Just before the end of 2021, I decided to take a day road trip to two nearby country towns. I really enjoy taking these short road trips especially to places I have not been, and then again I enjoy revisiting some places because there is always more to see.
My first stop was the small town of Gunning about an hour’s drive from my home and located on the Old Hume Highway in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. In the past, every truck, actually every vehicle, travelling between Sydney and Melbourne would have to drive through the town. Today it is a chic small town bypassed by the highway which means that the historic buildings in the main street – the court house, post office and other historic buildings can be visited without any interruption from heavy traffic.
I had never visited Gunning so had a couple of places I wanted to see when I arrived. I parked at the start of the main street and went for a walk. My first stop was Pye Cottage which is now a museum (entry by appointment) and as I peeked inside the windows say it was appointed with period pieces and photographs of significant people and events of the local district.
I really enjoy walking around the streets of places I visit looking at the homes which is just what I did whilst in Gunning. Such lovely old homes and beautiful gardens including some very interesting fake sheep and flamingoes in one!
I find the main street in any country town really special, I think it’s because there are so many sweet cafes, pubs and buildings that are so different to those you find in the city. Gunning didn’t disappoint! The Telegraph Hotel had wonderful art on its side walls, the cafes were so inviting with wonderful dishes on their menus and there were beautifully restored homes along the street. Fabulous!!
And as I was walking back to my car, I saw the only motel in the town near the river reminding me of motels I have stayed at many years ago. I did see a beautiful hand-made box containing an array of books. This ‘library’ allows people to take a book to read and/or leave one for someone else to read. I love this concept.
My drive through Gundaroo was actually on the way back to Canberra and I know the small town quite well as have been to there on two previous occasions for lunch at Grazing an award winning restaurant located in the beautifully restored 1865 Royal Hotel and…it only has one small main street with not much else to do.
I did park the car on the side of the road to take some photos of the lovely old buildings and of the police station with its picket fence and climbing pink roses. It’s no longer in use by the police but was for some 78 years before it closed in 1935.
It was then I saw another car pulled over down a small street and the driver was out taking photos…I wondered what this driver was photographing so drove down and saw she was taking photos of a large field with fresh grass hay, newly baled. I just love seeing fields of hay, well fields of anything really but especially love the look of bales of hay; they looked so beautiful just sitting there waiting to be collected to sell for farm animal feed I expect.
Time to head home but not before one more stop as I saw another old home with a sign advising that it was Sally Paskins Store which by the look of it was not open anymore. There was a sign on the front door but I didn’t cross the road to read but I do wonder who Sally Paskins’ was and what she sold in her little store. I can only imagine it would of been a gorgeous building back in the day but also today it looks so in character with other lovely homes and building along Gundaroo’s main street.