an icey Bendethera Valley - Deua National Park

Deua National Park is located on the NSW far south coast enclosing an area of 1,220 square kilometers & an altitude of 433 metres above sea level. There are over 106 species of birds & 62 species of mammals including a large variety of bats. The isolated Bendethera Valley is part of the Deua National Park enclosed by mountainous terrain & high ridges. The Deua River has carved deep river valleys on its way to the sea. Access to the valley is still via 4wd bridle trails.

The first Europeans to farm the Bendethera Valley was Joseph and Mary George in 1863 after George tracked his stolen horse for over forty miles finding it tied to a tree. The George family bred horses, bullocks, cows & calves, chooks, turkeys, kept pigs, grew corn & oats to feed pigs, cured their own ham to make bacon, made their own cheese, grew potato, pumpkin as well as many other vegetables & also orchards.

Seventeen acres of wheat was under cultivation by 1886. The wheat was taken to Goulburn for flour production & used for chaff to feed their forty odd pack horses on their long trips selling produce to the gold fields, Araluen, Nerrigundah & Moruya. Large parcels of fish were purchased at Moruya in the cool months of July & August & carted to Araluen for sale to miners.

Two shallow gravity flow water races carried water for at least a mile from Con Creek to a holding dam which irrigated the Deua River flats, particularly during drought conditions. As the family grew the children were given an area to farm, with each plot named after the children who managed it. One area is called Racecourse Flat as people came from miles around for social gatherings including horse races in the 1880ís.

further reading
George Family
Bendethera conservation plan 

sunrise a bit chilly frost
frost warming my hands fridge warmer
brrrrrrr iced canvas James Richard George 1862
bread oven & scalding pots bread oven rock work
Con Creek Deua River masked-lapwing eggs
Con Creek water race Con Creek water race Con Creek water race
old stockyard old stockyard homestead site
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