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courtesy of http://www.traveller.com.au

After coming out of Lockdown last year, a day-trip was needed so with a couple of my besties, we decided to visit a country town called Young which is marketed as Australia’s cherry capital. Every year in the first week of December, the height of the cherry picking season, Young hosts the National Cherry Festival. We were a bit too early for this so it meant we found other places to visit. Young is about a two hour drive from my home so we decided to stop off at Binalong which is a very little country town and so very sweet. Wayne popped to the cafe for a coffee and Jef and I walked around the town, literally took five minutes but saw some lovely old buildings and scenery.

After the coffee arrived, it was time to head to Young with our first stop being the Lambing Flat Chinese Tribute Garden. These gardens were developed in 1992 and established to recognise the contribution of the Chinese community to the settlement of Young in the 1860s. There are two marble lion sculptures guarding the entrance to the gardens. We passed though these traditional architectural elements which are referred to as moon gates (月亮门; yuèliàngmén); circular openings and walked into the gardens, around pavilions to the Pool of Tranquility with lovely views of Chinaman’s Dam.

The Pool of Tranquility contains rock formations, a water mill where water flows over rocks creating a small waterfall, lovely water lillies and a larger replica of the famous bronze Flying Horse of Gansu or the Galloping Horse Treading on a Flying Swallow [馬踏飛燕] (unearthed in Gansu Province in 1969). [I actually made a specific visit to Gansu Province a few years ago to see both the location where the statue was found and to see the actual statue which is located in the Gansu Provincial Museum; beautiful and quite small].

Time for lunch so we drove into the main street of Young and found Wilkie’s Cafe where the boys enjoyed a pizza and sushi and I had a lovely toasted sandwich; good food and presented beautifully.

Our next stop was at local winery Grove Estate Wines which was about a four kilometre drive out of Young but on the way we stopped to look at a lovely building located on over 300 hectares of land which is now a retreat and conference centre; St Clement’s Retreat & Conference Centre…we didn’t get out of the car but stopped long enough for Jef and I to take a few photos.

At Grove Estate Wines, we went to the Cellar Door where Jef and Wayne sampled a few of the wines on offer; a pretty winery with lovely areas to sit and enjoy a meal with glass of wine or just walk around taking photos like I did.

By this time, we had to leave to return to Canberra. A really lovely day and on the way home, Wayne and I spotted a turtle in the middle of the other side of the road as we were driving past, so like a racing car driver, Wayne sped up, did a fabulously fast u-turn and drove like a crazy person (in his new BMW) to the turtle before a car coming the other way drove over him/her. I got out of the car, ran over and picked him/her up (had been given advice by Wayne not to hold the turtle close as they wee on you – thank you Wayne). At this time cars were driving towards me, so held up my hand to stop them (they did fortunately) and looked for the water where the turtle was trying to get to and placed him near there. Our animal rescue good deed for the week! What a day!!