Friday 16 October 2015

Herberton, Queensland, Australia

During our time at Paronella Park there were only a few times we got our work roster to find that we had 2 consecutive days off together. One such time was at the end of June, so in Trooprock Aussie style we set off adventuring! As we enjoyed the Atherton Tablelands area so much last time when we visited 2 years back, we decided to visit the area again. Herberton is the oldest town in the Atherton Tablelands and there are a few things to keep you occupied during the day including a mining museum, a 'spy museum' and a mock historical village. We visited all of these but spent most of the day exploring 'Historic Village Herberton'.

We arrived at Historic Village Herberton at morning tea time and off we went to the cafe on the premises. On display were many yummy-looking home made treats. The most unusual thing caught my eye. A caramel tart with some sort of marshmallow fudge on top so we ordered one to share and a coffee each to wash it down. It was as good as it looked.

At the village there are over 50 exhibits and restored buildings to look at. After morning tea we went across the suspension bridge to the other side of Wild River. We quickly got the impression that the person who owns the village is a big collector and that it is his or her love project. Later we found out that Historic Village Herberton is one of the best known living museums in Australia and the passion here is evident. On this side of the river to look at were some old steam engines, Fords, Chevies and a collection of John Deer tractors and mowers. For the children there is a playground to play at. There is also a little pioneer kitchen, where on certain days of the week an outback lunch is cooked over the fire. This lunch includes damper, stew and billy tea. You can't get more Aussie than this! If you are a visitor to Australia and have never eaten camp fire food, this is a good way to experience it. Damper is a bread cooked on the coals of the fire. A big loaf can be made by wrapping foil around the dough or putting it in a camp oven. Small portions can be wrapped around a stick and slow cooked then pulled off and usually filled with honey, golden syrup, or maple syrup. I have also heard the smaller portions of damper be referred to as dough boys or twisties in other parts of Australia.

Back on the initial side of the river we started to explore the rest of the mock village. Here we found everything one would need. The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. There was a bar, school, bank, toyshop, smithies, a printing shed for newspapers, a radio store, a sewing machine store, and the newest exhibit was the coach house which had many styles of horse and carts or modes of early transport including the 'dunny cart' and a penny farthing the original bicycle . The information in the old chemist was hilarious. An example is “Doctor Williams' Pink Pills for pale people” and “Bathoids” which you supposedly add to a bath and you lose 1-2lbs of fat every bath you take... Hmm... This reminded me of the episode of Doctor Who with the Adipose where the 'fat just walks away'.

After the village we went to the information centre in town. This is also a mining museum. Here you learn where certain mining ores were discovered in Australia and how mining contributed to further exploration of our large continent along with visual comparisons of what certain metals are worth, and the different techniques and equipment for different mining ores. We then finished off the day by going to the 'Spy Camera Museum'. The variety of cameras here is very interesting. Items that you would expect to see in a 'Get Smart' episode or James Bond movie actually have existed in the last hundred years such as the button hole camera! It was a lovely day out exploring, and getting away from the rain for a bit of time!
The Li'l Aussie Monsters character that most relates to this post is Tinkerin' Franko Fruitbat.

- Jeni

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