"Lambing Flat no more!" Young by tiabunna
Young Travel Guide: 22 reviews and 77 photos
Young is out in the central west of New South Wales, tucked in a quiet valley in the rolling hills. Back when the area was settled in the 1830s, this valley was considered a good sheltered place for the sheep to have their lambs, so it became known as Lambing Flat.
All was uneventful until June 1860, when gold was discovered in the area. As usual a goldrush ensued, bringing miners from all over the world, intent on making their fortune. Few did, of course! Soon there were up to 20,000 European miners and some thousands of Chinese miners.
Mostly the Chinese stayed away from the Europeans, working hard and usually picking through abandoned workings. The Europeans, though, resented the Chinese who they blamed for wasting water, using opium, and for what seems to amount to ‘being different’. In short, they were convenient scapegoats for more generalised miners’ discontent and lack of success.
The situation led to no fewer than six outbreaks of unrest in which the Chinese were hounded from the district. After the most serious Lambing Flat riots in 1861, calm was restored only with the arrival of the NSW military and the reading of the Riot Act (the only such occasion in NSW). The political repercussions in the Australian colonies were enormous, leading to NSW legislation to remove the Chinese and, forty years later when the former Australian colonies federated into one country, to the infamous “White Australia Policy”.
The riots made Lambing Flat notorious, so it changed its name to Young. Thankfully, Australia also moved on and the “White Australia Policy” has long since been consigned to the dustbins of history. Australia has changed enormously in almost every way since the 1860s, not least in societal attitudes – while we were visiting Young recently, Sydney was holding one of the largest Chinese New Year celebrations outside Asia.
Young now has reverted to the peaceful status the area enjoyed before the gold discoveries. Mixed agriculture, particularly cherries, is now the main source of gold (the town calls itself “Australia’s Cherry Capital”) – and Young has “Sister City” status with Lanzhou in China!
We stayed in Young with friends, with whom we visited the aviation museum and airshow in Temora (page to come soon).
A return visit in 2009 for a classic car club event has enable me to add some new tips and to update several existing tips.
- Pros:Quite quiet
- Cons:Sometimes very quiet!
- In a nutshell:A quiet country town – with a past!
Main photo: Greenethorpe wheat silos Second photo: The Shamrock Hotel Third photo: Not quite an Irish Pub – the main... more travel advice
Some of the country around Young is reasonably high, so it’s not surprising that the wineries in the surrounding region... more travel advice
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