Home' Visitors Guide : Summer 2010 Contents 28 ❙ Summer 2010–2011
Indoor Play Centre
UNIT 1/227 Old Hume Hwy,
Mittagong Ph/Fax: 4871 3750
(just south of Mittagong Marketplace)
For children 0-12 years
Open 6 Days
Hours of Fun!!
Full Cafe Facilities
A great sun safe way to use up excess energy
MOST PEOPLE in Australia today would probably recognise
an alpaca – but almost certainly this would be the much
more commonly seen “huacaya”, with its rounded, teddy
bear looks and fleece similar in style to that of a merino
sheep. The much rarer “suri” represents about only 10% of
our national alpaca herd, and is distinguished by its unique
Suri Alpacas in the Southern Highlands
and exquisite fleece, hanging in silken tassels from a central
parting down the backline.
Alpacas originate from South America where they have
been domesticated for 6000 years, culminating with the
15th century Incas, whose highly sophisticated civilisation
was totally geared to the production of fine fibre and
exquisite textiles. The Incas held cloth made from suri in such
high regard that it was reserved for use only by royalty, and
was referred to as “the Fibre of the Gods”.
The first alpacas arrived in Australia from Peru in 1858,
under the care of the English merchant Charles Ledger and
were taken to the property “Arthursleigh” – located south-west
of Bowral, near Canyonleigh.
For various reasons the venture was not a success and by
1866 the remainder of Charles Ledger’s original herd was
located at Wingello Park.
Alpacas did not return to Australia until 1988, when just
three animals were imported from South America. In the
ensuing 22 years our national herd has grown to more than
100,000 and Australia now breeds some of the best quality
suri and huacaya alpacas in the world.
So, from that first historic importation in 1858, the Southern
Highlands has had a special link with the alpaca. The
climate and pastures of this region are ideally suited to them,
and the visitor driving around the area will often see alpacas
grazing in paddocks at the roadside.
To learn more about Suri Alpacas, you can join a farm tour
at Birrong Suri Alpacas, at Canyonleigh, visit their website
at www.birrongsurialpacas.com.au or contact the Visitor
Information Centre on 1300 657 559. ■
Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre and Falls café
offer Highlands visitors a unique National
Park experience. An elevated walkway to
the main lookout provides visitors with
spectacular views of the waterfall and
You may be lucky to hear
or sight Australia’s
along one of the many walking tracks. Enjoy
walks along the edge of the escarpment
with views from 15 lookouts.
Tourist information, maps, interpretative
displays, Australian made souvenirs, local
crafts and annual parks Passes are available
from the visitors centre. Visitors may have a
picnic, in one of the Huts by the creek, you
may even spot a Platypus.
Group bookings are available to
experience Aboriginal culture,
phone 02 4887 7270 for details.
Enjoy a meal at the Falls Café,
phone 02 4887 7219, open 7 days
from 9am – 5 .30pm.
You may be lucky
or sight Aus
National Parks and Wildlife Service
For more information, visit our web site at www.environment.nsw.gov.au
or request a copy of the program by calling 02 4887 7270.
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