Friday, 19 September 2008

Day Trippers: Solid Gold in Nundle

plenty of room for little boys to run and ask birds their name. no, seriously, he did.

We headed out to Nundle (after my early-ish op shopping hoorah - to which I bought a couple of things that I will photograph tomorrow, and certainly not the vintage sequinned cocktail dress I had been dreaming of) this morning.
For those that don't know or have never heard of Nundle, it's a small gold-mining town.
Population: 289
It's a 45 minute drive from Tamworth (where I grew up) on a well-sealed road.

You can read more about Nundle here.

Nundle, over the past ten or so years, has enjoyed a wonderful renaissance. It's a quaint little town with a few quirks. Endearing of course.

They have a corner pub - The Peel Inn (pivotal to any small, super-small town). In one room hangs the freakish double-headed calf. Savoury. The pub has recently undergone a restoration and serves lunch (word-of-mouth says it's not bad).

Next stop is a small shop that sells grocery items but not diggers. Much to the disgust of my small fry.

And just next door is The Powder Room run by Sarah Atkinson, a boutique of bright, bold and stylish women's fashion. It's here that my Mum found a graphic kaftan and I bought some banana yellow drop earrings. You know how I love yellow. Lots of fantastic jewellery, and beautiful leather bags at very reasonable prices.

A little further up is Jenkins Guest House set in an old bank. This is where I celebrated my 21st birthday with my family. It's going through a bit of a transition as they've just lost their long-time chef Nick Cummins who was stellar (Nick was a one-hatted chef with SMH - he's just moved to Hobart, lucky Hobart - because damn fool, he's good).

The Nundle Woollen Mill is a very short walk up the road. They make beautiful wool on vintage machinery here. Some days you can see the work in progress, from the gallery above. As well, they sell locally knitted goodies - such as the cutest beanies, jumpers, socks and sell Australian made fashion (Jac+Jack, MapleBrown etc) from Merino wool. Though on a day like today (around 30 degrees) it wasn't entirely conducive to trying on or buying warm woollies. But it was nice to look at all those colours and textures.

Just nearby are the Nundle Country Traders set in a shed-like building. There are a few vintage bits and pieces to be found in here, but today, there was not a lot going on. Except for that cool sign.
Then onto Odgers & McLelland Exchange Stores, one of my all time favourites. Walking in here is like walking into Little House on the Prairie. Kind of. There are boiled lollies sitting on the counter in over-sized jars alongside old-style wind-up tin toys in an old glass cabinet on the counter, millet brooms, dustpans and gardening goods hanging from the rafters at the front of the store, then there's their own range of teas, plus enamelware, all types of old-school shaving paraphernalia, wonderful wicker washing baskets, fat slices of soaps sitting with bath salts in calico bags. Oh it's a delight all right. Plus it's run by a couple who moved from the big smoke ten years ago - and have never looked back. Imagine the chill of excitement that runs through my bones when I hear that deliciousness. Almost a delicious overload!

There's a crazy-full antique store where you're almost too afraid to turn around in case your ponytail knocks something off. Difficult to navigate with a three and a bit year old and a baby in a sling. I didn't stay for long, but if you can linger - there are some good finds (though a little pricey).

And in an old church hall is a second-hand store. I found one thing in here. I'm not even sure what it is, but it's cool fabric. Everything else - pilled jersey.. Ergh... I get goosebumps, and not in a good way.

If you were to visit Nundle in May, you might be lucky enough to be a spectator at the renowned Great Nundle Dog Race.
Otherwise, all year round you can:
- go gold-panning.
- visit Mount Misery Gold Mine Museum (just don't eat there, the food is totally ordinary)
- swap gold (coins) like the miners and settlers of 1891 at the Exchange Store
- learn how fingerlings grow into trout, throw a line to catch dinner or buy the award-winning trout at Arc-en-ciel Trout farm

Nundle is good. It's set in green rolling hills. Perfectly romantic. There's the imagery of bushrangers, bearded gold-panners, miners and the like, wondering what the hey-day of this small-town would have been like. Nundle is a stone's throw from Hanging Rock where it is sometimes known to be sprinkled with snow (in Winter, not this time of year). And for such a small town, is rich in goodness. This is something I could get used to.


Angie said...

Sounds like a great spot, I'll keep my eye out for Nick Cummins, not that I ever seem to eat out these days.... said...

Wow, sounds lovely! I'd never heard of Nundle - thanks for the review and if I'm ever in the neighbourhood...

Michelle said...

It does sounds lovely - Nundle's been on my list to visit for a while to see the Mills.

Is there a whiff of a tree change in the air at chez Potty Mouth?

Leni and Rose said...

Sounds like a lovely little place. And look at the sky - a perfect spring day!

Pecos Blue said...

Looks very lovely indeed. I would love to go.

Stacey said...

Nundle is already on my radar as I buy my wool from there, but now I seriously want to go. It looks fantastic. And I too want to know what the bird's name is.

Ellieboo said...

I have heard of Nundle because i used to be a bit of a knitter so thanks for giving us a great guided tour - one day I will get there.