Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The history of Australian Riverboats

Paddle-steamers and riverboats were vital to the opening up and development of Australia. While ocean-going ships brought people to Australia, it was the river system and river trade that opened up the whole south-east corner of the continent.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Rediscovering Swan Reach SA


Prior to the arrival of Europeans in 1836, the custodians of the region were approximately 1200 Ngalawang tribal members. The aborigines lived with nature, while the white man tried to tame it. Living along the river on a semi-permanent basis, they used the skins from their catches to ward off the cold during winter, made an arrangement of baskets from the reeds, built low stone walls across the river to trap fish, in all, surviving a healthy lifestyle.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Six spooky experiences to try this coming Halloween

From unleashing your inner ghostbuster to investigating crime scenes and being part of a supernatural interactive theatre show, there’s something for everyone.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Hahndorf: The Studio of Nora Heysen


Nora Heysen is recognised as one of Australia's most significant 20th-century female artists, being the first woman to win the Archibald Prize (1938), and the first woman appointed as an Australian War Artist (1943-46). Her art is in the collections of the Australian War Museum, the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery and the National Library, together with state and regional art galleries, and numerous private collections.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Meals on Wheels: Sydney and NSW Food Trucks

There's a unique kind of joy to sitting on a milk crate with a paper plate laden with flavourful food balancing on your knees. NSW has long had a love affair with food trucks, which shows no signs of abating. Here are some of the tastiest in town:

Monday, September 6, 2021

Ten Virtual Travel Experiences you can enjoy from home

For the chefs who want to learn how to make more than just banana bread

Small Group Authentic Mumbai Virtual Cooking Class with Dessert

Learn how to make Pav Bhaji and Rice Kheer from Kajal. Based in Mumbai, Kajal picked up authentic home-style family recipes from her mom and sister. In 2017 she started hosting food tours and Pav Bhaji was always one of the most popular dishes. This Maharashtrian delicacy is a thick vegetable curry made from seasonal vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes and onions served with pav, which is a bread roll topped with butter and best served hot. The word 'pav' comes from the Portuguese word for bread and 'bhaji' in Marathi means a vegetable dish.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Don Dunstan ends Adelaide's Six O'Clock Swill

A volunteer at the Magill RSL was in the crosshairs of prosecutors in 1947 for an offence that, these days, we would see as innocuous on a Friday night. 

Monday, August 9, 2021

Adelaide's Historic Ayers House Future Under Threat

Photo by The Advertiser
Photo: The Advertiser

Warren Jones
Adelaide East Herald

The future of the historic Ayers House and museum is under threat.

On 10th June 2021, an eviction notice from the Minister for Environment and Water and his Departmental Head was hand-delivered to the National Trust of SA demanding that it vacate the property within 31 days.

Following difficult negotiations, the eviction deadline was extended to September.

This is an unprecedented and unwarranted attack on the fifty-year stewardship of Ayers House by the National Trust, a body which, for 65 years, has nurtured and safeguarded much of South Australia's built and natural heritage.

The SA Government plans to appropriate Ayers House for the History Trust of SA which is seeking a new administrative headquarters.

This Trust is a statutory government agency, residing within the Department of Education.

Its funding, responsibilities and activities devolve from the government of the day

It is inappropriate for this state heritage building to be used to accommodate 25 History Trust staff in areas and offices which would re-purpose heritage rooms and completely displace the heritage museum with its collection of 30,000 precious artifacts and furniture. The planned takeover also foreshadows the use of Ayers House for government functions in order to capitalise on the commercial opportunities and political status symbolism of its proximity to Lot 14.

Ayers House as it is today (Source: Ayers House)

This is no excuse to eviscerate the House, tarnish its cultural heritage status and sacrifice the museum.

The government is promoting and underwriting this proposal with $1.5 million to relocate the 25 History Trust staff at a cost of $57,000 per head, along with $6.5 million to alter the structure and function of Ayers House.

This funding could more appropriately and effectively be used to install a lift and air conditioning, and in assisting the National Trust to embellish and maintain the fabric and contents of this heritage icon.

There is no imperative or logic in locating the History Trust in Ayers House

The government's requirements for office space for bureaucrats, a modern kitchen, lecture rooms, educational facilities and function spaces can readily be accommodated elsewhere in the CBD, and in particular in other prestigious locations on North Terrace.

The National Trust has cared for Ayers House as a historic public institution without government assistance for operating costs.

Over 50 years it has endowed the house with $20 million in fabric, contents and in kind, through volunteer support.

This politically motivated and unnecessary eviction must not be implemented.

