It was a tortuous journey by bullock wagon alongside rutted tracks and washed-out crossings from the southern tablelands to Sydney Cove. Consequently, in 1831 with the help of two unidentified Aboriginal guides, a gaggle of surveyors explored an alternate path to deliver agricultural produce, particularly wool, from Braidwood and past through Nerriga to Jervis Bay, for transport to Sydney.
Though it took greater than a decade for the bold plans to realize the tick of approval, in lower than a yr after commencing building, the calloused arms of 70 convicts accomplished the highway from Nerriga to Jervis Bay. On the coastal finish of the highway, at South Huskisson, a wharf and a wool retailer had been erected to allow wool shipments to Sydney and London.
Sadly, after only a handful of years of normal shipments from the wharf to Sydney, because of the commerce monopoly of influential Sydney retailers eager to export wool direct from Sydney, the quantity of visitors on the Wool Highway fell dramatically. In response to some reviews, by 1848 a lot of the freshly hacked route had been overgrown by bush.
Nevertheless one Jervis Bay native eager to rekindle tales of the long-forgotten highway is Jenny Robertson of Worrowing, a sprawling property situated proper alongside the historic route, close to Outdated Erowal Bay.
Robertson is the brainchild behind ‘The Wool Highway Undertaking’, an inventive path of site-specific artworks and revolutionary interpretative signage at a string of great websites alongside the Wool Highway, which she hopes will spotlight each the colonial and the indigenous historical past of the highway.
“The previous highway primarily follows an historic indigenous songline from Nerriga to the coast,” explains Robertson, who hopes the event of such a path will “shine the highlight on the largely unknown story of how the Yuin individuals guided European settlers concerning the most effective place to ascertain the highway from the mountain to the ocean”.
She additionally hopes it is going to “encourage extra cultural tourism into Jervis Bay, significantly from Canberra”.
Though Robertson’s vacationer path is in its embryonic stage as a consequence of planning and funding challenges, Peter Solness, a light-weight artist, lately offered a snapshot of what the path might entail when he crafted an attention grabbing picture in a single on Worrowing’s paddocks.
“The yellow wheels characterize the mechanical strategy of carting wool down the escarpment, while the wave-like path unifies the weather and is suggestive of the unbroken dreaming tracks created by the Indigenous individuals of this space,” explains Solness.
Though as we speak’s Fundamental Highway 92 deviates in a number of locations, there are a number of areas the place you may observe the very floor of the previous Wool Highway, no less than on foot.
One is a mud monitor (beware: put on gum boots because it’s boggy after rain) hidden on the fringes of suburbia linking Island Level Highway to The Wool Lane in Sanctuary Level, however arguably essentially the most spectacular stretch is at Bulee Hole, between Nerriga and Tianjara Falls.
Right here, in sections barely huge sufficient to unfold your arms, you get an actual sense of the 1840s engineering effort and proof that explosives had been used to blast the best way by means of this sandstone escarpment. It will have been a decent squeeze for the bullock wagons to barter by means of these slim cuttings.
Not far previous Bulee Hole, the unique Wool Highway adopted an much more direct route down the escarpment which adventurous (and solely skilled) 4WDers can observe by turning off at Jerrawangala Lookout after which following Wandean Highway to Wandandian.
For everybody else, from Jerrawangala turn-off it’s a straightforward 27-kilometre stretch (maintain to the pace restrict, for the native constabulary are making a fortune out of Canberrans a bit of too determined to dip their massive toe within the briny) right down to the Princes Freeway at Tomerong and the gorgeous Shoalhaven coast.
When you’ve checked in to your vacation digs, if you’re feeling peckish seize some fish n chips (attempt the Salty Crab Seafood Shack on Moona Creek Rd) and beat a path to the seashore at Vincentia’s Holden Avenue boat ramp. From right here, not solely is it an important spot to observe dolphins frolicking within the bay, however in case you look laborious sufficient at low tide, you may discover some partly submerged sandstone blocks.
That is all that continues to be of the historic wharf in-built 1840s, the official finish of the historic Wool Highway.
