Bong Bong Picnic Races
Bong Bong doesn’t seem to have much to offer; but then again, neither do many of the archaeological sites of Europe. Modern day Berrima has the stone, bricks and mortar, and ambience which helps tourists capture the spirit of the past. But it is the ghosts of Bong Bong past which have more importance in Australian history. At most just a temporary settlement, a way-post, its timber slab and bark huts gone a century ago – Bong Bong saw more important travellers and visitors, resting at the Inn, or entertained at the Throsby estate, on their way south to open up the inland of the continent than any other part of the Highlands. The ghosts of these most famous Australians linger here in the air, among the vanished humble dwellings of Bong Bong. It is perhaps fitting that they are commemorated today by a nature reserve, with swamplands, native birds, and animals. The bush returned – as it were – to what it was before they came.
The site of Bong Bong can be found about 7kms from Bowral on the Moss Vale Road, just before you pass over the bridge on the Wingecarribee River. A “Historic Site” sign points the way: stop and have a look. An obelisk commemorates the village. The Cecil Hoskins Reserve (road just next to it) takes you to the site. Nothing is left above ground level. However, if you look around, you can get some idea of what it must have been like to the casual visitor.
Address: 460 Kangaloon Road East Bowral
Open: Yearly event, around November, date announced yearly
Cost: from $50 + membership (for members and their guest only)
Phone: 02 4862 2155 Mobile: 0410 652 170