Whilst the Blue Mountains are very spectacular (see previous article here) I have visited them many times. So I was very excited on the third morning to be starting the ‘new’ part of the trip! Most of the locations on my itinerary are not places that I have visited as an adult and therefore will be new to me.
Our destination for Day 3 was Lithgow but on the way we stopped at the tiny historic village of Hartley.
To quote from Wikipedia:
Hartley was once a major administrative centre on the Great Western Highway. It has since fallen into decline, replaced by other towns that are on the railway line. It was formerly a judicial and administrative centre that had a busy courthouse. The courthouse was built in 1837 and was designed by prominent New South Wales Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis. The courthouse, which operated for over fifty years, dealt with a constant stream of robbers, thieves and convicts.
The main reason for stopping in Hartley was to sketch this beautiful courthouse. I wasn’t feeling totally comfortable on my stool so the result was very loose – but it was a pleasure to sketch it. While I was working I couldn’t help thinking about sketching Palladio’s buildings in Italy.
I also did a quick sketch of the church and presbytery before joining Chris…
Sometimes it’s really hard to see the colours inside shadow areas (especially when sitting in the harsh Australian sunlight) so I was amazed, on getting closer, to discover how colourful the doors were!
Lithgow – Blast Furnace Park
As there wasn’t a cafe at Hartley, our first stop when we arrived in Lithgow was to get a coffee – we both loved the coffee at Lithgow Tin Shed. BTW I’ve started ordering flat whites (rather than lattes) this trip so that I can be assured of getting a cup and saucer. I asked a very serious coffee question on Instagram about the difference between flat whites and lattes here.
My coffee sketches are always a good way to get to know the properties of the paper I’m using and I was still working out ways to best manage the granulation in this Moleskine sketchbook.
Next we headed to the Blast Furnace Park containing ruins of an important industrial site. We spent a number of hours here and then in the evening spent even more time doing some research so we better understood the history and processes involved. Super fascinating!
The most useful part of all the information panels scattered around the site was when they included old photos and – as you will see below – I decided to draw from one of them. This really helped me understand what I was looking at.
Lithgow – Main Street and town centre
We had hoped to visit the Hassan Walls lookout (on the western edge of the Blue Mountains) on Day 3 but ran out of time, however on Day 4 we had 30 minutes to wait until a museum opened. So we were able to check it out. The view was so expansive that we both decided not to sketch. Too hard?
Lithgow – Small Arms Factory
This museum is listed as one of the main attractions in Lithgow so we thought we had better check it out. SAF was an important manufacturer of firearms during the wars and I was surprised at how big it was (I love a good model!)
It was a lovely old style museum with an incredible collection of guns. It’s not a topic that means anything to me but I was amazed at how many different models there were. But I didn’t sketch any of them!
Lithgow – Gun Emplacement
Overall, I really enjoyed visiting Lithgow and it is a place which I definitely plan to revisit!