The Big Lap - Young & Gundagai




Cherries are my favourite fruit.  So it's a no brainer that when I found the 'Big Cherries', we just had to visit.  Unfortunately it was not Cherry season, but we stopped by the Big Thing at the Visitor Information Centre still the same.  At the Info Centre there was also a Monument erected by the Young & District Chamber of Commerce in honour of those who served and in memory of those who fell during WWII.  I am not by any means a supporter of War, in fact I hate it and how Governments subscribe innocent men and women to fight their battles for them.  I'd rather go to jail than go to war.

We stayed at the Young Caravan Park which is part of the G'Day/Discovery Parks Group.  We have subscribed to them for 2 years so we like to choose them wherever we go if we can as it saves us considerable cost.  

This was a lovely green paradise near town and located behind a BP Fuel Station, food and Subway.  They had a lovely pool that I was able to use and the amenities were very clean.  The grass was super green which made the park look very nice.  The only downfall was that they charged to use the BBQ, something that we feel should be included in the price. 

Sorry, I forgot to take photos, so the one below is one complimentary from G'Parks.



As is the case in small country towns, Young has one street with a Pub on every corner and a few shops.  One shop that caught our attention was the Gun Shop.  Really?  A Gun Shop in Australia?

Well, I guess the farmers out here can still have a gun licence.  

Anyway, the the name of this shop made us smile...  😝



The scenery between Forbes and Young was relatively flat but with mountains in the distance either side.  It was quite an interesting landscape.  

Half way I planned for us to stop at Grenfell to see the beautiful painted Silo Art here.  We have viewed some great Silo Art during our journey and this was up there with the best.  We certainly have some talented artists in Australia.



Every small town that we have visited has something of interest.  Young is no exception.  

We checked out the Lambing Flat Chinese Tribute Garden just out of town which is a true credit to Young.  It was establised in 1992 to recognise the Chinese contribution to the settlement of Young in the 1860's.  

Young used to be called Lambing Flat and majorly a Chinese Gold Prospector community, however this community was plundered by racist whites.  The name Young was after Sir John Young who was the NSW Govenor at the time of the Lambing Flat Riots.

The garden is a lovely tribute to Chinese Gardens and in memory of yesteryear.  We enjoyed our wander around.  Just when we were leaving, a group of young ladies turned up for what looked like a yoga workout.  What a lovely place to enjoy nature and gentle, invigorating exercise.  😊



We had the most strangest caravan site at the Gundagai Cabins & Tourist Park.  

They have 3 rows of solid structures with a roof that you house your caravan under.  I have no idea why they chose to do this only that maybe they can house more caravans per square metre.  The whole thing seemed to be a waste of money to us.  There were pros and cons. Pros are that it is relatively easy to park the van, so long as you can drive in straight.  The sites were obviously level so not a great deal of adjustment for hubby to do.  The power and water were right beside us and within easy reach.  If you wanted your own ensuite, it was there also, right beside you but obviously at an extra cost.  Or you could choose to use the shared amenities close by.  

Cons, too close to the neighbour, and the place was pretty much booked out.  Also, we were surrounded by families that partied into the small hours of the morning and with kids that woke up and dragged their bikes along the streets at early hours in the morning.

Again, I forgot to take photos.  Photo below supplied by G'Day Parks.  Our spot was the one at the far right hand side.



Gundagai is well known for the Dog on the Tuckerbox.  My early memories of this poem was 'And the dog sat on the Tuckerbox, 9 miles from Gundagai.'

We were on a day trip to Yass to meet up with a good friend, Steve from Canberra.  First stop was the famous Dog on the Tuckerbox.

We had a nice coffee here and bacon and egg breakfast bun.  I wasn't really impressed with the sauce on the bun which was way too sweet and ruined it I reckon.  

The Dog on the Tuckerbox was small compared to the pictures on the net.  Anyway, it's a nice place to stop and enjoy a wander around the various bullock team memorabila and signage surrounding this unique part of history.

Bullocky Bill, a poem published by Bowyang Yorke in 1857 that describes the misfortunes of a bullock driver including his dog sitting on and spoiling his food in the Tucker Box.



I was keen to find somewhere interesting to check out in between Gundagai and Yass.  Armed with Google Maps and Google Images, I looked at various small towns along the way.  That is when I discovered an old pioneer village at a small place called Bowning.   However, I could not find much about it apart from one picture on Google Images.

We were running short of fuel so I said to hubby not to worry about taking the exit to Bowning as I was not sure that this small pioneer village existed.  Hubby, decided to take the exit anyway and that is when we found the Rollonin Cafe which is only 1 minute from the highway.

We pulled in and I wandered inside.  I immediately was taken back by the Little House on the Prarie clothing on the staff here.  Ahhh, this is an Amish settlement, I thought.  I was taken back to when we were in Ocoee, Tennissee USA and came across a similar Cafe run by the Amish.  

After a bit of research later, I discovered that the clothing was only part of  the getup depicting last century and the early settlers here.  

Coming out ot the Cafe, I walked around the back and lo and behold, there was the Pioneer Village that I had seen on the net.  Just a little memoribila version of days gone by.  

Rollonin Cafe was opened on 8th December, 2008.  It is a rustic cafe that looks like it hasn't changed since the 1800's.  Complete with a replica of an old street in the old pioneer days in the backyard and a minagerie of pet animals that people of all ages can enjoy.  

The inside decor is plastered with old newspapers and a selection of locally made gifts and povidore.  The buildings are all made from local materials which is a true labour of love.  

I recommend a visit here.



Yass is the home of Banjo Paterson, a famous Australia Poet.  Paterson wrote Waltzing Matilda, The Man from Snowy River, Clancy of the Overflow, The Man from Ironbark, The Geebung Polo Club and my personal favourite, Mulga Bills Bicycle.  I encourage you to look up the entertaining Mulga Bills Bicycle poem.  

I grew up on poetry.  I had a book called A Childs Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson that has amazing poetry.  Happily my eldest daughter Kelli has the old book now.  I had a primary school teacher that introduced us to a lot of funny poems.  How McDougall Topped the Score by Thomas E Spencer.  I encourage you to look that one up.  And Mulga Bills Bicycle, one of my all time favourites.

We arrived in Yass way too early for our lunch with Steve.  So we visited the Information Centre which was very pleasant.  I found a room that had a Banjo Paterson Bust.  Photo is not that good because it had bright sun in the background.

We drove around town.  Yass is a pretty town with hills and a nice river with well maintained paths either side amongst the greenery, trees and wildlife.  

It was a busy little place.  Eventually we found parking behind the main street and next to the Banjo Patterson Park.  There was another bigger bust of the poet here. 



Through the park and onto the street, the Yazzbar was just across the road.  This was our meeting place for lunch.   From the pictures on the net I thought it was a bit out of town with plenty of space around.  They were probably showing photos of the garden tables out back.  Unfortunately, today the weather wasn't too kind so we had to eat inside.  

We were looking forward to it as they have a tappas menu so that we could share.  Steve chose a good one, spicy meatballs, which was really nice.  Hubby and I chose a meat and cheese platter which was just ok.  And I picked a zuchini fritter tappa which was awefull.  It was way overcooked.  

The staff were nice and the wine was good.  So overall, I would score it a 3 star.  Not really a place that I would recommend nor come back to.

However, it was wonderful to catch up with our good friend Steve and we enjoyed a couple of hours of eating, drinking and chitchat.  




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