Our last morning in Tumut was a cold, frosty, but majestic one. I was so excited about capturing this sunrise from the balcony that I nearly slipped on the ice! No harm done, luckily.
Today we visit Adelong Falls, a few k’s out of town and the site of the gold processing plant. Adelong Creek flows fast and cold, there are a few ruined buildings left.
These are the remains of the Wilson and Ritchie Battery.
The battery site comprises: two water wheels with associated weirs, races and aqueducts; a 24 foot buddle; a series of holding tanks; a small quarry; a reverbatory furnace with separate brick stack; a weighbridge; a works office; a cottage with a terraced garden; a metalled entry road with stone revetments; three paths and an unidentified terrace. (Winston-Gregson 1985: 35)
We can see a close up of what remains of the biggest water wheel. Those prospectors were a pretty enterprising lot!
Where do the Adelong residents go for a feed and a drink? First stop is of course the pub (and it’s not called the Royal Hotel).
The second (much better option, in my opinion) is Beaufort House, which is now a boutique hotel/bar/Vienese restaurant. Yes, you heard it, a Vienese restaurant. We only had coffee and cake, but I would have loved to have eaten there.
Now, if Adelong can support such an establishment, why was Tumut bereft of restaurants (except for the fast food variety). It has to be one of the great mysteries of the world…
Not far from Tumut is the village of Adelong. Its claim to fame is:
1. Its well-preserved heritage-listed buildings.
2. The remnants of the gold diggings a little out of town.
I was surprised that to find that there was a bit of gold in south-east NSW, since the gold rush that happened in this area didn’t make it to my history lessons at school (the ones that did were the Victorian and the Central NSW gold rushes). The gold rush during the 1850’s and 60’s brought in more than 30,000 people, hence why the town has such a ‘grand’ collection of buildings, such as…
The post office.
28km east of Tumut lies Goobarragandra – well, the Goobarragandra River anyway. This is prime trout fishing territory and there’s a trout farm just downstream. But although BB is an avid angler the trout is out of season. We content ourselves with exploring the river.
The current swirling around boulders makes a nice photographic study.
Sometimes landscape photography is about being at the right place at the right time. This really applies for sunsets, especially winter sunsets. The sun dips so quickly that you have a mere five minutes in which to take shots before darkness falls.
Luckily in Tumut, I was in the right place at the right time. There was a beautiful strand of gum trees just opposite the cottage, so it was a matter of ducking out into the cold and taking as many shots as I could within those critical 5 minutes.
These trees were radiant in the golden winter sunset. I couldn’t help but be in awe as I looked up at the mottled trunk into the wispy canopy. It was a truly magical moment.
And now for something different.
We escaped Canberra, first stopping at Clonakilla (a small but very successful winery), and then at Gundagai’s Niagara Cafe (with its genuine art deco interior and interesting history). Our destination however was Tumut. Nestled by the Tumut River, at the foot of the Snowy Mountains, it is a very quiet and scenic place.
Our cottage was in a paddock, by the river. It was wonderfully quiet, and the light at sunset was the best I’d seen yet.
We’re at Black Mountain Tower. The last time I came here was probably in the late Eighties. Strangely, its interior (of the observation deck at least) doesn’t seem to have been renovated since then – the pebble-crete flooring is still in tact, and the cafe only serves retro favourites.
None of the interior detracts from the view outside, however.
We climbed the stairs to the two exterior observation floors, and the view was spectacular.
There weren’t any snow on the Brindabella Ranges though. That was quite good news for us, because we really didn’t want to drive on icy roads.