I am starting the walk now I have been and seen the Tacking Point Lighthouse.
I am heading along the road we have come in from and haven't gone very far, when I see a steep stairway leading down to a small cove on the right hand side of the road. I take a look at the steps at the same time thinking about the distance I had to walk [9km] to complete my journey, this made me to decide to sit on the well positioned seat and view from the top.
I wouldn't have minded being down there as there were rocks pools, and I love looking in these! There were big rocks in this secluded cove, a little sand, and then stairs leading over the rocks on the far side which would take you to the next beach.
Located across the road from the Old Courthouse, is the Historical Museum & Gallery. The actual building it's located in, dates to between 1835 & 1840. When first built, it was used as a shop and dwelling. The building is constructed with hand made bricks and built in the style of the buildings in the first settlement. Most of it is the original building.
The first room is where the volunteers were waiting to take my money [admission] - very cheap!
After a little talk, I was given a pamphlet with details and how to not miss all of the 14 rooms and galleries.
This Museum is all about telling the story of Port Macquarie from the first settlers to the Birpai people, then British settlement in 1821 and to how it is today, a tourist resort and somewhere the retirees make home!
I began at the Foundation room, the first room off the entrance foyer. This room is where the beginnings of Port Macquarie are explained. It's here I learn about the Birpai aboriginal people, and see a tree trunk where they have carved a shield from and the Boomerangs they used, much different to the shop bought ones!. It then continues on to tell how the British discovered here in 1818, and how it became a penal colony in 1821, and then a free settlement in 1830.
The Museum is one of the best I have seen in Australia. It was very interesting and had displays I had not seen in another Museum.
OPEN Monday to Saturday 9.30am - 4.30pm
ADMISSION IN 2013. Adults $5 Children $2 Families $2 Concession $3.50
PHOTOS ARE ALLOWED WITHOUT A FLASH
Next review is on some more of the inside of the Museum
Exiting from the Foundation room, I enter the Heritage gallery which is where temporary exhibitions are displayed and then move onto the Tank room. This display focuses on domestic life in the 1800's. The original Well is still in the building and surrounding it are old washing machines and other pieces to do with an old time laundry.
Before entering the street of shops there was a dress-up area, where you could dress in colonial clothes and somebody could take you photo.
I really liked the street of shops and the window dressings. More to see is the Costume Gallery, South Gallery, North & South courtyards, historic kitchen. Upstairs, is the Parlour, Dining room, a bedroom and nursery. There are some beautiful pieces of crockery on display.
So, I guess it took me at least an hour or more to view the Museum, one I enjoyed immensely.
Before leaving, I left a nice comment in the visitors book.
More photos in my travelogues
I am still in the Foundation room as there are some very interesting pieces to read.
One was the food ration that each convict received. In 1825, each convict received 500gm or either fresh or salted beef, 1kg bread made from wheat or maize and 500gms of vegetables.
I enjoyed reading about the Convicts, how little they did to receive so many lashings. The Museum even has an original lashing table where the Convict had to lie over.
From my photos, you will be able to have a read, just like I did in the Museum.
The Glasshouse Arts Conference & Entertainment centre is fairly new. From the local people we spoke to, it doesn't sound like they are "that" impressed with it!
I thought it quite an impressive building, complete glass, that is why it's called the Glasshouse.
It has been built on site where administration took place back in 1821. In 1823, this was where the first Convict overseers cottages were. Now, there is a glassed section so you can see the old remains of the buildings found during excavation.
This building is where the Tourist Information centre is located. At the other end, is a Café, Bar & Restaurant which serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner 7days a week.
On the side wall beside the staircase, the wall was covered with wood, I thought quite magnificent.
I picked up a free brochure on who was performing in the up-coming weeks. There were some top name entertainers that I wouldn't have minded seeing.
EVERY FRIDAY ARE FREE CONCERTS between 12.30pm -1.30pm
I continue walking Clarence street, down a hill and to the Old Courthouse.
Oh dear! It was closed!
A look around this 1869 courthouse found it to be a very plain building. Nothing exicting at all!
It was used as a Courthouse until 1993.
I wonder what is inside, you will have to tell me.
ONLY OPEN LIMITED HOURS.
Monday - Friday. 10 - 3.30 PM Saturdays 10 - 1pm
ADMISSION IN 2013 Adult $2 Concession $1 Children 12 & over .50cents
Still I walk along Stewart Street, turning right into Clarence Street to find the historic graves.
On the lawned area of Allman hill, are a few headstones which mark the site of the settlement's first cemetery (1821-24).
One tells of a young soldier killed by a convict during an escape attempt and another of a child who died within three weeks of birth.
A Dr Fattorini who is buried here believed he was a relation of Napoleon, I wonder if that was true?
This site is named Allman Hill after Francis Allman, the commandant of the original penal settlement, who hoisted the British flag on this site after stepping ashore in 1821.
Lunch over, I continued following the pathway in Lions Park to the Gaol Point Lookout. From this location I had nice views over the river mouth, the harbour and Town Beach.
Out in the open is a cannon, not the original, but one built and donated by a local resident. Located on this point in the 1840s, were two cannons and two four pounders used to guard the river entrance, and to deter convicts from escaping from the penal colony of Port Macquarie.
Under the shelter, the Lions Club have created a very interesting historic map for the site which conveys what the settlement looked like in the early 19th century
Opposite, at the corner of Stewart and Lord Sts, is the Historic Well Motel which contains one of the two wells built to service the gaol. It is located near the motel's laundry, so perhaps you had better ask for the location before going in!
