|The intrepid adventures|
We made a stop at a small isolated hillock beside the track and climbed it to get a view of the landscape. The bulldozers had destroyed all trace of the gazetted road and no effort had been made to restore the pathway, so we hoped the landowners would not be upset as we followed the track towards Dora Creek. Somewhere nearby was the supposed site of the Round Hill aboriginal 'dispersal' but little was recorded of the event. We continued our journey and turn into the Dora Creek valley and up pass a half-dozen freehold farming blocks near the site of McDonald's old farmstead and wayside shanty hotel. The track quickly deteriorated as we climbed up towards the Gap. The lighter vehicle soon became stuck on a particularly steep pinch which showed the folly of trying to put a dray road through the Granite Gap. Little wonder this road was only used as a pack-track for the horse teams while the heavy drays went the long way around the Hann Tableland to get to the Hodgkinson goldfield.
Only about a hundred metres from the stuck vehicle, we came across the first piece of stone pitching and a little further on was the most impressive segment of the stone work. A true example of this fine
old craft which has weathered the past one hundred and thirty-five years remarkable well. After photographing the stone work, we wandered on up the road towards the Gap which turned out to be further than it looked. Duncan and Jack continued on to the top while the rest of the party had a break and discussed the history of the road and the possibility of having this section heritage listed. Then it was back down to have some fun getting the stuck vehicle off the steep pinch. On the way back out, we startled one of the occupiers of the farming blocks who was concerned as he had begun to burn off without realizing we were behind him. After a late lunch at the site of McDonald's old establishment, we then drove back out of the area, crossing the cleared valley to hit the main road beside the little bridge over Oakey Creek where we parted company with Noel and headed for home. The end of an interesting day's adventure out exploring our local heritage.
|Climbing the old road up towards the gap. Some of the old stone pitching.|