Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Scotsman’s Folly

On the South Coast of New South Wales, almost exactly half way between Sydney and Melbourne and about six hours drive from each, lies Ben Boyd National Park. Hidden in the park are some fantastic places.

Examples include: many kilometres of isolated and undisturbed beaches;

and The Green Cape Lighthouse.If you drive into the main entrance of the park from the Princess Highway and head for Red Point you come to a car park. From there you follow a little path towards the point.

At one spot you catch a glimpse, through a window in the bush, down to the sea. The pounding of the sea has exposed the rich red siltstone that gives the point its name.

Then suddenly ahead you glimpse over the storm twisted Melaleuca trees this unexpected sight.
Looking as if it would be more at home in the UK, this is Ben Boyd’s Tower one of the legacies of an eccentric from the early days of European settlement.

Ben Boyd was a Scotsman who in 1840 raised £200,000 in venture capital to fund development in the Colony of NSW.
Boydtown was founded nearby in 1843 as a port to support a large pastoral empire and as a base for a whaling operation. Four years later a visitor, speaking of the town, mentioned its Gothic church with a spire, stores, well-built brick houses, and "a splendid hotel in the Elizabethan style".
Boyd’s tower was built as a look out to give his whaling boats an advantage in spotting whales as they came north along the coast and he had ambitions that the government would use it as an official lighthouse.But Boyd was too grandiose and by 1849 he was bankrupted. He travelled to the California Gold fields, but had no luck. Finally he disappeared at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in 1851.
Today the Tower that still carries his name is a shell.
Inside the floor joists are still in place but the floorboards are gone.From the tip of the point you can see across Twofold Bay to Eden, the port that took over as the local whaling harbour as Boydtown fell into ruins.And facing down the coast to the south, is more of the rich red stone that contrasts beautifully with the blue green ocean.This stretch of the NSW coast has to be one of my favourite places on the whole planet.

Next: Eden, a well named slice of country.

6 comments:

Wendy R said...

Al
I love your photo essays - they tell stories of location. This one as well is a real spark of light on a drab Staurday morning.
w

Walk Talk Tours said...

Al
Really enjoying learning about Australia beyond the big cities. Great pics and content. Thanks for sharing.

Brian, the old man said...

Wonderful photography! I enjoyed reading this article's tale of yesteryear. Hope you have a great weekend.

Jenners said...

Lovely photos. I love undisturbed beaches and interesting lighthouses.

Lisa said...

I can certainly see why this part of the coast is one of your favorite places on the planet. That red stone is marvelous and any place where I can hear waves crashing ranks way up there for me.

Al said...

Hi all,
Sorry for not responding properly to each of you.
I'm "up past my bed time" as it is.
I've had a busy night posting and yarning on the phone to my elder brother who is up north. He's been out fighting fires in the country around his cattle property.
So thank you all for your lovely comments, and good night!