The Shilling Ram

Famous for being famously superb, the shilling ram was the name given to Uardry 0.1. A merino ram of such style and class that on the 29th June 1932, the Sydney Mail announced that Uardry was, ‘generally acknowledged to be one of the most magnificent Merinos ever seen in Sydney.’ Uardry had for competition 366 [...]

Foraging for freshwater mussels.

I can't imagine these would be good eating laying on the creek bank in this heat. But freshwater mussels of the inland river and creek variety are pretty tasty if you're lucky enough to find some in a good season. They certainly aren't as prolific as in previous years. Changes to waterways, chemical run-off and [...]

By | January 18th, 2019|Australian History, COUNTRY LIFE, recipes|0 Comments

The Bush Bible

Sunrise and sunset. These are my favourite times of the day, when the sun is near the horizon straddling the rim of the earth, as it either embarks on bringing us a new day or dwindles towards nightfall. The best photos are taken at this time when sunlight travels through a greater depth of atmosphere, [...]

Hill End – Beyers Cottage

Hill End. An abandoned goldrush town. Home to the ghosts of pan-shackled miners, some who won big and others who lost. In 1872 it was NSW’s largest inland settlement. Incorrectly named Forbes before Hill End was chosen and the town gazetted, it is a place that carries the memory of the wily antics of the estimated [...]

By | November 10th, 2018|Art & Art history, Australian History|0 Comments

Orroral homestead

Orroral homestead - a snapshot of a fabulous old homestead: Stock stations in the Canberra district were established towards the end of 1824 and several years later pioneers settled in the mountain valleys west of the Murrumbidgee, beyond the limit of the 19 counties. William Herbert paid £10 for a pasturage licence in 1839 for [...]

The first Afghan cameleers.

Elder & Co. brought the first ‘Afghans’ (Afghan cameleers) to South Australia to help traverse the desert terrain and long distances. Thirty-one Afghans arrived on the the ship 'The Blackwell' at Port Augusta and on New Year’s Eve 1865 the waiting crowd of onlookers watched the remarkable sight of 124 camels being lifted and deposited [...]

How a cow and a calf led mobs of cattle across the Darling River.

“Wilcannia, city of wind and dust, Queen of the western plains; Where man works for his daily crust, And it seldom ever rains.”   (The Barrier Miner, Friday, November 3, 1939.) The Burke and Wills expedition is well known.  Burke’s impatience on reaching Cooper’s Creek on November 11, 1860 and the unfolding disaster that transpired became [...]

The Victorian grazier who married a Hollywood actress.

When grazier Scobie Mackinnon married 1920s Hollywood silent screen actress, Claire Adams after meeting her in England following the Coronation of 1937 life at Mooramong homestead in Skipton Victoria was bound to change. Mooramong began its life under settler hands in 1838 when the squatting run was taken up by the Scottish immigrant Alexander Anderson [...]

The Australian pastoralist who became our first millionaire.

Imagine owning pastoral lands equal to a third of the size of Belgium. James Tyson (1819-1898) was an Australian born, self-made ‘millionaire’ who owned a string of properties around Australia. His fame as a pastoral tycoon, immortalised by Banjo Paterson in the Poem T.Y.S.O.N. By the time Tyson finished acquiring pastoral leases along the Warrego River [...]

The Wimmera, woolsheds & the Scottish hero William Wallace.

In 1845 George and James Hope arrived on the western edge of the Wimmera district of Victoria, near the town of Edenhope (established some years later) a scant thirty kilometres from the South Australian border. They chose the shores of a lake as part of their 48,000 ha selection, naming it Lake Wallace after William [...]

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