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but, i can't help the feeling that i'm mainly just

In search of...

In search of:

early hunters and gatherers from the Fyansford district 

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In search of nuggets...

Rummaging around

bibs-n-bogs, whatnots and memorabelia...  

The fun now, being an older with time to play,

I never know where Google, TROVE  and community commentary will take me.

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Blog 1

The First peoples of Fyansford

The original hunters, gatherers and caretakers

Click image and arrows to view

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Blog 2

Moorabool River Swimmers

Back in the days when ....

I posted, a while ago, a photo by Kurt Zimmermann showing people swimming in the Barwon and asked whether over the years locals ever swam in the Moorabool River.


Within a day I had 34 comments from members of our community who swan regularly at different locations in the lower Moorabool (along with the occasional snake).

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Janine Matthey explained there were “plentiful deep holes in the river” and that they had “several swimming places along the river all year round. Sometimes watching snakes 🐍 swim too”.


Steve Hovey described how, “There was a rope swing near one of the walk bridges across from the pub heading to lower paper mills road”.

Dianne Higgins adds, “There was a swimming hole just to the side of the Monier Bridge, right below Truffle Duck. There was a huge tree with a rope and a metal pipe ladder to get out easier.”

Sandra Cominie used to swim there all the time in the early 70’s , She remembers when the river flooded right up to her grandparents’ house (the old Swan Inn).


Rita Busbridge also swam there for a long time ~ until she discovered what was being dumped in the river upstream in the late seventies.

Claire Eldridge remembers swimming in the Moorabool as kids and her mum saying, “Don’t forget your floaties”.

Bill Busbridge observed, “We swam in the rivers often from Queenspark all the way thru to Batesford; anywhere there was a substantial waterhole. The concrete diversions around the back of the limestone quarries were fantastic”.

Sandi Strijland remembers how as a family they had picnics and also swam in the river with Sheeba their border collie.

Wendy Jones swam semi-regularly there while Terrie-ann Mcewan-walsh  swam in the river every summer.

Just recently Andrew Blunden threw out the tantalising observation, "... and the river has some stories to tell. It nearly claimed me. That was the day I learned how to swim...".

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Click to view

This got me thinking...

Though the river appears very tame and relatively safe, is it, in fact, hazardous.

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Blog 3

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A definite Fyansford Landmark

In a roundabout way.......


For what seemed ages Fyansford for many was just a place to drive through. Those who did stop maybe visited our pub or looked at our bridge.


The main landmark was without a doubt the silos perched atop the escarpment to the east of town. 


Now the silos have gone what will signpost to travellers that they have finally arrived at or left Geelong?





Click image and arrows to view

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Blog 4

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Going down can be a hell of a rush

Going up is hard yakka...

The Fyansford Hill

For contemporary cyclists and joggers Fyansford Hill is without a doubt a real test.

For the old timers wrestling a mob of bullocks or a team of horses ... (or, in fact, for coach passengers) it must have not only been hair-raising but a very real risk to life and limb.

I wouldn't have let Mary tackle it with her old manually-geared Barina.

Hyland Street started out as a dirt track. Once the cements works opened the heavy traffic played havoc with roads. Accidents were a regular occurrence. 


A TROVE search of "accidents on Fyansford hill" resulted in  2,299 possible hits.


Click image to view gallery in full size.

From different perspectives

The track got a good workout...


Photo of Cabbage Tree Ned driving the Leviathan coach to Ballarat with about 100 passengers including the first English Eleven. The coach is in front of the Black Bull Hotel Geelong, 5th March 1862

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On one occasion Ned was travelling down Fyansford hill when he found the brake was not working. (The brake was used to keep the coach from running onto the rear of the horses when going downhill). Ned told everyone to hold on tight and immediately whipped the horses into a full gallop to keep them just ahead of the coach. 

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Now I can see why

it's so steep just there.

Stop Press

"Hyland St is a constant 12% gradient

whereas the new extension to Church St is 17% at it's steepest, then 14% last bit before the top".

Tony Peach

Flood Map - Water level elevation

Parish of Moorpanyal - section 1875

A section of the 1953 survey map of Moor
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It is totally logical, therefore, that Fyansford should be located               exactly where it is.

Playing with maps

This morning I started researching how Fyansford’s topography

had influenced its development.

But, it wasn't long before I was distracted by early maps etc.

You might find the following sites fun to visit:

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Recreating the Country Home-Page

Recreating the country ~ Webpage 


Discover more about the website’s 5 learning pathways:

1. Be challenged
Design landscapes that are rich in wildlife, are sustainable and productive
2. Be informed

    Learn about the Indigenous Flora of the Geelong District

3. Be entertained

    Short stories about nature based on actual events and real people

Stories for Children

Amie and the Intoxicated Kangaroos

The Little Green Caterpillar

Stories about the natural world



Richard's Sweet Rewards

Coxy's Curse

Dreamtime story of how the River Red Gum came to be

4. Be inspired 

    Seeds The monthly chronicle

Finding out the truth about a disturbing ancient past leads Tristan Grey on a remarkable journey that only he can take

5. Read Stephen's latest blog

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Recreating the country ~ Blog 

Because of Fyansford's proximity to the Barrabool Hills, I found the following blogs of particular interest and relevance:


Ancient Australian culture – Cool Burning


  • European culture and its battle with nature

  • The First Australians partner with nature

  • The ancient art/science/spiritualism of cool burning

  • Cool burning - how it was done

  • The CFA burn for comparison


Ancient Australian culture - welcome to country smoking ceremony


Barrabool hills vegetation. Part 1 – From ancient rainforests


Barrabool Hills Vegetation. Part 2 – The Arrival of Homo Sapiens


Vegetation of Barrabool Hills - Part 3.  Its Original & Natural Condition In 1835. – Plant Density


  • 1835 – Walking the Hills with Wedge and Buckley

  • What can the Colonial artists tell us?

  • Barro:aabil

  • Colonial farmers

  • The McWilliams map

  • Putting together the pieces of the puzzle


Vegetation of Barrabool Hills Part 4. Plant Species – ‘Drooping Sheoaks Adorned the Hills


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I just never know where a half-hour web-surf session will lead to:


> LanePiper / Fyansford Green / St Quentin / ICD Property....

Image apologies to Jean Polly

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Pack your festive fever and join us tomorrow at our Adventure Playground — witness Santa cruising around our River parkland on a fire truck, amidst the Geelong West Fire Brigade in their Christmas get-ups!

Clarkes Road (West End) land for
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