RoadTrip2021: Goulburn, Berrima and back home!

June 2, 2021 | 24 Comments

Well, this is it! The last leg of my epic road trip – covering the last 1.5 days.



It was only one hour’s drive from Canberra to Goulburn on another beautiful blue sky day. I haven’t been to Goulburn for many years and the images I have in my head were a bit vague so it felt as if it was a totally new place for me.

Here is a photo of the main street – and yes that is a JimmyB (James Barnet) building on the right.


The first stop (after getting a coffee) was the visitor centre and I had to take this photo to record the most Tesla charging stations I have seen. 🙂


I then checked the sun angles for the ‘main attraction’ in town – The Big Merino ( a 15m high concrete ram).

Sally had told me that she got her possum merino fingerless gloves at the gift shop associated with it so I wanted to time my visit with good lighting. Another hour or so later would be best as there would be more sun on the face of the ram. (BTW: I’m using an app called Sun Seeker.)


I noticed the courthouse just across the road from the Visitor Centre… so here we go, another JimmyB.

Even though I was sitting in the sun I started to get really cold (maybe I need those gloves now!)


So I checked my weather app and due to the wind chill it was cold (for a Sydneysider!)


I’ve really gotten into the habit of taking a photo of my scene before I start sketching so this means that I’m able to check how long the sketch takes. This photo of the line drawing was at the 20-minute mark.


And this was at the 35-minute mark when I gave up!


Time to go to the big merino and buy those gloves. It was very windy when I sat down to sketch – this spot was a little more sheltered than…


… this view, which might have been better for sketching. Sometimes comfort comes first!


Here is the (almost) finished spread. Funny that I didn’t add paint to the gloves at the time, isn’t it?


The time was going quickly so I thought I’d have an early lunch and then have a big productive afternoon.

Time for another JimmyB – the Post Office – done without worrying too much about perfect perspective. This is how my spread looked when I stopped my Post Office sketch…


…and here is the finished spread.


 I wanted to sketch this cute building – the Town Hall – as well but was worried about my schedule. Another ‘next time’ option as I still had another JimmyB to track down.


And guess what? It was another Correctional Centre (Gaol – Jail) but this time there were some scary signs so I only did a quick sketch! (You’ll see this sketch later.)


A local artist, who had stopped to chat while I was sketching the Post Office, mentioned the weir and Waterworks as a good place to visit. I needed a break from building sketches so this was my next destination.


Another one of my really quick note-taking landscapes in very extreme conditions.

I was reminded of our Palladian Odyssey Umbria workshops and the Landscape Session at Montone in similar wild and freezing conditions. But at least I had my fingerless gloves in time! I need a warm hat now. 🙂


My final on-location sketch for the day was of the Anglican Cathedral. A local walked past and said that ‘it is a cold day to be doing that’ which made me feel better. Obviously it WAS cold if a local thought so!


I added some sky and a text block later, and then the spread was done.


It was 3:15pm and I had noticed that the cafe I visited in the morning (Grit Cafe) was open until 4pm. Wow! what a treat!

Having a lovely chai in a nice warm cafe was a great way to finish my last afternoon of the trip.


Here is the full spread with the Gaol Sketch from earlier – colour added in the evening.

It felt so weird that evening, realising that it was my last of the trip! Along with finishing off my page I did a little research for the next day and the last town on my itinerary….


… sun angles for the courthouse in Berrima. This told me that it needed to be sketched before 11am!

Note: I have been using this app (Sun Seeker) for a number of years but I really relied on it more this trip. I think that’s because I had so little time in each place and needed a clear plan for the day in order to sketch everything I wanted.


Last Day – driving home via Berrima

Last view of Goulburn – well, my AirBnB – at 8am when I drove off.


View from my parked car when I arrived in Berrima. It’s a historic town with lots of sketchable buildings. This is the oldest continuously licensed inn in Australia since 1839.  Yes! I know it’s not really very old by other countries’ standards!


