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Monday, 05 May 2008

Celtic Splendor in Australia: Kings Plains Castle - Page 2

Written by Kellea Croft
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Growing up I loved to play on the castle ruins in Germany. Every chance to get away was a train hop to Nuremburg to climb the walls, draw, write and ponder life. With the expense of moving to Australia and a wedding in Brisbane, we didn’t have a honeymoon. As our first anniversary neared something special was in order. Glen Innes, New South Wales and Kings Plains Castle were a vision from our dreams.

The beauty of the land as we drove down the dirt road to the property was enchanting. It lays 38 kms from town surrounded by pasture and bushland. There is complete seclusion for that perfect time together without the sounds of cars and trains passing in the night. Thistle lined the road giving the illusion that we were traversing the Scottish landscape and not Australia at all.

The approaching castle was partially covered in Virginia creeper. Colleen, the hostess, met us on the veranda and showed us to our room. She was very gracious and gave us the grand tour and explained the castle’s history. She has refurbished it with historical themes. Each bedroom is named after a character in the story of Kings Plains Station and is filled with old photographs of the station and castle from over the years.

Our room’s balcony overlooked the tennis court and gardens. Its night air was perfect. Couples can find solace while sipping tea and cuddling. We played pool in the billiard room, walked the gardens and simply relaxed.

There are many things to do around the castle; bicycling, tennis, and historical walks of the station store. There’s also a sheering shed and antique farm machinery dating back to 1863. Kings Plains National Park, 15 kilometers, away is a 20 minute walk. You will find falls, fishing, swimming and barbecue area. Day trips to nearby wineries in Glencoe, Delungra and Boliva, or the olive groves in Inverell are romantic touches for your retreat.

We chose a day trip to Glen Innes. It is a quant town with friendly people. It has a colonial charm that is vastly disappearing in this country. The heritage building walk takes you to sites such as the Royal Hotel built in 1860 and the stone courthouse built in 1873. The ironwork is amazing. The information center’s map will give you everything you need to know about the architecture and surrounding area’s offerings. There are so many sites to see and things to do.

The national monument for Celtic heritage in the area is the Australian Standing Stones. Inspired by the Ring of Brodgar in Scotland’s Orkneys, they officially opened in 1992 and are the home of the Celtic Festival held the first weekend in May each year.

(Page 2 of 3)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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