Monday, October 05, 2009

Visit to Toodyay

I wanted to get out of the house yesterday and see something. Toodyay is a small town about 85 km away and an historic one at that. It was settled in 1836 and was known as Newcastle initially and was also one of the first settlements after Perth in Western Australia.

There was a fair amount of traffic on the road and it turned out that the races were on just out of town. Not much parking in the main street and the pubs and restaurants were very busy as we arrived at lunch time. Man, there were a lot of motorbikes around.

First stop was the tourist information which is located next to Connor's Mill from 1870. The equipment seems to be in good order still. Then we had lunch at Vince's Italian Restaurant and it wasn't too bad. The waitstaff were run off their feet and lasagne wasn't available unfortunately.

After lunch we drove out to Oliomio - a private olive and lavender farm 20 kms out of town. Pity the map said it was about 10kms out of town and the place wasn't signposted very well. Finally managed to locate it though. I was a bit disappointed to find that there weren't fields of lavender or a huge olive grove to see. Still, we purchased some tonic, olive pickles and an olive tree. The Boy spent much of the time pulling weeds. He must have been a bit bored. Francis, the proprietor, explained much about the olive oil processing that takes place and that was quite interesting.

I wanted to visit the Old Gaol as well which was back in town. I rang them and asked what time they closed. The lady waid "Bang on four o'clock" but also added that they were ready to go now. I said that I was 20 kms away but would be there in 15-20 minutes. It was 3:25 at the time. We duly arrived at 3:45 which would have given us enough time to tour the building but the old guy who also ran the place said it was closed. I protested that I'd called ahead and was told the closing time was 4pm but he just left. So much for country hospitality.

Nearby was the Old Court House which was built around 1890. There was a young couple at the back perhaps getting "caught at the court house". On the way home I tried, unsuccessfully, to locate the Ringa Railway Bridge, which was apparently the largest wooden bridge in Western Australia when constructed in 1888. Dammit.

Uneventful drive back to Perth apart from some drivers who appeared either to be drunk or never having driven on our side of the road before. Nothing like the smashed BMW and Commodore I saw earlier in the morning when going to do the fruit and vege shopping.

Visit to Toodyay photo album on Facebook.


Iris Flavia said...

Sounds interesting! Weird that the goal was the third building in town! (Sad you couldn´t visit).

Aha. That´s where all those "drivers" were ;-)

Susan Ham said...

S.A. was settled in 1836 too.You get better hospitality here, by the sounds of it.

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