Got out of the city for the day and took a road-trip to Picton. Here are four things you must do if you ever visit.
Do you ever just get in the car, drive and see where the breeze takes you? That’s what my partner and I did last week. We grabbed his mother, loaded ourselves into the car and went for a drive to the cute little boutique southern town of Picton. And, depending where you live in Sydney, getting to Picton may take you anywhere between thirty to forty minutes; on a good day anyways. If you travel at the wrong time and you live in the centre of Sydney, then it may take you an hour.
First explored in 1798 by early Europeans in Australia, Picton remained beyond the limits of legal settlement until 1821, when the discovery of good land was made and Governor Macquarie authorised the building of Great South Road, which connected Sydney and the Southern Highlands to the region in 1819.
This opened up the area to settlers who then established the town of Picton. And, all that history has been perfectly preserved, creating a small boutique town worthy of a visit.
This was a complete unexpected surprise, as we happened across this magical place whilst searching for a one lane bridge my partner was desperate to track down for some reason. We took a few turns here and there, without a map, to see what else we could find whilst searching for the bridge and came across this instead.
It’s located over Stonequarry Creek and the picturesque site (located on Webster Street) is also surrounded by many historical houses. The viaduct was built between 1863 and 1867, is eighty four metres long and has five beautifully designed arches, with the highest measuring up to thirty metres. Although it is not the first railway viaduct built in New South Wales, it is the oldest of it’s still in use today.
It’s called the NSW Rail Museum for a reason, as it’s the only museum of historical Australian trains throughout history, making it the only one of it’s kind here in the state. And believe when I say, that is no exaggeration. This museum ends all other museums. It’s freakin massive. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to explore it, as we had no idea it was there. But, we plan to go another day and spend the whole day there.
It’s actually located in a small town called Thirlmere; which is right next door to the town of Picton, around seven minutes away. We went into the front reception are of the museum to find out pricing and have a sneak peek – WOW. They have steam trains, electric trains, diesel trains, a whole history of trains right from the beginning of all great rail lines in Australia. I can’t wait to get back there to explore the museum.
Take a Stroll Through the Town Centre:
This one’s no brainer. Taking a stroll through the main town centre is super rewarding, as you walk past a variety of historical buildings like the Post Office from the early 1800s, the old Court House and many other town houses and small shops residing in 1800s hardware and grocery stores. And, there are many great boutique shops and cafes to visit also. I will be posting a piece next week on my favourite places to eat there.
If you can make the time, visit the local information center for a map on the town, which dots out the most historic sites in Picton. There’s the St Marks Church Of England, The Toll House, Victoria Bridge, The National Australia Bank and the Feather & Fur Factory.
Take a Drive:
As I mentioned before, it was a total fluke coming across many of the sites around Picton, as when we went to the information centre it was closed for lunch, so a lot of what we did there was self-discovery, by driving around every street and looking for any signs pointing to historical sites.
This is also a great way to discover many other properties that way in wait for your exploration. Many beautiful old homes have been restored and are surrounded by stunning English inspired rose gardens. And seeing as it’s Spring, these gardens were pretty spectacular.
I think I’d like to return in Autumn though, as there are liquid amber trees lining the streets everywhere. Which means all of the colours of Autumn; red, gold, orange and yellow would be everywhere; which I bet is a spectacular sight to see.
Me and my team of explorers….