Saturday, June 04, 2011

A Date Day

For a change we decided to head south for some shopping and lunch.
About an hour's drive away is the small town of Moruya which sits on the banks of the river of the same name.
The town's name comes from an Aboriginal word, mherroyah, meaning "home of the black swan". Black swans can still be to seen in the surrounding lakes and rivers.
There are a number of historic buildings preserved in the main streets of the town including the court house.

Although being the smallest of the three major towns on the Eurobodalla Shire, the council area bordering our Shoalhaven, Moruya is the administrative centre of the shire and home to the council offices and other public institutions.
Not surprisingly there is also a quilt shop.
At the mouth of the river is Moruya Heads which has a great surfing beach. The surf was very big when we were there and waves were breaking over the bar and heading up river.
There are many other unspoiled beaches to the south including Congo and Bingi as well as some others without names which are within a short drive from the town.

The town is also famous for its granite quarry.
The granite for the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons was quarried in the area. From 1925 to 1932, the Harbour Bridge works saw 250 stonemasons employed and relocated to Moruya by the contractor to produce 18,000 cubic metres of dimension stone for the bridge pylons, 173,000 blocks, and 200,000 yards of crushed stone that was used as aggregate for concrete.
During the seven years of this work, a small town of about 70 houses grew up near the quarry called Granitetown. Unfortunately despite the quarry still being in use not much remains of this historic town site today.
Moruya's other claim to fame is it is the site of our local airport albeit a pretty small one. You can just make out the runway in the above picture to the right.
The airline Regional Express, known as REX, flies mostly Saab 340B aircraft from Moruya to Sydney and Moruya to Merimbula, with connecting flights to Melbourne.

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