Monday, March 1, 2010

When The Mountain Just Isn't Enough

I decided to go back to Wellington (NSW) to visit some friends and explore some more of this fascinating area. Now there aren't too many people that, on the last weekend of summer, would purposely drive the 4 arduous hours to visit this region, most would prefer to visit some of our wonderful coastal locations. However, I like to be just a little bit different!

Wellington is situated about 360 kilometres west of Sydney and is nestled between to major river systems the Macquarie and the Bell. The town also sits at the foot of the triple peaked 533 metre Mt Arthur. The Mt Arthur Reserve is a 1300 hectare area set aside for public recreation and one of the best things to do is to go bushwalking along its many trails, keeping an eye out for some of the 530 species of flora including bryophytes and lichens. It was also from the Mt Arthur area that the explorer John Oxley climbed on the 18th August 1817 and in his notebook noted that -

"On ascending a range of hills which lay directly across our course, we had a prospect of a fine and spacious valley - our descent to it was rendered difficult by lofty, rocky hills forming deep and irregular glens, so narrow that I feared we should not be able to follow their windings, the rocks being such perpendicular masses as seemingly to debar our passage."
After scaling Mt Arthur (a bit easier now  than in 1817, thanks to the dedicated walking trails) we decided to pay another visit to the wonderful Osawano Japanese Gardens. In this peaceful setting one can almost imagine that they have transported themselves back to the court of the Japanese Royal Family, except there is a whopping great big gum tree located nearly dead centre to the gardens. Although the contrast of oriental delicateness and this iconic Australian tree can be visually jolting, It really does give the gardens a unique 'Aussie' feel.   

One would think that you could cover all there was see in Wellington in one day, but to really do it properly, it has to be done over a couple of days. With so many photographic opportunities available, I can't wait for my next visit.  

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