Lachlan Macquarie 1762 – 1824
Lachlan Macquarie was the 5th Governor of NSW and arrived in Sydney in 1809. He urbanised the convict settlement by creating street and parks and the layout of Sydney today is based on his plans.
Governor Macquarie encouraged social reforms, and he promoted getting married in church, morality, police patrols, he encouraged the emancipists and convicts whose sentences had expired to live law abiding lives.
A number of these ex-convicts became business men & others were promoted to government positions. Francis Greenway (ex-convict) became the colonial architect & Dr William Redfern who was condemned to death in England for being involved in the Nore mutiny, he was aboard HMS Standard as surgeon’s mate during the mutiny. His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, and he spent four years in an English gaol before requesting transportation to New South Wales in 1801.
On arrival he was posted to Norfolk Is. where he worked for six years before returning to Sydney. Over time he became the Colonial surgeon and was known for promoting the vaccination against smallpox.
Governor Macquarie encouraged exploration of the land beyond the Blue Mountains, and it was during one expedition in 1818 that John Oxley followed the Hasting River to the sea and named the area when he reached the sea Port Governor.
In 1821 Port Macquarie became a penal settlement for convicts who had committed secondary offences after arriving in Sydney.
This was the town that we picked for a holiday, but thankfully things had changed in the last 200 years.
Plenty of free parking for two hours and it was very easy to move the car to another parking place. An easy town centre to walk around with plenty of shops restaurants, and places of interest.
The above is the museum – the building was built in 1835 – 1840 it was a shop and a dwelling. The picture is from the museum web site because my outside shot was not good enough.
We thought our first stop should be to find out about the history of the town.
The soldier on the left is Maureen.
As we walked through the museum we passed through the history of the town from the early years of the convict period, to more modern times, which included rooms from the early days to those of the 1950 & 60’s, which were familiar to both of us having been born in the 40’s .
Shops of yesteryear in a recreated street
For $5 each it was well worth the visit, and the time to see all the exhibits was nearly two hours because it was so interesting.
We met some of the nicest people. One was Edmund Barton who was Australia’s first Prime Minister after Federation, which was the 1st January 1901.
Edmund Barton, also known as ‘Tosspot Toby ‘, was the local representative for Port Macquarie.
He gained his nickname from the Bulletin magazine of the time, because Sir Edmund liked good conversations, good food and good drink even at the expense of his health.
Sir Edmund (Toby) Barton (1849–1920)
The area where Barton’s statue is located is called Conner Hurley Park, which is a beautiful spot for a quiet walk and to sit and watch the world pass you bye.
We had a fish & chip ‘tea’ overlooking the sea, with our backs to the building on the right. We had competition from the sea gulls and the pelicans for our fish & chips.
We were grateful for a small boy with endless energy who would chase after the sea gulls, but not the pelicans.
We strolled along the sea wall and came to the ‘painted rock’ area, an area where people can paint the rocks with dedications or comments, as long as the comments are not unacceptable.
If you look closely, you will see a green car, but I doubt that all the people listed would have been in the one car!
The area is a walk-way along the break-wall along the Hasting River.
The painting idea began as an art competition in 1995 and it has now been allowed to be an outdoor gallery for anyone who wishes to try their artistic talents.
Being on holiday we visited a number of restaurants, but we only went back to one restaurant twice – once in the evening and a day or so later for lunch.
The Mekong Restaurant was very good and they offered a pint (473 mls) of local beer for $7.50, which is an excellent price for a beer in a restaurant, particularly being draft beer.
I had to have a second glass just to make sure there hadn’t been a mistake . . .
The restaurant offered Thai / Laos food – the restaurant was owned by a couple, the male being Australian and his wife Laos.
The restaurant overlooks the water, which allows for a nice warm breeze to waft through.
We visited Laurieton, which is about a thirty-minute drive south of Port Macquarie – a quiet small town with a population of about 2000 in the 2016 census.
Captain Cook in May 1770 named the three mountains that he could see ‘the Brothers’ because they reminded him of a similar group of hills in Yorkshire, England.
By naming them as such, he unwittingly named them the same as the local Birpai people, who had a legend that there were three brothers who were killed by a witch named Widjirriejuggi.
The brothers were buried where the mountains now stand.
The youngest brother was named Dooragan, which is the name of the local National Park.
While in Laurieton I took a photograph of the above vessel in the harbour.
I cropped the photograph and zoomed in, in an effort get a clear picture of what looked like a fishing boat, or an old trader, but perhaps just a tourist boat . . .
It reminded me of something out of a Joseph Conrad novel . . .
The romance of the sea.