The Boxing Day road trip wasn’t dictated by tradition this year. It happened a few days early instead.

A couple of months ago, Mum had selected Bathurst for a field trip. We’d tried to make it happen a couple of times but plans kept changing. So, when I was free on the Friday before Christmas, I suggested we try again.

It turned into such a big day that we collectively cancelled Boxing Day.


The Gallery


The Itinerary


Friday spluttered on to its wayward course.

I slept through two alarms and woke 30 minutes before we were due to leave. Pre-planning had been minimal. I couldn’t find an ironed long-sleeved shirt. Nothing had been put in an esky. I quickly filled a bottle of water and bemoaned taking my naked arms into the summer sun.

We left 30 minutes after we were due to leave, although still within our agreed margin.


It was an unusually early start for a local(ish) field trip because the outing was timed to co-incide with a family event.

Sydney-based family were bringing our 90-year-old twin aunts to Lithgow and we’d bring them home from there. One of the twins had been in Sydney for minor surgery and ‘those who know these things’ in our family decided she’d likely be released in the morning. Allowing for Sydney’s Friday-before-Christmas traffic, a post-lunch pick up at Lithgow was suggested and we’d be all be home for our evening meals.

This proposed itinerary meant only a few hours to explore Bathurst. Hence the early start.

Mum picked two of her must-sees and we put them at the front of the list.


The Anglican Cathedral was open and the bell tower looked inviting, until we got to the first level and a locked gate blocked our path. Never mind. We wandered further into the centre of the church, looked at the stained glass, spoke in respectful hushed tones … and my phone went off.

The hospital release had been delayed to 6:30 PM. Two options: Come back to Lithgow tomorrow or hang around until tonight. We opted for the latter. We now had a day to fill.


This was just the beginning of a day of many false starts.

The bell tower set the tone.  We stuck our heads into the museum but I instantly started to sweat and said “No” (either the wrong type of air-conditioning or none at all). Mum made a small donation, perhaps so it didn’t look like we were avoiding the entrance fee!

We headed around to Machattie Park to find a cool spot for lunch. We ended up at the far end of the park, but didn’t stay long because I couldn’t find my phone and worried it was on full display on the car seat.

Then it was off to Mum’s number two must-see. A bit of round-the-block driving while I tried to orientate the map and we eventually pulled in across the road from the art gallery, only to find it had closed 20 minutes ago.

We contented ourselves with a quiet sit at a picnic table in the gallery’s grounds. It was the last table left, and the rubbish next to the fence was probably the reason it was still vacant.


Another theme was developing … spires.


With the two must-sees crossed off the list, it was “What next?”

We had called in at the information centre on arrival, a standard tactic when visiting a new town, and collected a bundle of things-to-do brochures and maps. They now came in handy as we looked for ways to fill in the remaining hours. I noticed some possibilities  along the river.


It became a day for wandering through the park lands of Bathurst.

First the park across from the cathedral, then the cathedral grounds, followed by Machattie and finally the riverside.



We looked at monuments, memorial gates, an over-sized Christmas tree, and eventually a nice piece of unremarkable sculpture.

I say ‘unremarkable’ because, unlike all the other bits and bobs plonked in the parks, it didn’t seem to signify anything beyond the core essence of its title “Conversation”. I didn’t read the plaque thoroughly. I might have the title wrong.

I will be disappointed if its existence had been justified by some association with something, like an anniversary or a gift from a prominent Bathurstian. Sculpture should be located where it fits and require no other justification, no formal remark.

It should be here because it looks good here.



While I’m enthralled with the stonework, Mum’s attention has been snatched by some nearby engineering for storm water and flood management next to the river.


One day, I will banish the green bag for … probably for another green bag. I’ve got some nice tapestry-style fabric that would make a remarkable green shopping bag.


And then there’s the green theme.

Heading up the road to Lithgow and the phone rings. “If you haven’t left Bathurst, could you call in at Spotlight and get green ribbon”. We would be at Lithgow in time to cruise the main street, so said we would try. Mum spotted a Dimities shop. “We’ll get ribbon there”, she exclaimed.

I suddenly decided it was time to buy a new shirt after a day’s walking had left mine drenched, dried and uncomfortable. Mum assured me I didn’t smell. It didn’t matter. Fresh cotton was needed.


6:30 became 8, which meant 8 became 9:15 and eventually 9:45.  By 10pm, the precious cargo was loaded and we were all on our way home.  (Except for Aunty Merle’s handbag which was left in the boot of Uncle Ron’s car and went back to Sydney!)


6 thoughts on “Bathurst

  1. Oh boy! Luckily that spluttery green adventure was wrapped up in 2017 and I’m sure those of 2018 will be smooth and cool and open?! Love the snapshot of your day. Xxxx


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