Sunday, June 18, 2017

Orange Snapshots - Going Wild

From The Free Dictionary - wild.

  • Lacking restraint.
  • Not inhabited or farmed.

This is the third in a series of posts showcasing photos of our trip to Orange. See how ‘wild’ we two can get.

The Orange Camel Races

On our way in to Orange, I saw a sign advertising camel races on Easter Sunday at the local race track, and mentally noted it as something new to experience, like the kite festival we saw when we went to Adelaide.

And when I discovered that Towac Park, the race course, was just up the road from the apartment where we were staying, I definitely put aside Sunday for the camel races.

The Orange Camel Races are organised by the Lions Club of Orange to raise money for Give Me 5 for Kids, which raises funds for local children's hospital wards across regional Australia.

Around 7,000 people attended the races that day. Attendance for the horse races are usually only 1,000 people.

There were eight races throughout the day, the four heats throughout the morning and then the prize-winning races in the afternoon. Whilst waiting for races, there were other activities: market stalls, camel rides and other rides for the kids, a petting zoo, food and drink stalls.


When we arrived, there was an hour before the next race so we wandered around the market and then into the betting hall.

At the back of the hall the TAB was open for the serious punters. For those who weren't so serious and wanted a flutter, there were sweepstake tickets.

And if you didn't want to bet, this is where you could buy souvenirs or sit down to enjoy a snack or lunch.

The first race that we saw (or maybe Tony did. Being short, I got a great photo of the crowd watching the race) was the last of the heats. In that race one of the jockeys fell off a camel and had to be taken to hospital with a broken ankle.

After that race we staked out a spot at the back of one of the grandstands that afforded us a clear view of the end straight and the finishing line.

We saw the next two races: the Give Me 5 for Kids Saucer for the third- and fourth-place getters in the heats, and the Give Me 5 for Kids Cup for the first- and second-place getters.

Orange and Ruby are camels both trained in Orange, and both received a huge cheer from the local crowds when they were led out for the Saucer. And Ruby received a huge cheer when she crossed the finishing line last, 13 seconds behind the winner.


As Tony commented when he posted this video on FaceBook, Camel racing: all of the noise, none of the grace. (View on YouTube)

Like many racing events, there was a ‘Fashions on the Field’ event. It was a ‘Fashion Dress Up’ competition where participants could be fashionably dressed or in fancy dress.


The winner of the Cup was the Queensland-trained Wookatook, a huge animal who won the Forbes Cup two days earlier.

Camels are stubborn creatures. Jockeys don't really direct the animals; they're holding on and hoping the camels go in the right direction. A couple of the races the start was delayed while the handlers tried to get the camels into the gates facing the right direction.

And in another race, the announcer told those with pies to stay away from the fence. Apparently, one of the camels liked meat pies and would make a beeline for a pie instead of racing.

So maybe we didn't go wild at the races. But it was a carefree and relaxing day, and after so much routine in our life, it felt so wildly different!

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Borenore Caves

I'm sure I remember Borenore Caves as a place my brother, sister and I wanted to visit when we were kids. We'd passed through Bathurst on one of our family holidays and picked up a brochure that talked about a reserve where we could explore the caves with a flashlight. Having imaginations fed by a steady diet of mystery stories, we really liked the idea of exploring ‘natural’ caves.

The Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve is about 20 minutes drive from Orange. After Mount Canobolas, Tony and I headed to the reserve for lunch.

An unsealed, rutted, single-lane road led down to a flat, grassy area beside Boree Creek. We were there late in the lunch period, so the few people around were bushwalking or finishing their meals. It was quiet except for the sound of the birds calling to each other, the sun was shining, and there was none or little web access. So peaceful and relaxing.

After lunch, we decided to walk to the Arch Cave. The track took us over and along Boree Creek until the creek flowed under and through a wall of rocks.


The track then veered away from the creek and up to the entrance of the Arch Cave.

The cave was deep enough that a torch was needed to light the path and to see the cave formations.

Luckily, the torch on my smartphone was bright enough.

Not far into the cave, there was another opening.

The track then veered away from the creek and up to the entrance of the Arch Cave.

The cave was deep enough that a torch was needed to light the path and to see the cave formations.


This opening came out on top of slope of flow stone leading down to the Boree Creek bed. The creek flowed into a huge open cavern. One of the walkers told me you could follow the creek through the cavern and out the other side, but I assume you can do that if the creek is low or you swim through under the ledge.

I'm not sure whether the whole rock formation or the cave I came through is known as the Arch Cave but from the creek bed, I felt like I was looking up at a giant arch, surrounded on three sides by rock walls streaked with lichen.

A wild and beautiful place!

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Yuranigh's Grave Historic Site

After visitng Borenore Caves we unsuccessfully followed the directions in the tourist brochure to Yuranigh's Grave Historic Site. We found ourselves driving down dusty, unsealed roads past farm lands. Flocks of parrots rose from the grassy verges and flew across the road in a flurry of wings. Reminded me so much of my family childhood road trips!

According to the map on the tourist brochure, the site seemed to be close to the intersection of Rutherford and Yuranigh Roads but after driving past the local winery and seeing nothing but more road and no sign posts, we turned around and headed back to Orange.

It turns out the site is located just off the Mitchell Highway, and if we'd continue along Yuranigh Road instead of turning around, we would've eventually found it.

The historic site is surrounded by private property and we needed to drive through a cattle gate and across a couple of grids.

Yuranigh's Grave is considered historically important because it is a unique combination of Aboriginal and European burial customs.

Yuranigh was a Wiradjuri man who acted as an Aboriginal guide for the explorer Sir Thomas Mitchell. When Yuranigh died, he was buried by his people within a circle of carved trees indicating that he was an important man in his clan. Mitchell placed a headstone over Yuranigh's grave as a sign of respect.


There were originally five trees of which only four remain.

One of the trees is a stump from which the outer bark has been removed to display the carving.

Carved trees are created by removing the outer bark to expose the dead heartwood of a tree. The patterns are then carved into the heartwood with an axe or other sharp implement.

As the tree grows, new bark grows and covers the carvings. The carvings on one tree have been completely covered. The carvings on the other two can just be seen through gaps in the bark.

The historic site is a peaceful place, a sacred place. Maybe not such a wild place but the trees grow wild, and galahs and parrots circled and called from tree-to-tree.

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Other posts and photos

Following are the other posts about our holiday in Orange:

... and on my From Deb's Kitchen website: Away from Home - Orange

See also the following photos on our Instagram accounts:

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