The Pioneer Village Museum at Kangaroo Valley annually holds Pioneer days in April and I was lucky to be in town on the weekend that it was held this year!
Walking through the gates of the museum was like steeping back in time. To a time of simplicity, frugality, creativity and somewhat hardships. My timing was just right, I arrived just in time to see the bullock team being paraded around working hard to pull the workload while their handler barked orders at them in a strong but loving way. The crowd stood around enchanted by the big beasts, before moving onto to the sheep shearing. The local shearer had so much knowledge to share and was more then willing to answer the multitude of questions that was put to him by his audience, while the sheep just laid back waiting to be shorn.
The museum itself boasts many exhibits of local history and early pioneering days. Relics that have been donated or lent from families are displayed in cabinets, or on the walls giving the viewer an insight into what it was like back in the Pioneer days. One of the houses displayed rooms as they would have been back in the time, a small cottage compared to today’s standards!
Local artists were also there to share their knowledge and skills, a Potter, leadglass artist, quilters, metal worker, candle maker, cheese maker, wood worker all willing to pass on their knowledge of the craft that they love. Each of their skills was apparent in the work that they produced and they had many people stopping to check out them out and have a chat.
My favourite part of the day was the old school complete with school master. The town crier had made an announcement, calling over all willing children to participate in “School”. Lined up, the kids were given a quick brief history of schooling in Australia in the pioneer days, given a mandatory health check (cleanliness of hands!) and sang the national Anthem. The look on the kids faces when the school master started singing “God Save the Queen” was priceless! Soon enough they were ushered into class to participate in lessons including using a quill and ink well.
Another highlight for me was the butter making station. Volunteers were instructing everyone on how they made butter back in the pioneer days, and everyone got to have a go at making their own, by shaking a jar with cream in it till it thickened and therefore made butter! My arm was nearly falling of by the end of it, but I did produce an amazing tasting butter to have on my sandwich that day!
While there I also wandered along the track behind the museum that wound its way along for about 30 minutes through the bush. It was a beautiful little track that was easy for everyone to complete, taking you down to a lovely little stream and looping back around to a suspension bridge that takes you back to the Pioneer Museum.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Kangaroo Valley Pioneer Museum, Pioneer Day. Every detail was thought of, from the Volunteers being in period dress to the roaming town crier informing everyone of the next event. Definitely put it on your list for next year!
What: Pioneering days at Kangaroo Valley Pioneer Museum
Where: 2029 Moss Vale Road, Kangaroo Valley, NSW, Australia
How much: $10 for Adults, $5 Children and Seniors, $20 Families.
Where I stayed: Bendeela Recreation Reserve (camping)
Need to know: Pioneer days run on a weekend in April, depending on when Easter and the school holiday falls, they had a coffee cart, Lions club sausage sizzle to crab something to eat / drink, feel free to dress in period costume, parking is available across the road, the museum is open year round to visit and they have other special events on during the year, check out their website here for more!