Bungendore is a small town about 40km from Canberra towards the coast. It’s a popular stopover in summer for Canberra residents heading to the beach.
It’s also worth a visit in its own right, with plenty to see.
There are heritage buildings, distinctive cafes and an array of stores offering curiosities such as collectables, antiques, woodwork and leather craft.
Antica Trading came to rural NSW from Cape Town via remote parts of Africa. The store has examples of tribal art, antiques and eye-catching contemporary pieces chosen for their aesthetic appeal and craftsmanship.
I read about the African connection after visiting, which explains the unusual hard blue suitcase I saw. A former owner’s name was painted on the cover, with his address being Northern Rhodesia.
As Zambia gained independence in 1964 the suitcase is at least 53 years old.
Bungendore Woodworks Gallery has finely crafted pieces, expensively priced. There’s also a small gallery space, which had some exquisite paintings and sketches.
Bungendore Village Leather offers Australian-made leather goods at a range of prices, with something to suit everyone. I was tempted to buy some gloves, but optimism says the cold weather has nearly gone for 2017.
I enjoyed visiting the Carrington Inn heritage building, built in 1884-85 by William Winter and named after the then NSW Governor.
Winter made the bricks on site and constructed a symmetrical design with high ceilings and ornate features. There are eight fireplaces, private dining rooms, a delightful garden and cool verandas.
The inn today offers accommodation, meals, drinks, high tea and catering for private functions.
Bungendore also has an impressive IGA supermarket, which stocks a range of regional produce.
According to Lord Wiki, the town had a population of 4178 in the 2016 census. It’s obviously growing, with several new subdivisions under development.
Many of the residents probably work in Canberra or Queanbeyan and commute. It’s not something I would enjoy doing on a fairly average road that’s populated by kangaroos at dawn and dusk.