For the last two Mother’s Days we have done something a little different. You see, I understand it is Mother’s Day, but I deserve a day off from cooking and cleaning up too. So we go on a picnic, with a bbq and sausages and the kids run and play and we all enjoy ourselves.
I guess that doesn’t sound very exciting right? Well the truth of the matter is, I want to talk about where we go and how we found out about it. A long time ago, we packed a picnic and headed out for the day. We had everything to make sandwiches and ended up at Picton. But as luck often has it for us, it started to rain just as we arrived in town and the sun decided to duck behind a cloud. The one covered picnic spot in town was taken by a group of elderly people who shouldn’t really have to put up with us!
So we drove…and we drove and we came across the sign to Cordeaux Dam. We took a chance and turned in. As I said, it was raining and miserable…we followed the road in and found we were the only patrons in the most amazingly well kept and well serviced picnic area I’ve seen in a long time. There were ample covered picnic areas, one of which we shared with a few rainbow lorikeets, playgrounds, toilets and of course the awesome dam itself to visit.Dam panorama.
I came home and talked about the awesomeness to my mother who replied “we used to go to dams all the time”. Apparently as a child I had visited lots of dams (and there are a lot nearby to visit, Warragamba, Avon, Woronora). They haven’t stuck in my mind, so I’m glad to be re-finding these special locations. Now, let’s talk dams. Cordeaux Dam was opened in1926 and I can just imagine the parasols and the clothes. I’m feeling picnic at Hanging Rock vibes.
But why picnic at a Dam? Have I gone crazy? Well, it’s all about the facilities and things to see. Cordeaux has Egyptian style columns and you can walk across the top of the dam. It’s hard not to imagine flocks of families lined up taking black and white photos by the columns, smiles and hairstyles of times gone by. It’s hard walking across the dam to not wonder at it’s vastness and be totally amazed by it’s construction and the vision of the people who built it. And that’s just the stuff that interests the adults.Peep holes, down low, so no adults look through!
As a kid, a dam holds the same sense of wonder, there are foot level holes in the wall to look through, hidey holes in the columns to duck behind and all the water to look at. There are markers along the dam path to jump onto, and a safe racing track to race your brother, grandmother or Daddy along.
But let’s talk about the rest of the area. You can picnic in a cave. A cave (albeit manmade). I challenge you to find a kid that won’t find that awesome. And…I think even if they say it isn’t awesome, they are still feeling the awesomeness inside and they are too cool to show it. The great thing about the cave? It only has two small tables, so it’s far from the hustle and bustle of the main picnic area which caters for much bigger groups. If you’re there at the right time, you’ll have it all to yourself.See? A cave! We are picnicking in a cave (thanks Granddad for the photo).
Miss 4 had an amazing time exploring all the grass and the grounds, looking for fairy mushrooms and taking a gazillion photos on my iphone, of which I’m sharing a one below. The whole area near the cave is damp and woody, so perfect for toadstools and fairy hunting. I’m sure we saw a few. There is a fenced off area that used to be a spectacular garden, but is now only viewable from behind the fence, I can only imagine how beautiful it would have been in the dam’s hey day.
We were there in autumn, which meant piles of autumn leaves on the ground, ripe for running through, tossing in the air and collecting for bringing home and keeping. Collecting the leaves then running them through the laminator was great too as now we have them to keep and remind us of our fun day out.
My picks for Cordeaux Dam:
- Picnic in the cave (it’s on the final bit before the drive down to the bottom to the actual dam)
- Run in the leaves and play at the playground (obviously the leaves are seasonal…but it pays to be there in May)
- Walk the dam. (jumping the gaps in the pavement and bending down to look through the drainage holes…you can park right down the bottom so it works for littlies and oldies alike who can’t do a big hill climb)
And the swings go super high!
For more info:
Have you visited a dam lately? Let me know in the comments because I’m on a dam quest!