Not the Running of the Sheep

14 October 2020 / Words and pictures by Julie and Peter Austin

Sunday, 4 October 2020

In non-COVID times, the Running of the Sheep and Wool Festival at Boorowa is an annual feature on the district calendar for the long weekend in October. Like so many other events it was cancelled this year, but the Canberra Chapter thought "what the heck we'll go anyway".

Six red cars and two grey cars, with one late scratching, took off for a drive through the countryside which was at its very best – full dams, lambs everywhere, canary yellow canola crops next to that pretty, purple pest known as Paterson's Curse, and acres of green spring grass and wheat crops. Despite COVID, the farmers should be happy this year.

It was a leisurely run and we allowed plenty of time to enjoy our first coffee break and explore Yass on foot, for a change. Being only 30 minutes from Canberra, we normally zoom past Yass and never take the time to explore what this lovely town has to offer. From Yass we turned off the Hume Highway onto the Lachlan Valley Way heading to Boorowa. Again this is a town where you might stop at the bakery as you pass through the main street. Instead, we took our time and enjoyed our picnic in the beautiful park behind the main street, before driving around the backstreets to explore Boorowa's heritage which is hidden off the main route.

The real highlight of the trip was our visit to Corcoran's Plains homestead, just a few kilometres west of Boorowa. The ancestors of our host, Eddy Corcoran, went there as convicts in the early 1800s and established this beautiful property and homestead. It is still in the Corcoran family and, while it is a working farm, the homestead is a regular venue for weddings and other events. In such a beautiful setting, our cars looked superb lined up across the front driveway in front of the old house.

From there we leisurely made our way back home through Binalong and Bowning, stopping off to take photos of the canola crops, which were in full bloom.

Even without the Running of the Sheep, it was superb day and we all learnt a bit more about these towns that are so close to home.