Tag Archives: new south wales

Hill End – Part 1

At the end of 2021, after nearly 2 years of Covid-19, we took a car holiday in NSW. Not wanting to travel too far from our home in Sydney, in case the state borders, or the city borders, locked down once again (as it had done multiple times in the preceding months), we set our sights rather close to home to Central NSW. It’s a region that we were familiar with, having visited different places at various times, however there was still plenty of pockets left to explore.

Our first stop was the historical village of Hill End. This is a former gold rush town, which hit the area during the 1850s and inflated its local population to 8,000. When the easy gold (originally alluvial, found in local water-ways) ran dry, the population declined. By 1945, the population was 700. In 2016, it was 80. I’m not really sure of the population post-Covid as at 2023. I would think there might be a few people who would want to move to such an historic and scenic spot.

This is the northern approach to the town. It’s not the most accessible town in the Central West, accessible by sealed but quiet and twisting, country roads from either Bathurst or Mudgee. But once you’re there you can visit a heritage town. A shout out to the brave people north of Hill End, who valiantly fought a bushfire a fortnight ago. The fire thankfully did not reach the village.

Lord Howe Island – Behind the Scenes

I’ll end our look at Lord Howe Island with some photos of aspects of life that is not in those beautiful vista photos. After all, the island does survive on tourism. So how do they keep all those people and where does the waste go?

I can only answer some of those questions. I think the island tries its best to keep everything it does in-house as the only two methods of transport are…

Lord Howe Island - behind the scenes
Cargo ship docked at Lord Howe Island – once a fortnight.
Lord Howe Island - behind the scenes
QantasLink flight, once or twice a day (or none) – dependent on weather conditions.

That’s pretty much it. So everything has to be shipped it and out on either way.

Once you get walking around the island, you might notice quite a bit of pastureland in the middle.

Lord Howe Island - behind the scenes
Pastures at the back of the settlement.

It’s generally used as grazing land for the island’s dairy cow herd. You’ll see them throughout the island.

So the island gets fresh milk each day. There are also vegetable gardens that grow well in the moist, volcanic soil.

Lord Howe Island - behind the scenes
Gardens at Pine Trees Lodge.

So there is fresh produce available, albeit the grow-your-own variety.

And the island has an extensive solar panel system, that I heard will be expanded. And of course, everyone is on rainwater tank (no shortage of rain here).

Lord Howe Island - behind the scenes

I heard that recycling is collected but has to be shipped off the island for processing, so our accommodation had compostable throwaways.

Anyway, it’s good to see the island doing all it can to be sustainable.

And that’s all she wrote for Lord Howe Island. I hope these posts have given you a good taster if you’re thinking of going, or jog your memory if you’ve already been. It’s definitely worth while making the effort to visit.

And given that this holiday was in 2020, I’ve got plenty more trips to catch up on!

Lord Howe Island – Under the Canopy

Despite the presence of settlers for almost 190 years, the island still retains much of its original vegetation. That vegetation is in the form of subtropical rainforest. With the impressive landforms of Mounts Lidgbird and Gower (the remnants of a 7 million year old volcano) that drop off right into the ocean, the landscape is very Jurassic Park– like.

Under Mount Gower
Little Island Track.
Under Mount Gower
Under Mount Gower
Under the Canopy

You can see the presence of Kentia palms everywhere in the rainforest. These palms are commonly found as indoor plants everywhere around the world from back in the 19th Century.

Under the Canopy

Aside from these palms, there is also a variety of strangler vines and multi-coloured fungi.

Strangler Figs
Forest fungi

All of this is a short stroll from civilisation – and with the both easy and challenging tracks about, and the lack of stinging insects, it means that this rainforest is just about perfect (for me anyway)!