I headed to a cafe and found a good seat with a view.


Here’s the finished spread.


And then I tracked down the Courthouse – designed by Mortimer Lewis who also designed the one in Hartley (do you remember back to the first few days of my trip – see here!)


Oh! I enjoyed doing this sketch a lot!


And just down the road, there was another Correctional Centre… and guess what, it was another Jimmy B! My last for the trip!


I was really struggling with the cold wind – my app told me why! Perhaps the coldest of the trip.


And I had to stop after the first pass of watercolour and finish it later.

Hmm, another map I still have to do!


The last photo I took on the trip was this one. Some late autumn leaves and a reminder to me of how spotlessly clean all of the country public amenities have been. Oh dear, this is a tragic last photo… so I’ll share one more.


This is the bag full of all the brochures I collected along the way – all relating to places I visited! Local tourism is really booming – and that makes me very happy.

Note: There are two paperback art books in this bag, but the rest are all brochures.


And finally, I popped into Goodfields (on my way to buy some food) and it was very special to be welcomed home by the gang there.

I did two quick sketches to signify ‘I’m home and back to normal life.’ Doing this type of ‘back home’ sketch is important to me after a big trip, as I love when everything feels different. And it did feel a bit strange to do this – but strange in the best possible way.

After this, the unpacking started… I’m still not sure what to do with all those brochures ie. where to find the place for them in my tiny apartment. Ah, it’s good to be home!

But wow! What an adventure this trip was!

I loved every minute of it and I’ve been so blown away by how many beautiful places there are in my own state (especially historic towns). I’ll do one final ‘reflections’ article in a few days’ time so there is still a little more on this trip to come.

Thanks so much for following along! It was really great to have been able to publish such regular and in-depth articles when I was travelling. So I hope you have enjoyed them as much as I have loved putting them together. And finally a special thanks to everyone who made the effort to leave a comment here on the blog – it means so much to me! Thanks!


  • Heidi Smith says:

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed following you on your trip Liz.
    I went to Berrima when we had holidays earlier this year and having just started the buildings course, the Courthouse was my very first ever on Location sketch. I wondered at the time how you would tackle it, and now I know 🙂 thankyou so much for sharing your journey with us.

  • Susan Early says:

    Have been following this trip all along from Dublin, Ireland.
    Loving the layouts, the maps and the speed of sketches- oh, and and the amount of coffee. All very inspiring, thank you!

  • Alan Taylor says:

    Enjoyed seeing Australian towns through your eyes…have learnt a lot too

    Enjoyed the sketches too of course

    WOrcester UK

  • Ann Fallon says:

    Hi Liz,
    I discovered, you, relatively recently and have loved following your journey. In fact you may be able to tell by the time of this comment that I have waited for your Monday, Wednesday and Friday posts.

    I live in Victoria and have tried to research, without success, whether we have an architect equivalent of JimmyB. I imagine we do but have not discovered the one, as yet.

    I have enrolled in your foundations, but so far have not acted on “working” on it. Hopefully this month.

    Thanks for being an inspiration. Enjoy being home!

  • Judy KistlerRobinson says:

    Liz, I’ve loved following your trip through NSW (and a dip into VIC). It has inspired me to plan some local trips around the big state of Texas to sketch courthouses! I might want to see some of these towns if you were to ever host a JimmyB tour in NSW!
    I bought possum merino gloves and scarf in Melbourne in 2017 (the trip where I met you at USk Sydney before your trip to the US) and they are my warm accessories when in the northern US in winter.

  • Dawn Holder says:

    Thank you, Liz, for taking us on your journey. I am from the US and have learned so much about Australia through your posts. Some of Australia’s smaller towns remind me of smaller towns in the US. You have inspired me to sketch more when I get out and about. Thanks again!!

