"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 and Cons
  • Pros:Quite quiet
  • Cons:Sometimes very quiet!
  • In a nutshell:A quiet country town – with a past!
  • Last visit to Young: Jan 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (14)

Comments (17)

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    A nice surprise to find a castle here & I love the old name of lambing flats

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Aug 31, 2009 at 3:04 PM

    A nice, interesting page on Young. Haven't been there for years, and then, its usually only a pit stop on the way home. Iandra Castle I have never heard of, what a shame can only visit with groups.

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Aug 23, 2009 at 12:50 AM

    No such thing as Thai food on offer the last time I was in Young - time counted in decades I must admit. Nice neck of the woods though, and nice to revisit it with you. leyle

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Jul 25, 2009 at 5:50 AM

    Back for a review of your revised page. Love the chorus line of colorful Renaults! So cute! Wineries seem a perfect venue for your antiques..red one perfect in the vines. Enjoyed the castle again. Wish I could have made that trip with you.

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2009 at 7:42 PM

    Hi George, Nice page, brings back childhood memories when I travelled from Sydney to Galore for school holidays. For a kid it was a long & dull train trip.

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2009 at 10:10 PM

    Oh how cute!! I bet your Renault group added more colour to the town than the cherry festival :-) I love that photo in front of the railway station. Ermm.. my landlord has cut the cherry tree, only a trunk is left, should I call that guy to make a statue?

  • vinc_bilb's Profile Photo
    Apr 18, 2009 at 1:38 PM

    Excellent, as usual George! Bravo! wineries, old Renault, may be a part of France is here ... :)

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2009 at 5:13 PM

    George nice additions toyour Young tips. Interesting to read about how altitude affects the vines. In Cape Town- the vineyards stretch up VERY high on mountainsides, in most wine-making areas. Here may be the reason that the wines are so good.

  • australia2's Profile Photo
    Apr 16, 2009 at 6:31 PM

    Excellent Young page George. Extremely well written historical info. Rather similar to our Ballarat Sovereign Hill. But our rebellion was Eureka Stockade related. Postcard thanks. Just received a Trabi book for Happy Birthday pres and the same to you! ;-)

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2008 at 10:28 AM

    I love this kind of place! It is interesting to learn how the attitude has changed along the time towards "others". We had the same kind of situation in Grenoble towards, Italians, later Armenians and even later Maghrebians. That happens everywhere!


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