What's so special about Ayer's House?
(Source: National Trust/Margaret Barca 1984)

Ayers House is one of the finest examples of colonial Regency architecture in Australia, and historically important as the home for over 40 years of Henry Ayers. Secretary of the SA Mining Company ; (responsible for the Burra Burra mines) and one of SA's most distinguished politicians a member of SA's first Legislative Council and 7 times Premier. Ayers leased a small cottage with a coach-house from William Paxton in 1855. Gradually (1858-74) he extended the house, with the aid of architect William Strickland, into an uncommonly fine and elegant mansion. The distinguishing features of the facade are the harmonious proportions of the bowed wings, with curved and shuttered windows, and the deeply recessed porticos. Internally, Ayers House, known originally as Austral House, combines simply decorated private rooms with superlative examples of late Victorian opulence. The ceilings, cornices, stencilled wallpapers and trompe l'oeil work of the ballroom and state dining-room are exquisite. A small suite of rooms was built into the ground to provide a cool retreat during Adelaide's intense summers. The National Trust (SA) now occupies the oldest wing. 

Address: 288 North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000

Formerly known as Austral House
(Source: Adelaide Sketchbook/Max Lamshed 1967)

Sir Henry Ayers
Sir Henry Ayers, his home on North Terrace - now Austral House - and the life which flowed around it were big elements in Adelaide's Establishment before the turn of the century. As President of the Legislative Council, he gave his Parliamentary dinners at home, his guests seated around a long cedar table and the Ayers family crest of three doves and an olive branch looking down from the ceiling. It had taken a painter named Williams, flat on his back on a mattress supported by ladders, three days to do.

The house grew through a series of additions, which added symmetry and comfort. The original builder, early in the 1850s, was William Paxton, a Hindley Street chemist, who sold to Sir Henry Ayers when he returned to England in 1855.

With the home went City Acres 29 and 30 reaching from Tavistock (now Frome) Street to the boundary of the present East End Market and from North Terrace to Rundle Street.

The first additions were to the back of the house in 1857. Two years later, the ballroom was added, with cedar floor sprung for dancing and cedar doors which could be folded to bring in three other rooms.

There were grand nights of entertainment on which the cedar floor was washed with milk beforehand to make it smooth. In 1871 a large room with a bay window was added on the western side to balance that on the cast, and three years later there was an addition at the rear.

After the death of Sir Henry Ayers in 1897, the house was practically empty for a long span. In 1914 it was sold to Mr Henry Woodcock and later was bought by a syndicate which named it Austral Gardens and built a stage for open-air theatre, which flourished through summer nights, and the Palais Royal Dance Hall.

The house is now under the control of the National Trust.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Everything you need to know about Cloncurry, Queensland


It's the little Outback Queensland town with a gutsy big past, but for most Australians, Cloncurry is about to go on record as the mightiest backdrop of any Survivor series when the 2021 production goes to air starting July 18. Thanks to its spectacular sunsets, rugged rocky outcrops and a population of a few thousand residents who helped the town take out “Queensland's friendliest” in 2013, the “Curry” (as it's affectionately dubbed) is about to explode onto our Road Trippin Radar.  

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

10 wine experiences you must try in Australia


Wine tourism has been a big thing in Australia for years. New wine regions emerge all the time and with it new experiences. Here are a few from across the country that may have escaped your attention and certainly worth a try.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Two-Wheeled Travellers - Cycling in South Korea


South Korea has one of the most advanced cycling infrastructures in the world and is a popular sport for locals, with trails tailored to families, leisure cyclists and professionals alike.  There is an extensive network of bike paths and quiet secondary roads that will take you past areas featuring remarkable Buddhist temples and UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

The battle for Unley's Heywood Park

Heywood House Unley SA

 Unley residents will be familiar with the generous green space of Heywood Park, which lies at the southern end of King William Road.

Friday, June 18, 2021

The Story of the Old Ghan Railway

Great Northern Railway to Asia

The Old Ghan story begins at Port Augusta, South Australia, in 1878 when, with picks and shovels, men began work on a narrow-gauge railway planned to snake its way to Darwin, and a link to Asia.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Adelaide: The beginnings of King William Road

Methodist church and hall Goodwood. This church was built in 1880 (SLSA)

Calm breezes and fruit trees populated the plain to the south of Adelaide in the days before King William Road was built. 

