Dancing on the Tablelands of NSW
If you're in Nundle, a small town near Tamworth, over the Easter weekend, you might be forgiven for thinking that you’re dreaming. The town celebrates the Chinese contribution to its gold mining history with their annual “Go For Gold” Chinese Easter Festival, including…well, dancing lions.
Nundle was founded when gold was discovered over 150 years ago, heralding an influx of fortune-hunters from all around the globe, including many from southern China. A memorial plaque close to the Courthouse Museum acknowledges “the many Chinese who died on the goldfields” as well as those who came “to set up stores and gardens to supply the diggers.” The plaque goes on to say, “Many left when the gold petered out, while some stayed on and became a permanent part of…district history.”
Nundle’s population has reduced to a tiny 300, but the locals fiercely maintain the town’s gold-era heritage and pioneer charm. Peter and Judy Howarth, a Sydney based couple, had a vision for the town in the 80’s, wanting to establish a major tourism attraction that would help to build the economy and sustainability of Nundle. Nundle’s famous Woolen Mill is one of the last spinning mills in operation in Australia, Odgers & Mcclellan Exchange Store, the oldest surviving retail shop in town and The Peel Inn Hotel, an original gold rush pub are all testimony to the success of this revitalization effort. Another mustsee is the Nundle Visitor Information Centre, featuring local Gil Bennet’s exceptional collection of rocks, minerals and gems.
The town’s lively community spirit has earned many awards, including the 2016 Regional Achievement and Community Award as the Prime Super Community Group of the Year (for a population of less than 15,000). Wanting to foster and maintain their Chinese connection, the town is in the final stages of establishing Qinglong, a town in Guizhou, as a sister city. And the gold rush continues today- visitors over the Easter weekend will have the chance to pan for $1,000 worth of gold as part of the festival celebrations.
But it’s the spectacular Lion Dance that has catapulted the festival into the “Go For Gold” attraction that it is today. Around 18,000 visitors pour into the town, enjoying a buzzing street market with over 80 stalls selling everything from food to craft items. There’s a petting zoo, a magic show, a jumping castle and face painting for younger visitors, while Golden Guitar winner John K Krsulja performs. And David Wei and Eva Timms will showcase traditional Chinese music for the happy festival goers.
在悉尼城以北400 公里處一個小鎮 Nundle，是 19 世紀最著名的淘金重鎮。
150 年前，此鎮曾因發現黃金而格外繁榮，數以千百計的華人為了淘金來到此處，也將充滿傳奇色彩的華人文化帶到這裡，成為澳洲淘金歷史中的一部分。當地最負盛名的古蹟建築 Courthouse 博物館前有座石，記載著淘金時期那段不可磨滅的歷史。
10 年前的 Nundle 小鎮僅存不到300人，守護著淘金時期的遺蹟和迴盪在當年淘金勝地 Peel 河畔的先人靈魂。雖然日後沒落了，但由於有著優美的自然景觀與豐富的人文歷史。不斷吸引了許多藝術家與探 尋古蹟的遊客聚集此處。
慢慢地，人們認識到唯有讓當地的經濟再次繁榮，才可能真正的守護 Nundle 鎮，並將這個刻錄著澳淘金歷史的遺蹟完整保留給後人。
1980年，來自悉尼的Peter和Judy Howarth 夫婦在 Nundle 鎮開了羊毛廠，以傳統製作方式加以創新，最後遠近馳名，不止帶動當地的經濟繁榮更是引領時尚。
從 2004 年起，Nundle小鎮為了紀念華人對此處的貢獻同時緬懷先驅者的墾荒精神，在復活節週末會舉辦兩天的慶典，取名為 Nundle Go For Gold Chinese Easter Festival, 除了舞獅和中國音樂的表演外，還有80 多個展攤，將當地的手工藝品，農產品一一展現，與遊人共享共樂。
For the complete program and other events go to: nundle.com.au/nundle-go-forgold-festival