Patricia Newell-Dunkley. Photographs by Reginald J.Dunkley


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Greetings from down under where the whole of Australia is going through heat wave conditions, with temperatures well over the forties in some states.  Fortunately, the borders are open again to celebrate Christmas, but it will certainly be very different with distancing and numbers to juggle.

The bucket list grows, and for those fascinated by Australia’s gold rush era, Hill End is an experience to remember. Step back in time and meander through this beautiful gold mining town, with its remarkable Colonial buildings, and historical sights. There are also underground mines to crawl through and the possibility of finding a gold nugget or two!

Today it is known as an artistic hub with artists flocking to the region to capture the historic charm and beautiful landscapes.

An hour’s scenic drive from Bathurst, Hill End is the perfect location for a romantic escape and to walk down memory lane.

The Bathurst area is just over three hours drive from Sydney and three and a half hours from Canberra, alternatively you can fly to Bathurst.

Bathurst is also famous for the internationally known racetrack Mount Panorama. The Bathurst 1000 is a 1,000-kilometre touring car race held annually.

Sydney is a great city and there is always much to see and do. World renowned for its iconic attractions, such as the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach, Luna Park, and the open-air cinema.

From Sydney you can drive to The Blue Mountains, or visit the mighty Hawkesbury River.

The Three Sisters is the Blue Mountains spectacular landmark and is visited by millions of people each year. It is essentially an unusual rock formation representing three sisters who according to Aboriginal legend, were turned to stone.



Legends abound and it is easy to be caught up in them when you visit this fascinating location, and breath in the gum filled scented air. The Blue Mountains is a magical place and full of mystery.

The Hawkesbury River is the perfect place for water sports, fishing or just enjoying its beauty sitting on the banks of the river. Houseboat holidays, river cruises, kayaking, as the river meanders past historical towns and magnificent National Parks.

From the river you can visit Australian Reptileousebopat Hh Park, and have a family fun day out feeding Elvis the crankiest crocodile in Australia.

From the Hawkesbury River you can head up to the Central Coast of New South Wales and visit all of the beaches. There are forty-one including Shelly Beach, and the beautiful Tuggerah Lakes.

Here you can feed hundreds of pelicans, who come every day at exactly three-thirty in the afternoon, flying in from everywhere, come rain or come shine.

Tuggerah Lakes are a key breeding habitat, because it offers calm closed water with a large amount of available food

Black swans travel long distances, parrots, honeyeaters, curlew sandpipers, and red-neck stints are all to be seen.

Here at Shelly Beach all is well. It has been extremely hot and the birds need plenty of water as they fly in for their morning feast.

My books “Letters of a Travelling Lady, Wallis the Woman I Love, and The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain,” are available on Amazon, Xlibris, and Crowood Publishers.

Wishing you all a happy festive season.

Cheers.   Patricia