The artificial isolation of Yerranderie, caused by the construction of Warragamba Dam, is a very mixed blessing. It gives us the peace and solitude that many people desire. The opposite side of the coin is that although we are so close to Sydney, (100K in a straight line from the GPO), the route for conventional cars is via Oberon and takes a good 5 hours from the centre of Sydney. The problem is that you cannot get there in a straight line unless you fly, which you can do from Camden as we have a tiny private airstrip. There are 4W/D tracks through Wombeyan and Jenolan Caves.
Our “Ghost Town” is the “Closest
Outback to Sydney”. This is
literally true. We have all the
history of a pioneer silver-lead mining area and are classified by the National
Trust and Heritage Commission as part of Australia’s National Estate.
Yerranderie was mined from the turn of the century and is set in a truly beautiful volcanic area adjacent to the most rugged part of the Blue Mountains – the Kanangra-Boyd Wilderness Area. In addition, there is the extraordinarily scenic Lake Burragorang, which the driving public does not see, it being protected by the Sydney Catchment Authority. However, 10 times a year the National Parks and Wildlife Service conducts a tour group of 4 W/D’s through the very picturesque prohibited area. They are allowed to travel from The Oaks to Yerranderie, and return, under escort. Otherwise, the route is via the historic Oberon/Colong Stock Route, a 104K trip from Oberon. This is a winding mountain road with glimpses of the Wilderness to the north but strangely the road does not have any steep grades. It does have many twists and turns as it winds its way back towards Sydney over the Great Divide. The first half of the road is bitumen in pine forest country, and then it becomes a mountain dirt track with some creek crossings. Finally, it completes a spiral along the rim of the ancient Yerranderie Volcano, source of the rich silver-lead-copper-zinc-iron and a little bit of gold, which was won from 1891 till 1930 when the mines succumbed to the doldrums of the Great Depression.
Yerranderie, Private town has been restored and we have a small museum in the
old shops near the camping area. The
Post Office is now a lodge, accommodating 30 people in comfortable surroundings. Emphasis is on friendly service but there are no frills.
Slippery Norris’ Cottage has 6 beds and the Bank Room 3.
The caretaker advises visitors about the area, which is a private
sanctuary. Kangaroos and wallabies
graze on the village green. Goannas
and wombats share the campsites with the visitors.
You may hear a lyrebird, see a bowerbird and feed the king parrots and
mountain lowries. They are tame
enough to eat from your hand.
We conduct tours through the Museum, the Native Art Gallery in the restored Bakehouse and Mrs Barnes’ Boarding House – an original slab hut with furniture and artefacts of the period.
is full of history and I am writing a book on our first explorer, Ensign Luis
Barrallier, a Frenchman, who tried to cross the Blue Mountains in 1802, very
early in our white history. Barrallier
wrote a journal describing the local Gun-dun-gurra Aborigines.
The last of their tribe was William Russell or Werriberri who, with his
friend, Billy King, found silver in Yerranderie in 1871.
Their myths and legends are recorded and we have a collection of
photographs from the early mining days.
The Peak dominates the town and the walk to its summit is a challenge for adventurous climbers. There are mines to fossick on and bushwalks to suit all grades. Don’t forget to bring your camera, binoculars and walking boots. We’d love you to visit us with your family, social or small convention group. Please book first. See you soon.
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