Old news from Armidale and New England

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Mountain resorts of New South Wales

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Monday 13 January 1890, The Sydney Morning Herald

Those desirous of escaping for a brief period from the heat and dust of the metropolis or the inland country districts during the summer months to the cool, salubrious climate of the mountains, will find ample facilities provided by the Railway Commissioners for so doing. On the Southern line tickets are issued at excursion rates from all stations to those between Mittagong and Goulburn, the former place being 2069ft. above sea level, and the latter about the same, the atmosphere being generally clear and invigorating. The mountains in the vicinity of Mittagong afford numerous pleasant walks, and are much frequented by excursionists during the summer months. Bowral is surrounded by very picturesque scenery, and, being well provided with hotel and lodging accommodation, is a favourite place of resort, especially by invalids in search of health. Moss Vale, which is 2205ft. above sea level, excited the admiration of Mr. J. A. Froude, who compared it to the famous Victorian sanatorium Mount Macedon, only that, instead of being in the midst of dense forests, it is surrounded by rolling grassy uplands, thickly sprinkled with trees, cattle farms, sheep &c., and long ago taken up and appropriated. “To those who are fond of riding,” says Mr. Froude, “the situation of Moss Vale is perfect as the green grass stretches out into infinity.” The climate is delightful to the visitor from Sydney or Albury it is like passing from the tropics into the temperate zone. The celebrated Fitzroy Falls are in the vicinity, while the rugged ravine in which the Berrima coal mines are situated can be reached by a walk of about seven miles. Several pleasant excursions may also be made from Goulbourn, one of the healthiest cities in Australia, the principal being that to the Wombeyan Caves, to which a new road is being made from Bowral.

At Bulli and Wollongong, on the South Coast line, visitors will find abundant opportunities for reaching the more elevated portions of the Illawarra Range, including the Bulli Pass with its magnificent panoramic views and enjoying the cooling ocean breezes sweeping over the lovely valley below.

On the Northern line several of the more distant townships are delightfully situated, especially after ascending the Moonbi Ranges, on the further side of which is Walcha-road, 320 miles from Sydney and 12 from the township, where the surrounding scenery resembles in many respects that of tho Blue Mountains. It is 3346ft. above sea level, and looking southward, the peaks of the Liverpool Range are seen, while, rising like many islands, are the heads of mountain chains extending as far as the eye can reach. About 16 miles south-east of Walcha are the magnificent Apsley Falls, one of the real beauty spots of New South Wales and destined to become one of the great attractions to visitors from other countries. The immense ravine in which they are situated is one of the grandest and most awe-inspiring in Australia, the sides of the gorge rising almost perpendicularly to the height or about 3000ft., causing it to resemble one of the great American canyons. The main falls are 240ft. deep, the others varying from 100ft., the volume of water pouring over the rocky lodges being enormously great. Armidale, 3313ft. above sea level, is often visited by those desirous of a trip to Dangar’s Falls, about 12 miles from the city. The principal fall is 780ft. deep, the depth of the whole series being estimated at 1500ft. The Woollomombi Falls, about 29 miles from Armidale, are on an equally grand scale, the scenery in both places partaking largely of the sublime. The line continues ascending until the highest and coolest point, Ben Lomond, 4560ft. above sea-level, is reached, after which it gradually descends towards the Queensland border. The greater portion of this elevated region, although familiar to the prospector, the pastoralist, and the agriculturist, is virgin land to the tourist, who will find many beautiful places and romantic localities which have yet to be described by pen or pencil.

Of the Blue Mountain resorts on the Western line there is little that is fresh to be said, but in the principal townships there has been a considerable increase of hotel and lodging accommodation, with improved facilities for visiting the more distant points of interest, there now being a good coach-road from Katoomba and Mount Victoria to the Jenolan Caves. The Railway Commissioners have arranged the train service so as to meet, as far as possible, the requirements of visitors, especially those whose time is limited, so that the various sights can be reached either in the course of a prolonged trip or during a series of short excursions, as may be found most convenient. The coach journey to the Jenolan Caves is very pleasant, and now that the caves are illuminated by electricity, their marvellous beauty becomes more clearly revealed. At Wellington, 995ft. above sea level, the famous caves, similarly named, are much frequented during the summer months, and possess many points of interest.

Written by macalba

June 17, 2010 at 8:07 pm

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