Rotary park is lawned area on the hill above Town Beach. Located beside the pathway the overlooks the beach are many park benches with wonderful views. I decided to sit on one of these, eat my lunch and give my legs a well earned rest!
Afterwards, I had a look at the Astronomical Observatory. At it was lunch time, it wasn't open, and I couldn't return at night.
It was built in 1961/62, and has a five inch telescope.
In the evenings, it is open for a one hour presentation that lets you see the southern night sky. Even if the weather is bad, the presentation will still go ahead.
There is a gift shop with some in-expensive items for purchase.
The Port Macquarie Astronomical Observatory is run by the Port Macquarie Astronomical Association Inc. a non-profit voluntary group of people interested in astronomy.
OPEN- Sunday and Wednesday nights. Doors open 7.15 pm (8pm Daylight Saving)
Admission in 2013
Adults $8, Concession $7, Children $5, Families (2 Adults, 2 Children) $22, Children under 5 years free
Bookings Not Required
The outside was lovely, so what will the inside be like?
Entry into the house is at the back door, where you leave a gold coin donation, either $1 Or $2.
Here, I picked up a brochure on the house and was met by one of the volunteers who was eager to show me some of the house, and fill me in on some details.
I found it belonged to the Flynn Family, the husband who was a land surveyor. He and his wife had six children. The guide showed me the photo's, then some of the family's belongings. I learnt a lot from the guide about this family.
Afterwards, I was left to explore on my own.
This 10 roomed house's architecture is Victorian Georgian. The inside is mostly clad with the red mahogany [now painted] that was used on the outside. The rooms have very high ceilings and windows and fireplaces in 7 of the main rooms. Although the rooms are furnished, much has been lent or given to give a nicer effect. I think my favorite was the Formal Dining room.
ROTO HOUSE IS OPEN DAILY 10am – 4.30PM
CLOSED on Christmas Day, Easter Sunday and Anzac Day morning.
PHOTOS ARE ALLOWED
Roto House is staffed by volunteers, so occasionally visitors may find it closed due to unavailability of staff.
A 30 min walk from the town centre
Roto House is located next to the Koala Hospital in the Macquarie Nature Reserve.
Surrounded by a lot of green mown grass, this timber home is now painted cream and is surrounded by a cream picket fence. The front garden is small with plantings of the era.
The house itself, was built in 1891 out of red mahogany in Victorian Georgian architecture. The house is a good size, having 10 rooms and a bullnose verandah that surrounds the house.
There used to be an orchard, vineyard, vegetable & flower gardens, stables, cow & sulky shed, most of these are no longer there.
Now Roto House is in amongst the surburbs, back in 1891 it was in the country, hence why all the items mentioned above were part of Roto House.
THE INSIDE OF THE HOUSE IS OPEN DAILY FROM
10am – 4.30pm, but closed on Christmas Day, Easter Sunday and Anzac Day morning.
Roto House is staffed by volunteers, so occasionally visitors may find it closed due to unavailability of staff.
The Koala Hospital has a gift shop selling anything to do with Koalas. Even a child could buy a nice Koala pencil, thus helping raise money for the centre.
The adoption of a Koala is an excellent way to help. Anybody can do this, even somebody from overseas. You can pick the Koala you wish to adopt.
Take at look here. http://www.koalahospital.org.au/product-category/adoptions
The prices begin at $35.
By adopting a Koala, this money helps with rescue and treatment of sick and injured koalas being cared for so they can be released back into the wild. The money is also used for research relating to habitat, disease, nutrition and habits of wild koalas and to provide educational material to the general public.
Have a look at the boards beside the information centre, as there you will find a newspaper cutting on the White Koala, a very rare sight!
I had read about a Koala Hospital at Port Macquaie, so put it on my list of "must sees."
I walked through the Port Macquarie Nature Reserve where there would have been Koalas in the trees. I didn't see any, and I was looking! The walkway led me to the Koala Hospital.
Here, I found the Koalas in large enclosures, all were asleep as it was the middle of the day. Information on each Koala on how it was injured and where it came from etc, was attached to each pen. Some very sad stories, although the upside is they are alive and doing well in the Hospital.
You can walk through and view all for FREE, DONATION TINS are scattered around if you wish to help.
WHY DONATE..... Because this Hospital is a registered Charity and is entirely run by volunteers. To raise enough money to keep the centre running, money has to be raised some way. Approx $160,000 is needed per year.
The centre has a FREE GUIDED TOUR AT 3PM EVERY DAY.
They can't charge a fee because they are a charity, so they rely on donations given by the public who take these tours.
The tour takes you around the enclosures where the Koalas are recovering after receiving treatment. The plus with the tour, is you see them being fed and hear first hand the sad stories of how they came to be here.
More on next review
The next beach to Nobbys Beach, is Flynns Beach, another popular beach which has a road that you can drive down and park right beside the beach.
Once again, this is a beach located between a pair of rocky headlands, there-for is protected from westerly and southerly winds. Because of this, it is the ideal place to learn to surf. The beach is only about 1/2 km long.
A Surf Club is situated here and has a kiosk that serves meals. Accommodation and shops are plentiful in the area.
I walked a little further along Pacific drive from the Nobby Head Park, and found the road that led to a car park below Nobbys Head. You can climb stairs to the top of Nobbys Head, something I didn't feel like doing after so much walking. Views of the Head were excellent from where I was standing.
Next to Nobbys Head is Nobbys Beach, another lovely beach with some rocks scattered around. It is very popular with Dog owners as it's an off leash area. There were a couple of dogs on the beach chasing a stick and splashing in the water.