We took a trip into the past, to explore what colonial life was like in colonial Australia.
Theres a place north west of Sydney around an hour away called Australian Pioneer Village. It’s a perfectly restores village which sits on twenty eight acres, which gives you a small glimpse of what life would have been like during the colonial period – sort of.
Though the village itself isn’t exactly an actual village, it is an exact replica and all buildings are completely original, with legitimate pioneer furniture and other bits and pieces preserved from the colonial era.
But first, a little history of how it got started:
The land on which The Australiana Pioneer Village is situated was farmland recognised as essential to the survival of colonial New South Wales being one of the earliest grants made in Australia. Located in the District of Mulgrave Place, the third mainland settlement of the colony, the 30 acre grant was registered to William MacKay on 1 May 1797, but by 1809 at least part of it was in the possession of Joshua Rose. John Rose, the final Rose descendant to live on the rich farmland after continuous occupation by the family for over 150 years, died only in 1961. Rose Cottage is the oldest timber dwelling, still on its original site, in Australia being built in 1811.
Since then, the land is gone through many interchanging evolutions for decades. Some being successful in running the pioneer property, and others being not so successful. Until it became the Australian Pioneer Village and deemed a heritage site due to the buildings on the land, from 2004 to present day. Now, it is popular tourist destination for both traveller, tourist and locals especially.
With train rides, tractor rides, self-guided exploration, stage shows, animals (mostly horses), characters dressed in colonial clothing and shops selling second hand wares, leather goods and even natural honey, the village gives you a small glimpse of what life was like during Australia’s colonial past.
There’s even a blacksmith working in his shop, and butter being churned the old fashioned way – manually by hand. There’s a family street theatre, wool spinning, clothes spinning and plenty of old farming equipment and other little goodies to explore.
Though there are a few shops to eat at, the menu is limited. So you might want to pack a picnic and then reserve some space to treat yourself with some deliciously fresh made damper and milkshake (if that’s your thing) at the local cafe inside the village.
All staff are volunteers, so the village is only open on Sundays, and the entry isn’t that expensive either (around $5pp). It’s a great place to go explore with family and friends and the perfect spot to take some interesting and unique photos like none other. We arrived at around 12pm, and it started to get super busy from 1 to 1.30pm onwards. The village opens at 10am, and I would highly recommend you arrive when it opens, as it can get pretty crowded. Plus, if you want to take as many photos as possible without people getting in the way of your perfect shot, then arriving when the park opens is best.
And if you arrive early, you only really need a few hours to explore, so you can finish up with a lunch or light snack at one of the places to eat there, which is a quite time to eat, as most people are turning up then and not looking to eat yet.