Words and pics: Susan and Keith Hall
When you figure out your caravan travel plans for the year, it never hurts to include a couple of places that happen to be celebrating significant anniversaries. Australia is full of them and the celebrations usually come with special events and attractions.
Crossing the Divide, 1813
This year marks the bicentennial of the first European crossing of the Blue Mountains, by Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson. The historic achievement is commemorated in the names of many towns, waterfalls and parks along the Great Western Highway. There are also plenty of memorials, including a commemorative stone at Glenbrook, a monument at Mount York, and the Explorers’ Tree west of Katoomba. There are plenty more bicentenary celebrations in 2013.
Towards the Territory, 1863
2013 is the 150th anniversary of an important step in the history of the Northern Territory. It had been part of New South Wales until 1863, when it separated and annexed to South Australia instead. The Overland Telegraph was built under SA administration, but it was still many years before NT became “The Territory” as we know it today.
Achieving Cityhood, 1863 and 1888
Several cities will be celebrating big anniversaries this year. Goulburn, NSW was proclaimed a city by Queen Victoria 150 years ago in 1863, making it Australia’s first inland city. There will be special events in Goulburn throughout March including a carnival, rose show and exhibitions. Launceston, Tasmania, was declared a city 125 years ago in 1888.
A Capital Idea, 1913
The city of Canberra was named 100 years ago in 1913 and the foundation stone was laid in the same year. There will be many events to celebrate the centenary in Canberra. 1913 was also the year when the first Australian banknotes and stamps (the much loved kangaroo and map series) were issued.
Four Wheel Freedom, 1953
Lovers of Australiana will be delighted to hear that the FJ Holden was launched 60 years ago in 1953. Affectionately known as the “Humpy” due to its rounded shape, the FJ quickly became an Australian icon. Expect to see plenty of FJ displays at car shows this year. You may even see one towing a vintage caravan, since many vintage vanners see them as the ideal tow car for their little, round, wooden van.
YOUR SAY: What anniversaries are being celebrated in your part of Australia this year?