Posted by: travelrat | March 26, 2010

Caddies Creek

Aberdoon House

Kellyville, the suburb of Sydney where I was staying, is a fairly new one. The person who can say ‘I remember when all this was paddock’ could be only in their late twenties. The problem with the newer developments is that the shops are in a separate complex. You can’t just ‘slip down to the deli’ for a paper or some cigarettes or something, as you can in older suburbs.

The nearest shopping centre is at Rouse Hill. It’s within walking distance, but a long, rather boring slog if you go by the road. But, near most new estates, there’s a ‘Reserve’, and untouched area kept as natural as possible, where the residents like to exercise their dogs, play or just take the air.

Here, the Caddies Creek Reserve is literally at the end of the street. It’s a little longer if you cut through the Reserve on the way to Rouse Hill, but it’s quite a pleasant walk, notwithstanding the prolific signs threatening all sorts of nasty diseases if you as much as paddle in the artificial lake.

They formed the lake by damming the eponymous creek, on the banks of which is the Reserve. In places, it’s wild, unkempt and natural; in others, barbered and groomed. There’s even a children’s play area in one corner.

Caddies Creek doesn’t quite lead to the shopping area, but you can take a footpath to it. Near that footpath stands Aberdoon House. It’s probably one of the oldest houses around, built in the traditional Australian ‘homestead’ style, with a red, corrugated iron roof and an encircling verandah. It’s strangely incongruous; a contrast to the modern housing surrounding it. But, here, you can usually get coffee. It’s advertised as a ‘coffee shop and art gallery’, where local artists display their work. And, usually, offer it for sale.

I made a note to call in when I had collected my photos and bought my stamps.

Volunteers from the local church man the coffee bar, and very nice the coffee is, too. It comes … I don’t know if this is seasonal or not, for I visited only a couple of weeks before Christmas … with a little cake, like a miniature Christmas pudding without the fruit, topped with marzipan and icing.

One of the volunteers told me that one of its earliest residents of the house was landowner Hugh Kelly, after whom Kellyville is named. I wonder what he would think of ‘his town’?

I tried to imagine Mr. Kelly sitting on his verandah with his coffee, looking out over the area of grassland where the town now stands. Did he, perhaps, imagine what they would eventually look like?

I did try to get a clearer picture by taking my coffee and cake out on to the verandah, but was soon back in the coffee shop, defeated by the flies.

You don’t want to go out there, love!’ the lady in the kitchen told me ‘The flies might fly off with your cake!’

This post has been entered into the Grantourismo-HomeAway travel writing competition


  1. Nice post, Keith! It’s wonderful to see such a seasoned writer enter our little comp. Thank you for your entry!

    And it’s equally special to be reading about Kellyville. My family on my Dad’s side is actually from the Windsor-Richmond-Kurrajong area, originally dairy farmers, when the area was little more than farmland, and my great uncle used to live at Kellyville.

    I’d probably be a little sad to see Kellyville now, I’m guessing from your post, although an encounter with that woman and her cakes would be enough to bring a smile to my face!

  2. i love the woman at the coffeeshop – lovely her! it is crazy how development changes everything.

  3. This is great! Since I put this post up, every day I’ve deleted a couple of comments from golf courses, etc. from my spam folder!

    Just waiting for Cadillac dealers to find it! 😀

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