Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bungonia Gorge closed, doors open.

The fog on the Federal Highway was so thick on Sunday morning, that we missed seeing Lake George and the Collector turnoff, we passed several peletons blindly riding their way through the white out, thankful no doubt for their multi coloured Lycra and tail lights. Our destination was the Bungonia Gorge National Park 30 minutes east of Goulburn on Mountain Ash road.

The fog had cleared by the time we reached the park entrance. Where we joined a group of dismayed walkers, peering at the sign notifying us that the park was indeed closed for feral animal control. Not to worry, we were keen to back track to the old Bungonia township and pursue that other much loved pastime of exploring graveyards and old churches.

Christ Church - Anglican Church Bungonia
In its heyday the Great South Road (aka Hume Hway) passed through the townsip of Bungonia, when the road was rerouted the township fell into decline. The 2006 census recorded 258 residents, I would hazard a guess that the number would be much less today.  Bungonia's historical legacy is a number of fine building, a beautiful old stone police station, complete with flogging tree, St Michael's Catholic reputed to be the oldest standing Catholic Church on the Australian mainland and the Anglical church at the other end of the township.

St Michael's Catholic Church - 1847

After and hour exploring we drove out of town and followed  the signs to Tarago, but somehow got side tracked and spotted the quaint little church below in a paddock just off the road. This looked like a perfectly sheltered spot for lunch.

The church and graveyard were beautifully maintained with some very old headstones, dating back to the early 1900's as well as a memorial to those locals lost in war. We sat in the sun debating why churches were locked these days, we had found most of the churches in rural Tasmania were unlocked during daylight hours. You can imagine our delight when we found this one was also unlocked.