99.94 reasons to visit Bowral

While on holiday with my mum during the recent holidays, one leg of our road-trip style journey was the beautiful regional New South Wales town of Bowral.

It’s a really nice place boasting leafy streets, lush open areas and jostling main street as well as, of course, Bradman Oval and the Bradman Museum, now officially called “The International Cricket Hall of Fame”.

The conditions prior to our arrival in Bowral were evidently atrocious, but the Bradman Oval still presented beautifully. It’s a stretch to say that you could as good as see Bradman chalking up ton after ton for his local club, but as a pure cricket ground it had an undoubted historic whiff to it, even before walking into the museum.

The museum itself was far larger than I expected it to be, and almost every bit of wall-space was used to present the spectacular amount of information in a written, visual and interactive fashion. the info was breathtaking in regards to both its coverage of Bradman’s cricketing life and detail of Australia’s extensive history in the game.

I consider myself to be pretty well versed about our cricketing history, but I found myself learning new things at every wall of writing. From Bradman telling his father as a kid from the SCG stands that he’d play there one day, to his hasty description of Neil Harvey which left much to be asked about their relationship. Each piece of information was fascinating and served, for me, as an appetiser for the Ashes.

Specialising in obviously the Bradman era, the museum also had a section dedicated to World Series Cricket, including a theatre which runs the documentary parallel to the Channel 9 series “Packer”. Modern day cricket also gets a big run, with profiles on every single cricketing nation with countries like Guatemala and Italy getting a mention. The rise of 50 over and T20 cricket is also prominent in that section, accompanied by memorable clips out of the last 20 or so years of cricket.

And almost as a side note, because they exist nowadays as the International Hall of Fame they display the records and stories of the best cricketers of all time in their actual hall of fame.

I was lucky enough to see all this and more in the couple of hours I spent at the museum, but two solid 4 hour days could be taken up devouring every word of the information on show. The museum has another section devoted to junior cricket where kids can learn and play the game, as well as having an on-site café and shop.

http://www.internationalcrickethall.com/ provides further information about the venue itself

About Tom Riordan

Tom Riordan is in his second year of a Bachelor of Journalism at Swinburne University. He loves all sports, and plays for Brunswick Cricket Club. He supports the Western Bulldogs and can be found on weekends among half a dozen others in Q38 on the top level of the MCC.

Comments

  1. Hi Tom, if you’re looking for more houses linked with the “Don” visit Cootamundra, where the house he was born in is situated. An hour or so west is Temora, where his childhood house is located. i highly recomend checking them out.

    Glen!

  2. Andrew Starkie says:

    Well done, Tom, great piece. I live a life long ambition some time ago by visiting Bowral and the museum. It was a beautiful day. have you visited the Aust Sports Museum at the MCG? The Aust cricket hall of fame is there. Worth a look.
    A

  3. Glen,
    If we had more time I would have loved to visit those places! Next time I’m in the region I’ll try to give them a look.

    Andrew,
    Thanks, I haven’t been to the MCG museum in probably 5 years so I can’t recall it too well. Perhaps next holidays!

  4. Tom

    Lovely read and really glad that you got there. I lived in Sydney for a few years and when my son was about 2 months old we took a day off and a day trip to Bowral mid week, not necessarily to see the museum, but I got the chance to wonder through, virtually alone, and it was lovely. Really pretty part of the world, try to get to Moss Vale, one of the best golf courses I have ever seen, where Bill O’Rielly hailed from I believe

    Keep writing Tom, good stuff

    Sean

  5. Sean,
    Thanks for that, much appreciated.
    It really is a great region around there and I could just imagine how lush the golf courses would be around there. Next time I’ll throw the clubs in and check it out!

  6. Glen, I did not know that Temora had a link to young Don Bradman.
    Temora has always been associated with Paleface Adios in my mind – I think there’s a memorial staue in the town.
    Luke Breust (Hawthorn) is another local notable.

    Bowral is a beautiful place and it will become a destination for cricket pilgrims during this summer’s Ashes series.

  7. kath presdee says:

    Careful with packing the golf clubs – if the Southern Highlands aren’t the wettest place in New South Wales, they’re not far behind!

    The playground at the museum is also quite fun for little kids and has a cricket theme. One of my closest friends lives at Bowral so we’re frequent visitors.

  8. G’day Crio. I was last in Temora, home of the famous aircraft museum, back in 2004. I had not been aware of its links to the Don, but I visited a property there where young Don had resided.

    I popped into Cootamundra earlier this year, after the Ardlethan races, and whilst there visited the house the Don was born in.

    Glen!

  9. bob speechley says:

    Great piece from a fellow Brunswick boy who also supports the Bulldogs. I’ve visited Bowral but you’ve inspired me to return.
    BTW Temora has aanother link with cricket through the agency of the NOBS – beautifully documented by Jim Young in “any old eleven”!

  10. A very interesting report. I didn’t know that the museum is so extensive. Now on must see list.

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