I wonder if there were some great writers, poets, philosophers or suchlike at Gundaroo in the late 1800s and early 1900s?

Why else would there be a Literary Institute and Library at the quaint National Trust-classified colonial village in the Yass River valley, about 30 minutes from Canberra?

We stopped there for a bite on the Hyundai Kona launch and I was intrigued by the place.

Our lunch venue was the Cork Street Café where we had a fine meal in what used to be the old police horse stables.

Up the road a bit was Sally Paskin’s Store, which I imagine was the IGA of its era but is now just a little house -boarded up, with a rusty pushbike parked on its verandah.

The first settler there was in 1825 and it had 400 residents by  the 1840s.

A post office was built in 1848 and an Anglican church, now part of a pottery, in 1849.

Gold was discovered nearby in 1852, which probably explains why a police station was also built in the same year.

Like the gold it came and went.

Gold mining town steeped in history


Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.
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