess Pixie the Pomeranian watches everything that goes on with great interest. The Blue-tongued Lizard has gone walkabout but no doubt will return when ready.
My books “Letters of a Travelling Lady, The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain, and Wallis the Woman I Love” are available on Amazon Xlibris and my website. www.patriciasartworld.com