Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Bungonia - John Fraser

The Goulburn information centre gives us the following information about the town:

Today Bungonia is famous for bushwalking and caving

"The Bungonia district was settled in the early 1820s, little more than 30 years after Governor Phillip landed at Port Jackson. The village plan, drawn up in September 1832, replaced the earlier plans for a settlement at Inverary and included provision for a recreation area, schools, churches, a courthouse and other public facilities associated with a major centre.

Most of the inhabitants were convicts, ex convicts or ticket of leave men and women working on four or five big properties. As the area developed and other settlers came, the village progressed and various small businesses were established to service the district. Butchers, carriers, shopkeepers, sawyers, stonemasons are some of the listed occupations in the census and the Post Office Directories. The school, post office, shop, hotels and the two churches operated from a very early date.

Surveyor-General Mitchell relocated the main road south through Goulburn, by-passing Bungonia and ending its prospect of becoming a major centre.

Bungonia's historical legacy is a number of very fine buildings. Part of Lumley Park Homestead and the old Hotel Victoria (1837), St. Michael's Catholic Church (1847) and the old Parsonage(1841) were constructed by stonemason Patrick Kelly. The old Bungonia School was opened as a Roman Catholic Denominational School in 1866 with 39 children on the roll. The building was made of sawn timber with shingles and split slabs, also providing accommodation for 30 children. In 1868 it was converted into a Provisional School and then in 1880 it became a Public School. The stone schoolhouse and residence were built in 1882 at a cost of 750 pounds. Christchurch (1893) claims a connection with the architect Blacket and the old Police Station was built in 1907.
All except the churches are now private residences.

Bungonia Park stretches along Woodward and Bungonia Creeks within the village boundaries. While here, take some time to enjoy the Bogong Aboriginal Bush-food Garden.  The Park is a common meeting place for various groups, with picnic tables, BBQs, toilet facilities and play equipment available.

Bungonia is also the gateway to the Bungonia National Park, famous for its beautiful views, bushwalks, rock climbing, abseiling and canyoning. The lookouts are easily accessible(including by wheelchair) and a range of walking tracks cater to all fitness levels. The Bungonia caves system were discovered in 1829 by William Shelley.

At the Bungonia Lookdown you stand in the Southern Tablelands and look down over Morton National Park at the South Coast botanical region. Box woodlands give way to coastal forests with patches of rainforest still containing occasional Red Cedars (highly prized for its wonderful red timber and now protected).

In places such as this, the blue-eyed Satin Bowerbirds build their bowers and raid neighbouring orchards for fruit. The adult males are such a dark blue that it almost looks black. Younger males and females are shades of olive green and brown"

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