Friday, September 26, 2008


We have just been on a lovely little family holiday for the past week. We visited many places in NSW that I have been many times before, but this time I looked at them with different eyes. It’s such a lovely feeling, rediscovering the beauty and value of a place or thing or person.

Dorrigo is one of the places I remember visiting often as a child. It is a little town in Northern NSW on a plateau in the Great Dividing Range. My childhood memories of this place are dominated by feelings of carsickness (driving through the mountains) and the “Rusty Train Museum”. And based on those memories, the trains are the reason we stopped here – my son is a mad ‘ferroequinologist’ – he loves trains! And I must admit, I have a soft spot for them too.

The train ‘museum’, unfortunately, is a long line of old carriages and locomotives from New South Wales Railways that have been sitting there rotting, rusting, falling apart, until the funds are raised and work done to make it a proper museum. The locomotives, particularly, are so grand and proud – remnants of a ‘bygone era’ … such a shame to see them as they are.

We spent the night in the ‘Hotel Dorrigo’, a pub built in the 1920s that is in fabulous condition, being Heritage listed and recently renovated. We had a room on the verandah that had two French doors opening out. The d├ęcor of the room was mostly consistent with the era – cast iron beds, carved silky oak furniture.

In the morning, the town was in fog (it’s cold in Dorrigo!!) but the main street was busy with cars early – it was lovely being on the verandah with a cup of tea watching the day unfold and rediscovering little gems.

... and as a post script to my last post to those who were wondering; Yes! we did have fish and chips in Redcliffe .... followed by icecreams :D


DangAndBlast! said...

Lovely. Must get out there some day. (My husband wanted to go for a honeymoon, but the trip was too long and we had too little time.)

Hey Harriet said...

Pity about the neglected train museum :( The hotel looks very cool. Country town pub/hotels are fun to stay in. Except the ones where obnoxious pissy roughnuts hang out. I've stayed in a couple of those. NOT FUN! Glad you guys had a nice week away!

Nice to hear that you had fish & chips, followed by icecreams in Redcliffe the other week :)

Hot Fudge said...

When I showed Tony your post, his eyes glazed over and he said, "How far away is Dorrigo?" You see, I am married to a "ferroequinologist" of the grand order. In fact, he has the Dorrigo Railway Museum site up on his computer right now and I am getting the full lecture. Help!

Ali said...

Tracy; no obnoxious pissy roughnuts on the night we were there, thankfully!
Robyn, I'm so sorry!!! I know very well what life is like with a ferroequinologist - first my Dad, now my son!!

Bec said...

Wow I never knew there was a name for this. We should start a club. Lee is also a mad ferroequinologist. When he was 1 I made him a train cake, because it was the only thing he was into at that age. And he is now 4, and the only birthday cake he has ever requested has been a 'train' cake (this year I made two cakes and convinced him that one should be a robot - but the other one still had to be 'Spencer' from Thomas the Tank Engine). Maybe we might have to take a family trip to Dorrigo - it looks lovely (and the train museum is definitely appealing - Lee still talks about Puffing Billy that he saw 2 years ago now!). I don't suppose they had any charming country oppies as well? :P