  • alexandra sirugue-mac leod says:

    Hi Liz!
    Good to read guy made it home and that you had a lovely trip in your home state. I followed and enjoyed immensely every step of the way!
    Thank you and greetings from Chicago

  • Sonya Baket says:

    Thank you, Liz, for sharing this wonderful journey! I live in Dallas, Texas, and truly enjoyed the trip through Australia through your eyes and lovely sketches. What a beautiful place! I learned so much — especially about JimmyB (never heard of him before your posts — now, a fan), and will miss your daily travel postings. I, like others, am inspired to up my watercolor sketching. Thank you again and welcome back home!

  • Peggy Bowman says:

    Welcome home, Liz. What a ride. Thanks so much for sharing your marvelous trip with us. Such fun to see your country through “artist eyes.” I love that your goal was to sketch the JimmyB buildings…they were incredible…but, what I loved most was the little side stories about the character/history of each town, and the people you met along the way. No doubt they will remember you fondly and welcome “the artist lady” back on future trips. Looking forward to Edges next week!!

  • Barbara McCafferty Weeks says:

    I always enjoy following your sketching trips and adventures!

  • Sophie Vancaillie says:

    Thank you so much for allowing me to join you on your road trip. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Seeing a part of the world I am not familiar with through your artist’s eyes. Must remember the idea of doing a trip and really aiming to sketch certain things (the JimmyB equivalent).

  • Gloria J Sligh says:

    I have thoroughly enjoyed following along on your journey via posts and sketches. So many Beautiful buildings…and I did not tire of the two-stiry verandas. Thank you.

  • KathyAnne says:

    I so much loved reading about your trip — what you were seeing… what country towns look like in Australia… your artistic interpretations… +++ — that I pulled out my atlas and a map of Australia so I (living in the Arizona USA desert) could track the route of your trip! Fascinating! Thank you so much for including “us readers” in your wonderful adventure! And now: welcome home!

  • Jeanne Brail says:

    I loved taking this trip with you! I have never been to Australia. I live in the U.S. and think your country is amazing. I can’t tell you how much I looked forward to blogs, sketches and photos each day. Thanks for sharing all this with us.

  • Evi Zenzmaier says:

    Thank you so much for this lovely trip around NSW!! I’ve been receiving your emails almost daily and have truly enjoyed seeing places I know come to life under your brush as well as your enjoyable commentary! In fact I liked it so much that I just had to pop in here to tell you!

  • Sally Hirst says:

    Liz, thank you for sharing your trip. We have been to some, but not all, of the places that you visited but this gave us a good idea about other towns we might linger longer in. So, you achieved a lot – sketching tips, art inspiration, tourism advice and the joys of spending time looking at the world more closely. Great work!

  • Kay says:

    Thanks for a lovely long tour of NSW and a bit of Victoria, Liz. I thoroughly enjoyed all of your posts and your incredible spreads – what amazing talent you have as an artist, a teacher and a blogger. I’m looking forward to the Edges run through starting next week.

  • Liz aastill says:

    Thanks Liz
    I have loved your trip around NSW and a little of Vic and ACT.I live on Vancouver Island and it was good to see you find so much inspiration in small towns and countryside which is what I have around me. Your attention to detail is astounding and you write with so much detail I am also improving my knowledge in Architecture too. A big thank you …and now you need to relax!

  • Bec says:

    Thanks for sharing your amazing trip, very inspiring?

  • Jean McCarron says:

    This has all been such a great trip and visit to Australia (from the Westcoast of Canada)
    Certainly a very different country in so very many ways
    Thank you for all your posts and wonderful sketches.
    Have to get back to reviewing one of my Liz courses now
    take care

  • Bonnie-Britt says:

    Thank you so much for taking us on your trip, I loved every bit of it !

  • Julie Kok says:

    Fantastic! Loved reading all about your travels. Makes me want to visit for country towns. I recently travelled to Benalla in Victoria, I live in Buxton, victoria, and it was great. Love your sketches. So inspiring.

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