Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Secret Life of Henry Lawson to be Revealed at Festival

Henry Lawson Festival
Henry Lawson, Australia’s famous historic writer, often found inspiration in solitude.His retreat to a cave in Sydney’s Naremburn - a lesser-known period in his life - is the subject of a talk and a highlight in this year’s Henry Lawson Festival in Gulgong, N.S.W. Australia..

The Festival is set to attract around 3,000 people to the historic town in the Mudgee Region on the June Long Weekend from 9-11 June 2012. The program is a celebration of Henry’s life and work and features the legendary Grand Parade, live poetry recitals and workshops, music and bands, horse races, dancing, guided historic walks, markets and a Literary Awards Dinner.

Henry Lawson Festival
The Guest of Honour at this year’s Festival is Don Swonnell, a Sydney historian, who delivers a talk on a fascinating period in Henry’s life when he took refuge in what is now called ‘Henry Lawson Cave’. Located in Bicentennial Reserve, Naremburn (Sydney), it commemorates the time in the early 1900s when he rested, wrote and drank here. The cave is well preserved and has been used by Willoughby Council for commemorative events to celebrate Lawson's birthday.

“The Henry Lawson Festival celebrates all aspects of his life, work and his association with Gulgong. This year’s guest speaker will reveal aspects of Lawson’s life that are rarely touched on or documented. He led a very interesting life, highlighted by this period when he retreated to a cave.” said Charles Vassel, Chairman of the Henry Lawson Heritage Festival committee.

For the first time this year old school fun is brought back to life at the Festival with ‘Billy Cart Races’ (yes, remember them!) in Anzac Park for the kids, and the ‘Miners Wheelbarrow Races’ through the town.

Henry Lawson Festival
The Festival spirit begins on 27 May 2012 when a Pilgrimage Ride with 30 horse drawn vehicles starts a two-week Grenfell to Gulgong ride. This is a re-enactment of Henry’s parents ride with him, when he was just 6 weeks old, from Grenfell to the gold-rush in Gulgong. These 30 horse drawn vehicles will lead the Grand Parade on Saturday 9 June at 1pm.

Gulgong is a 3.5 hour drive from Sydney in Central NSW and 15 minutes north of Mudgee. It is a living, breathing perfect example of a 19th century town. Once home to 20,000 people when it was the centre of the gold rush in the 1870s, it is now a heritage town with 130 National Trust listed buildings.

Henry Lawson Festival
Henry Lawson lived much of his earlier life in the Mudgee area with a formative pre-school period in Gulgong. He remains one of the best known Australian writers, and his poetry and prose is still widely quoted today. 

Due to limited accommodation ‘day trips’ are recommend to the Festival, or take your own caravan and motorhome to the Henry Lawson Caravan Park on Mayne Street, or the Gulgong Showground. For an event program, or information on accommodation and touring contact the Mudgee Visitor Information Centre on 02 6372 1020 or go to

No comments:

Post a Comment