Wednesday, January 08, 2014

New Italy

Only arrived back home on Saturday morning at 6.00AM after leaving the Gold Coast 23 hours before. It's a long drive especially when holiday traffic is also coming home to start work on Monday. In actual fact, Carly and I probably drove 3600 kms in 43 hours door to door and back again.

We both had a nap in the passenger seat while the other took the steering wheel. In our trips to France we usually clock up between 2500 to 3500 kms over the six weeks we are there. I was starting to look at hill tops for walled medieval villages on our epic journey to the Gold Coast and back.

Naturally we didn't see any hilltop walled villages as life in Australia since the First Fleet we've not had any of the conflicts such as those in Europe, although WWII did have the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese.
Although we have no Hilltop Villages, we do have New Italy which we stopped at on our journey back home. We'd been on the road for a few hours and our first stop coincided with our arrival at New Italy.
It was an opportunity to view the Museum as well as have our first coffee for the day.

From Wikipedia
In 1882 Italian immigrants from the region of Veneto in northern Italy, most of them survivors of the ill-fated De Rays Expedition, took up a conditional purchase farm of 40 acres (160,000 m2) near Woodburn at what was subsequently known as New Italy. By the mid-1880s, about 50 holdings of an aggregate area of more than 3,000 acres (12 km²) were under occupation, and the Italian population of New Italy has increased to 250. It was a small farming community growing fruits and vegetables including grape vines. The school was opened in 1885 but ceased operation in 1933 due to decreasing enrolments. The New Italy settlers built mud brick houses, a church, school and community hall in traditional style of northern Italy. Due to it remote location the population of settlements was stagnant. In the 1930s a Park of Peace was established to remember the pioneers of the settlement. In the late 1950s the regional significance of the settlement began to be recognised. The Bicentennial Museum was opened in 1989. Following the World Expo in Brisbane in 1988 the Italian government presented the contents of their Expo Pavilion to the New Italy Centenary Committee and the Italian Pavilion at New Italy was opened in May 1993. The Museum presents the history of Italian migration to Australia and the memorabilia from the New Italy settlement.

The pictures below are from the Museum website which can be located through this link;

When we put our journey from Melbourne to the Gold Coast and return in context to the immigrants of New Italy, our little trip becomes insignificant. These early Immigrants from the Veneto region of Italy brought their culture to Australia and we are better for it.


  1. I am not familiar with the town called New Italy...where is it? But I am fascinated with the entire question of family history, emigration and development of community in a new country? What a very clever idea to open the Bicentennial Museum.

    Jewish Agricultural Settlements in Ukraine - my family

  2. Hels
    Top end of NSW - coast side Pacific Highway. Would have liked to spend more time there.


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