Christmas at Bathurst, country NSW


We spent Christmas at my husband’s family just out side of Bathurst, country NSW. There something about Christmas, that laconic passage of those few days, where time stands still in suburban homes throughout the country. There’s the BQ, table set, turkey, christmas pudding, TV, maybe lawn cricket, overeating and usually the blend of heat and cicadas.

IMG_0325 IMG_0329 IMG_0333IMG_0375 IMG_0338 IMG_0320 IMG_0359IMG_0321 IMG_0336 IMG_0316IMG_0358IMG_0352 IMG_0346IMG_0054

Home in the suburbs of Bathurst with the sound of lawnmowers, followed by silence, distant traffic and a suspended lassitude.


The home setting

IMG_1260 IMG_1263IMG_1262 IMG_1261 IMG_1258 IMG_1268IMG_1259 IMG_1266

Road trip, country NSW


On a road trip visiting family in country NSW for Christmas


Had a quick detour to look at the historic town, Hartley on the way to Bathurst. Hartley village is situated at the bottom of Victoria Pass, on the great western highway in the valley between Mount Victoria and Lithgow. 

IMG_1244 IMG_1249 IMG_1246IMG_1245IMG_1250IMG_1247

Ivy Cottage, St Bernard’s Catholic Church, and Court House.

“Hartley was formerly a judicial and administrative centre that had a busy courthouse. The courthouse was built in 1837 and was designed by prominent New South Wales Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis. The courthouse, which operated for over fifty years, dealt with a constant stream of robbers, thieves and convicts. Although Hartley fell into disuse, it survived as a perfectly preserved village that is a superb example of 19th century architecture. Because of its heritage value, it is now preserved as a historic site, administered by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of New South Wales.”


Bathurst, the oldest inland settlement in Australia, it was the site of the first gold discovery and where the first gold rush occurred in Australia. Bathurst has a historic city centre with many buildings remaining from the gold rush period of the mid to late 1800s.

We visited the central town’s Machattie Park to cool off in the morning heat. I visit this garden each time I go to Bathurst as I love the historical and nostalgic atmosphere, its a great example of a late 19th century Victorian country town park. Opened in 1890, it has a Rotunda, the Bandstand, the Caretakers Cottage, Crago Fountain, a Fernery, and Drinking Fountains.

the park has a valuable collection of mature and majestic trees that are used either informally or formally as avenue plantings. Most of these trees are not natives of Australia. Particularly important are the avenues of Huntington Elms bordering the park as well as a unique layered elm hedge. Some of the fine specimens of exotic trees include, Bunya Pine, Atlas Cedar, Deodar Cedar, Red Beech, English Oak, Pin Oak, Wellingtonia, Chinese Elm and Silver Elm.” 


Bathurst, Orange, then the journey home passing through Millthorpe, another historical town, established in the pioneering era, with heritage architecture and a streetscape that has remained largely unchanged since the early 1900’s. The entire village is classified by the National Trust and the village centre has cobbled, bluestone bordered streets.


One of the grand old corner pubs, and pressed tin panels to an entrance of an old bank, and now function space.

Streets with flowering borders reminiscent of an English village.

IMG_1314 IMG_1315IMG_1316IMG_1327

A bandstand at Millthorpe, and minimal and functional BBQ hut

IMG_1321IMG_1320 IMG_1319 IMG_1325

Plenty of antique stores, with the classic  hydrangeas flowers in the shade

IMG_1313 IMG_1312