22 May A One-Night-Stand in Lockhart and Gunning, NSW Australia
… no, no, no, no, … it was a one-night-stopover in both of these places.
Lockhart is a small town in the Riverina region of NSW, 45 minutes drive (approx) south-west of the nearest large town, Wagga Wagga. It’s the Local Government centre of the Shire of Lockhart and home to 3119 people (2016 Aust. Census).
The main “drag” through town is called Green Street. In fact, the site of the town was originally known as Green’s Gunya, because a Mr Green had a “Gunya” (Aboriginal hut), or more accurately, a grog shop there. The town that grew around the “Gunya” was renamed Lockhart in 1897, after a government official from the area.
And, since we’re mentioning government officials, Tim Fischer, the leader of the National Party 1990 -1999 and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia 1996-1999, was born in Lockhart.
We arrived in Lockhart around lunch time on Sunday 15th April and after a bite to eat took a stroll down the main street.
Lockhart is known as “The Verandah Town”, with most of the main street buildings constructed in the early 1900s.
The roads in and out of Lockhart are sealed, but can be a little rough and uneven. Don’t let that stop you going there. Just drive a little slower, especially if towing a van.
Monday Night Cards, Tuesday Night Pool Comp, Friday Night Karate, Saturday Night “Recreational Rock Stars”, Sunday Arvo “Open Mic”. So nothing happens Wednesday and Thursday nights?
Other attractions in town are Green’s Gunya Museum (includes the Doris Golder Gallery), the Pioneer Memorial Gates and the Spirit of the Land Festival held here in October each year.
Below are some of the metal (and part wooden) sculptures from past Spirit of the Land Festivals, strategically placed around town.
We were so pleased to have an opportunity to spend a night in Lockhart. But for a deadline further north, we would have stayed longer.
Our plan these days is to travel no more than three to four hours a day when towing the caravan. So we needed another place to stay for one night on our way north (from Lockhart) to Wombeyan Caves.
Gunning is indeed a small place, with only 659 residence (2016 Aust. Census), but it has a large showground with plenty of free, shorterm camping space available (however a donation is requested to help with maintenance of the grounds). We had read positive reviews on various websites and friends had also provided pleasing feedback about it, so we decided to check it out (Monday 15th April).
It was time to explore the township.
The Hume highway (Highway 31 – Sydney to Melbourne) ran through the main street of Gunning (Yass Street) until the town was bypassed in April 1993.
Just the other side of the hotel (to the northeast) is the “servo” and convenience store. You can leave a donation there for showground camping.
While many country towns in NSW have lost their passenger train service, Gunning has a daily NSW TrainLink XPT service in both directions between Sydney and Melbourne, plus one weekly Xplorer service operating between Sydney and Griffith.
I feel privileged to have the time and the means to visit and photograph various aspects of these country towns.
Thanks for reading this far. If you have any suggestions to help make these blogs more interesting for you, please leave a comment below.
Well, its off to Wombeyan Caves for the next episode. Hope you’ll stay in touch.
Kevin @ Bev G.Posted at 16:58h, 22 May
A wonderful episode, Alister. The village radiates dignity and tranquility. It seems to me to be a perfect epilogue to the retirement rewards Maggie and you have enjoyed. Home and the future!
alistairstravelPosted at 19:41h, 22 May
Thank you Kevin. I’m pleased that our enjoyment of these places come through in the blog.
Peter Gordon StantonPosted at 09:47h, 25 May
Love the real Oz look…makes my little village of Elmore look very ordinary…but I love it.
alistairstravelPosted at 16:55h, 25 May
I am very fond of Elmore as well and I wouldn’t consider it ordinary. Next time we visit I would like to spend time making photos of the wonderful houses (including yours), churches and public buildings there.
L2Posted at 11:16h, 26 July
The train that you saw at Gunning was a steel train, travelling to Port Kembla from either Melbourne or Whyalla. Those wagons are designed to carry steel coils – here is one that is loaded: https://railgallery.wongm.com/pacific-national-interstate-steel-trains/F118_9330.jpg.html
I’m surprised that you didn’t take a look at Lockhart’s railway station, which is well maintained for a facility that is only rarely used.
alistairstravelPosted at 17:39h, 26 July
Thanks for your response Marcus. Prior to writing this blog I spent a lot of time searching online for photos and information to solve the mystery of the wagons I saw at Gunning. Obviously I didn’t find what I wanted. So am grateful to you for providing the information and a photo.
As for the station at Lockhart, I am surprised and disappointed I didn’t see it. However, our stop at Lockhart was a “last minute” decision. so I had not done any prior research on the town. I remember being very tired after a long drive, but walked from the caravan park around the main street then back. At the time I felt quite rewarded for my effort, having seen so many attractive buildings and metal sculptures. Again I do appreciate your comment and will make certain I visit the Lockhart Station when we are next in that region.