The Upper Hunter has an Aboriginal history: Gundy Gundy

gundy

Approaching the village of Gundy from the direction of Scone.  Lagoon Mountain and Waverley Pinnacle on the left.

Gundy is an Aboriginal place name. Gundy Gundy. Originally Gundah Gundah, meaning, it is believed, lots of food and indicating a camping place.

John Stewart who surveyed this area’s river system in the mid 1820s, was rewarded with a large land grant on the Page and Isis Rivers in 1826. He called his property Gundah Gundah. An 1837 map shows it as Gunda.

So, in 1826, white colonialism invaded this pair of lovely bends in the Page River, just below its confluence with the Isis.  More on that specific place in future…The Aboriginal names for the rivers are not known.

Established in the 1850s as a staging post on the way to the land holdings further out along the rivers, the town was first known as Bellevue, after the first white property at the site.  The original Bellevue homestead built by convicts in 1832 still stands today.

One pub (closed just before last Christmas, re-opened just before ANZAC Day), a general store (saved from certain closure last September by new owners), a fine Soldiers’ Memorial Hall, a rodeo ground, a common, a cemetery and a protestant church with a service twice a month. Just outside the village is a polo field and an international standard three-day equestrian event course (which for almost all of the time reverts to paddocks).

There once was more. For over a hundred years there was a primary school. There was a Catholic church, a post office, a butcher, a blacksmith, more stores and the pub once had a second storey.

The ant-bed tennis courts, made of rammed dirt from ant nests and characteristic of Australian country towns and villages, have fallen into decline only in very recent years.

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