Fundamental Highway 92: A totally sealed various route from Canberra to Nowra. Because the highway traverses quite a few native authorities areas, the route isn’t signposted as finest because it may very well be and adjustments identify a number of occasions from Nerriga Highway to Braidwood Highway to Turpentine Highway . It seems on most GPS methods, however take a map simply in case. From Canberra to Jervis Bay the 190km journey through Bungendore, Tarago and Nerriga takes about 2.5 hours (stops further) — that’s about 30 minutes faster than driving through the Hume and Illawarra highways and an hour faster than through Batemans Bay.
Wool Highway Highlights
A number of landmarks alongside the historic Wool Highway can nonetheless be visited. Listed below are my high four:
Nerriga Lodge: Perched on the sting of the wilds of Morton Nationwide Park, this bush pub is open from 10am each day, with hearty lunches served midday–3pm each day, and conventional pub grub dished up Friday to Sunday from 6pm–8pm. Inside, the 165-year-old baltic pine that was as soon as the floorboards is now the primary characteristic of a cultured wood bar, and historic images and maps dangle from the corrugated iron partitions.
There are not any official parking spots, but when travelling in the direction of the coast there’s simply sufficient room to securely pull off (take care) on the western (left) aspect of the highway about 5.5 kilometres from the Nerriga Lodge. The unique part of the Wool Highway might be discovered by strolling a few hundred metres to the west of right here.
Tianjara Falls: Simply metres from the aspect of Fundamental Highway 92, this 60-metre drop (28 km from the Nerriga Pub) can flip from barely a dribble to a cascading fury after a rain occasion.
Jerrawangala Lookout: From this lofty vantage spot (37km from the Nerriga Lodge), accessible down a brief filth (2WD accessible besides after heavy rain) you may gasp on the view from Gerringong within the north to Ulladulla within the south. In response to native lore, Aboriginal individuals used this lookout to ship messages to others trekking within the labyrinth of deeply channelled gorges and swamps unfold out beneath.
Did You Know? Regardless of being short-lived as an agricultural transport route, the accompanying settlement created by the historic Wool Highway spawned the workforce for a future ship constructing business which ensured Jervis Bay’s relative prosperity for a few years to return.
Gentle pictures: Utilizing lengthy exposures and hand-illuminating his chosen topics utilizing small torches, Peter Solness is a grasp at creating other-worldly results, not often related to conventional pictures. For extra of his gorgeous pictures, try: www.illuminated-landscape.com
Keep: If you wish to bunk down on the previous Wool Highway, there are a number of choices together with the Nerriga Lodge (they now have two one-bedroom cabins for hire) and Worrowing Property the place there’s a choice of self-contained lodging starting from massive farm homes to wilderness huts and boat shed studios. 81 The Wool Rd, Worrowing Heights (between Sanctuary Level and Vincentia). Extra: www.worrowing.com.au
Over the previous couple of summers, readers of this column have been issued with numerous summer season vacation challenges, together with trying to find the longest blue bottle tentacle (three metres was the winner) and the largest cuttlebone (38cm lengthy) on south coast seashores. This yr’s problem is to the very best variety of pelicans perched on buoys, logs, jetties or any coastal (or inland) characteristic. To kick issues off, here’s a pair of pelicans lately snapped by Phill Sledge pole-sitting beneath Wray Avenue, Batemans Bay.
Merry Christmas and joyful holidays to all.
Contact Tim: Electronic mail: [email protected] or Twitter: @TimYowie or write c/- The Canberra Occasions, 9 Pirie St, Fyshwick.
The place within the area?
Clue: Don’t let the signal idiot you, that is really a preferred espresso cease on the best way to the coast.
Diploma of problem: Medium
Congratulations to Roger Shelton of Spence who was the primary reader to accurately establish final week’s picture because the church in Gipps Avenue, Bega, now residence to a Holden seller.
Learn how to enter: Electronic mail your guess alongside together with your identify and tackle to [email protected] The primary e-mail despatched after 10am, Saturday 22 December, 2018 will win a double move to Dendy – The House of High quality Cinema.
Canberra’s intrepid adventurer, thriller investigator, and cryptonaturalist. No person is aware of the Canberra area like Tim the Yowie Man.