Part of the land was the property of John Hyde, a pastoralist and namesake of the suburb that would eventually stand on his property, which was known as 'Hyde Paddocks.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Hotel Stories: Ridgewood Wilderness Lodge, Alaska

Alaska's Ridgewood Lodge

 To begin with, Lucinda cooks like a professional chef-using organic produce, much of it from her garden and Kevin would be capable of building an entire Alaskan village with his own hands. This is Alaska as you imagine it. This was a trip rich in both flora and fauna: a unique and remarkable natural heritage, an exceptional environmental journey from start to finish.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Vanished Adelaide: The Vine Inn, Glen Osmond

The Vine Inn c.1916 (SLSA)

The Vine Inn on Glen Osmond Road was built in 1850. It was named after the vines that flourished nearby.

Remembering Adelaide's Trams

Before cars became so readily available public transport was the only viable option for people, unless they wanted to be on Shank's pony (ie, walk)

The East Adelaide line was a crucial transport line for locals and ran along Magill Road to Maylands

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Glenside, an Adelaide institution

SA Film Corp

Glenside Park on the corner of Fullarton and Greenhill Roads was opened on May 9 and will be handed over to Burnside Council early next month.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Ipoh Old Town

She has been visited by many and forgotten by many as time passed us all by, however, she is back even stronger with a big attitude of hip, retro and gothic. She has and will continue to be visited by many on their transit journeys, food indulgence or just to take a walk into memory lane. Wonder no more! It is no other than Ipoh, the capital city of Perak.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Visiting Lockhart NSW: Billabong Motors


In 1935 Mr JM Smith established the firm of I M Smith and Co. which carried with it the Ford Company franchise in Urana. The motor business was registered in 1950 under the name of Billabong Motors. In 1959 the Ford Motor Company extended the franchise to take in the Lockhart district. Then in October 1962, the old garage formerly occupied by Mr Darcy McDougall in Urana Street was purchased and the business opened in Lockhart.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Mapping Australia's coastline

Every map tells a story; it reflects the individual mapmaker's particular perception of the world. Maps are a graphic representation of how we understand the condition of the human world based on concepts and events. They show the location of items and places and the spatial relationship between them. Specific cultural symbols and lines are often used to illustrate geographical features.

Matthew Flinders

Matthew Flinders. Published by Joyce Gold, Naval Chronicle Office, 1814. Courtesy of the National Library of Australia: nla.pic-an9455829-1-v.

European mapping is based on Western concepts as they relate to geographical space. From the early 1500s to the 1800s, maps represented religious and political views of the communities that the map makers were serving as well as the scientific knowledge at the time. Artistic beauty was combined with geographical information because of the intention to sell the map or please a patron or employer.

Friday, March 12, 2021

South Australia: In the beginning

Colonel William Light
 Firm steps to establish the province of South Australia were taken in August 1834, by the Imperial Government when Colonisation Commissioners were appointed. Captain (afterwards Rear-Admiral Sir) John Hindmarsh became first Governor and Colonel William Light first Surveyor-General.

The instructions issued by the Commissioners concerning the selection of a site for the capital of the new province were as follows:

When you have determined the site of the first town, you will proceed to lay it out in accordance with the regulations. You will make the streets of ample width, and arrange them with reference to the convenience of the inhabitants, and the beauty and salubrity of the town; and you will make the necessary reserves for squares, public walks and quays.

The following letter dated 13 July 1836 (the original of which is in the possession of the Adelaide City Council) from Lieutenant-General Sir Herbert Taylor, Private Secretary to King William IV, to Governor Hindmarsh, communicated the command of the Monarch that the capital of South Australia should be named after his consort, Queen Adelaide.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Motorcycle racing history at Woodside, SA

Motorcycle races at Woodside, October, 1949.
Motorcycle races at Woodside SA, October 1949. National Motor Museum Collection

Racing and competition have been an important element of motorcycle culture from the start, beginning with friendly club competitions and road races. 

Monday, January 4, 2021

The Stanthorpe Heritage Museum has fifteen buildings and more than 20,000 items


School Residence (1894): The North Maryands schoolhouse features displays of a schoolroom, kitchenalia, religious vestments. banking office and photographic equipment.

Ardmore House (1920): This was one of five summer holiday homes built in Stanthorpe during the 1920s. It houses hospital, ambulance, dental, bathroom, bedroom, music, toy, domestic and textile collections plus the local Italian history.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Visiting Tibooburra in Outback NSW

There is something impossibly romantic about Tibooburra; there it is in the far north-western corner (Corner Country) of New South Wales. Tibooburra is 335 km north of Broken Hill, 1504 km north-west of Sydney, 900 km from Adelaide. It seems so isolated and yet it is full of friendliness and activity.

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