24 Sep 2015

Heritage Trail launched with bushfire recovery funding

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The Greater Blue Mountains Heritage Trail is a new initiative of Blue Mountains Association of Cultural Heritage Organisations (BMACHO) and was officially launched at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre in Katoomba on Tuesday 22 September.

Accessible by road or partly by rail, the Greater Blue Mountains Heritage Trail offers historically minded visitors the opportunity to explore important resources, as well as the spectacular scenery, through the historical societies, family history societies, museums, galleries, historic gardens and historic businesses that appear along the Greater Blue Mountains Heritage Trail.

The idea was instigated in 2013 by Richard Woolley, who was then the Vice-President of the Blue Mountains Historical Society, with assistance and support from John Leary OAM, inaugural President of BMACHO.

The project received a $9,000 funding boost offered by the Westpac Groups Natural Disaster Recovery Grant 2014. The grant was open to not-for-profit organisations in the Blue Mountains following the disastrous bushfires of 2013, which affected the villages of Springwood, Winmalee, Yellow Rock, Mt York, Lithgow and Clarence.

The Westpac Group Community Team have proudly contributed to the project. We are delighted to support the Greater Blue Mountains region with the Westpac Groups Natural Disaster Recovery Grant 2014 to help the visitor economy and tourism industry get back on track by attracting visitors who are interested in history, heritage and cultural experiences¬Ě, said Richard Wadick from Westpac Springwood.

The trail of the first three explorers was forged over the mountains and valleys of this land from the Cumberland Plains to Mt Blaxland. Today, this territory now known as the World Heritage Greater Blue Mountains region, is famous for the dramatic, spectacular scenery in the National Parks and for the ability to attract visitors from all over the world. The Hawkesbury region also plays a big part in the history of the area. George William Evans, the surveyor; William Cox Esq, Road Builder; and Mr Cox team¬Ě (as he referred to the convict workers) all came from the Hawkesbury. The combined areas are a rich source of historical archives, images and stories of some of the pioneers of our nation, from the early days of the Colony, both European and Aboriginal.

Everyone is invited to enjoy the rewards of the scenic Greater Blue Mountains region and the rich and fascinating history during the inaugural Open Day of the Greater Blue Mountains Heritage Trail, held on Saturday 3rd October 2015.

The historical diversity of the Greater Blue Mountains Heritage Trail includes Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum, Woodford Academy, Blue Mountains Historical Society, Everglades Historic House and Gardens, Blue Mountains Cultural Centre and Mount Victoria & District Historical Society Museum, Lithgow State Mine Heritage Park and Railway, Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah and Hawkesbury Regional Museum to name but a few.

Patsy Moppett, President of BMACHO, encourages locals and visitors alike to explore the unique heritage resources on offer.

Pack a picnic and learn about some of the hidden gems along the way. Or make a stop for morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner at one of the historic restaurants or cafes. Come for the day or come for the weekend and stay at one of the accommodation providers associated with our unique history and cultural heritage.

Greater Blue Mountains Heritage Trail Open Days are held four times a year, on the first Saturday of January, April, July and October. The majority of BMACHO members will be open and invite you to explore the region, others are open by appointment.

Pick up a copy of the Greater Blue Mountains Heritage Trail brochure with map, available at participating businesses and Visitor Information Centres from Parramatta to Orange and Hawkesbury to Wollondilly.

image: Mrs Louise Markus - MP Macquarie, Richard Wadick - Westpac Springwood, Pattsy Moppett - President BMACHO, Ms Trish Doyle - MP Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains Association of Cultural Heritage Organisations
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