Monday, February 22, 2010

Ginninderra Creek and the Falls

Periodically, especially with end of Summer and early Autumn rains, the Ginninderra Creek would rise to overflow and rush towards the Ginniderra Falls - a spectacular water drop - which then flowed on into the Murrumbidgee River.

These waterways, with their large waterflows, provided an abundance of local freshwater tortoises, fish, mammals and waterfowl.

The Creek, Falls and Gorge area are now under the protection of the ACT Parks Service,

I've included a short video of the Falls trekking area:

Settlement and Early Construction

Yass lies on the junction of the Hume and Barton Highways and serves as an important interchange, connecting Sydney, Melbourne and the Australian Capital Territory. The first survey of the town was conducted in 1836 and the township was officially gazetted in 1837.

The Court House and jail were built in 1837/1838 and St Augustine's Catholic church was completed in 1843 and St Clement's Anglican church was completed in 1850. By 1846, Yass had 55 houses and 274 inhabitants, mostly clustered around Dutton and Warrambalulah Streets with a small settlement isolated in North Yass.

The Yass Gaol was later demolished when the larger gaol was built at Goulburn, some 84 kilometres to the north.

A feature of Yass are the hourly chimes from the post office clock tower, the wedding and church service tolling of the bells from St Clements Anglican Church and the automated chimes from St Augustine's Catholic Church tower.

European Discovery and Early Settlement

In 1821 Hamilton Hume was the first non-indigenous person to see the Yass Plains. At the time he was struck by the superior quality of agricultural land and spectacular scenery in the area. In 1824 Hamilton Hume and William Hovell returned to the Yass Plains and it was during this time that they made their groundbreaking exploratory expedition from Appin near Sydney, to Port Phillip Bay.

A rough bush track joining Yass and Goulburn was established in the late 1820's partially as a result of Hume and Hovell's early exploration work in the area. Following Hume and Hovell's expedition, other settlers followed bring flocks of sheep, which represented the beginning of the local wool industry in Yass Valley LGA. By 1835 a small village had begun to develop on the south bank of the Yass River in an area known by the local indigenous community as Warrambalulah (beside flowing water).

Yass Valley LGA has since earned a reputation as the "Fine Wool Capital of the World" and the development of Yass Valley LGA stemmed from its strong agricultural base. Hamilton Hume returned to Yass area and purchased "Cooma Cottage" where he lived with his wife until his death in 1873.

The Goodradigbee Shire was the first local Government Association for the area and the old shire offices still remain functional as part of the greater Yass Valley Shire

The Brindabellas and surrounds

The Ngunawal/Ngunnawal region included the Brindabella Mountain range and its streams and was a very important ceremonial area and food source for the local tribes people, particularly at the end of winter when a pilgrimage was made up into the ranges to its many caves which migratory bogong moths used as a breeding ground.

There are other caves used by the Ngunawal/Ngunnawal people from time to time - Wombeyan Caves - North of Marulan - and Carey's Cave at Wee Jasper - but none were as significant as Hanging Rock Cave in the Brindabella Ranges.

Wombeyan Caves

Carey's Cave

Goodradigbee River North of Wee Jasper

7. Pre-European Settlement Extent

The Ngunawal/Ngunnawal settlement region was extensive and took in areas inclusive of Cooma, what is now the Australian Capital Territory at Canberra, Tumut, Galong and west to Cowra.

This picture shows a Cowra tribal member preparing some of the artwork for which he was renown

Pre-European Settlement

The Yass Region has a long history of established settlement, long before the Europeans settled in the region.

Mura Gadi is the name, contributed by Ngunawal/Ngunnawal elder Matilda House and  means 'pathways for searching' in the Ngunawal/Ngunnawal language

Prior to 1821, the Yass District had numerous Aboriginal campsites, which reflect a complex aboriginal history within an area which was, prior to European settlement, known as Ngunnawal Territory. The inhabitants of this territory were known as the Ngunnawal tribe. The strong relationship between local indigenous people and the development of the town is reflected in its name, Yass, which is believed derived from an Aboriginal word "Yhar" meaning running water.

The local Yass indigenous members participate in maintaining the Yass River and are currently in the process of removing many pest shrubs and introduced trees - such as 'weeping willows' - which are harmful to the river. When the new concrete Hume Bridge was was constructed to replace the old wooden bridge they contributed several mural which has, by-and-large, deterred local grafitti artists from spoiling the underpasses on the bridge.

The river area is very pictureesque and it is little wonder that the Ngunawal/Ngunnawal people liked it as a camping area.

The first permanent school for Yass was Yass Primary School and was built on the high bank overlooking the Yass River.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Rail Bridge over the Yass River

This is closer to home - its the old 'tram line spur' bridge and trestle on the one way line that runs from the main Sydney to Melbourne railway line at Yass.  Trains used to back up from the Yass railway station about 5 miles to the Yass Town Station, then run back down the spur and continue their journey. These days you get off at Yass station and hope a taxi will come and collect you.

Our 'camp' up at Wyangala.

If you are going to 'rough it' - be comfortable! LOL

More about Wyangala and Burrinjuck later but let's just say that they were two areas of importance in terms of European 'Built History'.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Micalong Creek

I was going to add some new images today that I took in the last few days - but like a dill I left my camera case with my download connector up at the cabin! I 'll content myself with adding a few older images.

This is Micalong Creek, up near Wee Jasper in the ranges behind Yass and Gundagai and on the back road to Tumut

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My kind of country

A long, dusty rural road on the plains above the Murrumbidgee River - Dogtrap Road.

Getting around much of the 'High Country' requires a 4WD vehicle as many of the creeks and causeways, which are quickly subject to flooding by local rains, need to be forded by vehicle.

The old General Store

This is a blog I created to allow people to come on and talk about things, items, places, scenes that they are attracted to.

I want this blog to be a Multi-Cultural talk fest - hence the Blog's name "Tok Tok Place" - somewhere we can all have a bit of a yabber and exchange views and ideas.

This is an image of an Old General Store in a quaint little village located not far from my home.