Showing posts from August, 2012


A tale of a journey between Queanbeyan, with a description of the 1862 'Canberra Plains', and the Village of Micalago (today spelt as Michelago.)

Passing by Mount Tennent a, what would be a fairly fresh observation time wise, of the bushranger known as the 'Terror of Argle' the escaped convict John Tennant after whom the Mountain is named (note different spelling). As is often evident from articles of this era the language is eloquent and an unusual perspective of what today is a bituminous distance of 46 kilometres and a leisurely drive of 35 minutes...

Queanbeyan Age and General Advertiser - Thursday 16 October 1862

National Library of Australia
As yet I can't seem to find the continuation.


Overnight in the Monga National Park

This was my second trip to the Buckenbowra wilderness and the first overnight. I have been interested in the Monga National park on the South Coast since reading a 19th century article called Hunting the Lyrebird (hint a good read). The Monga National Park area seems to fit the desciption. Lyrebirds mostly call in winter at which time they prepare their nest for a female. During the course of yesterday I heard several superb calls and a few of what I presumed to be examples of mimicking. Didn't see any though.
Regardless the trip was actually to try to capture some local wildlife on film. The method used at night is to first identify animals with a heat seeking Flir camera (when I can borrow it) before spotlighting and photographing any confirmed suspects. If it's alive it can't hide from the Flir...

Just on a side note this Flir camera is valued somewhere around $9K

Whenever overnighting I set a trail camera on the off chance of capturing something and did so last night. In …


The author of this controversy, Mr W.P Bluett, hailed from Brindabella. He was a prolific letter writer and shared much of his local Canberra knowledge in letters to the editor in several newspapers. I first came across him in an article about the origin of the name Piccadilly Circus, an intersection at the top of Brindabella Mountain.

The discussion below starts with a letter to the Sydney Morning Herald by Bluett titled "Canberra Blacks in early settlement days" where amongst a myriad of information Mr Bluett reports the Aboriginal population of Canberra as numbering 500 when Europeans settlers arrived.

His letter spawned several replies. I had read the five articles below individually before but had never read them in context to each other simultaneously. Combined they make quite an educational read...

The Sydney Morning Herald - Saturday 21 May 1927

National Library of Australia
Enter Mr Slater who asserts there were no Aboriginal People resident in the Canberra Area as re…


An old clipping from 1919 that describes an Aboriginal battle between the Piallago tribe from Canberra and the Monaro Tribe from the South in the previous century.

I can only assume that the Piallago Tribe were the forefathers of the modern day Ngambri People and the Monaro Tribe those of the modern day Ngarigu People.

The battle appears to have raged from Sutton, through Piallago, past Cuppacumbalong and off in to the mountains around the Nass in the ACT's South with the Ngambri being the eventual victors.

It is interesting to note from reading both the Ngambri and Ngarigu websites that the tribal boundaries of both Peoples are still  contested today...

Queanbeyan Age and Queanbeyan Observer - Friday 21 March 1919

National Library of Australia

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One for the Canberra fishermen... for others if you travel West from Canberra to Tumut via Brindabella Road you cross the beautiful Goodradigbee River at the bottom of the Brindabella Valley. It really is a pretty and rugged area with the river and tributaries having been stocked with trout for over a century. What caught my eye in this article, apart from the fisherman's tale was the description of the arduous journey from Queanbeyan over Brindabella Mountain, a journey that today in an appropriate car, takes about an hour...

The Age (Queanbeyan) Tuesday 30 January 1906

National Library of Australia

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An excellent video showing one of Canberra's most important wildlife reserves for local and migratory water birds. Nestled at the head of Lake Burley Griffin and in close proximity to Kingston and Fyshwick the ACT Government is calling for input in developing a master plan for the Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve...
Tamsactgov's youtube channel

"Discover the Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve, an urban wetland located on the eastern end of Lake Burley Griffin in close proximity to the Parliamentary Triangle."

The public exhibition period will extend over 8 weeks closing at 5pm Friday 28th September 2012. There will be two public information sessions before that...
Saturday 18th August 2-4pm Jerrabomberra Wetlands offices, 2 Dairy Road, Fyshwick. Monday 3rd September 7-8.30pm Eastlake Football Club, Griffith.
feedback forms will be available from:, any ACT Library, Canberra Connect Shopfronts or by emailing…


Canberra owns the Southern Hemisphere's oldest operational Cork Oak plantation. Apparently when Walter Burley Griffin planned Canberra he allowed for a cork plantation. In fact he imported seeds that were nurtured by Thomas Weston at the Government nursery that were supposed to become the foundations for a cork industry in a self supporting capital...

Queanbeyan Age and Queanbeyan Observer - Friday 8 August 1919


National Library of Australia (full article)
It seems by 1935 they would have been around 3 feet tall... (1 metre)
The Sydney Morning Herald - Friday 18 January 1935

National Library of Australia
It was first harvested in 1948 but had many years to develop before becoming a viable commercial plantation...

The Canberra Times - Tuesday 28 December 1948

National Library of Australia
-For the full history up to present and photographs I have a post here

Apparently also the ACT National Trust has declared the plantation at risk in its 2012 @risk Release. I find it disturbin…