Earlier this month, we attended the opening of a wonderful exhibition in the Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens. (Bells Line of Road) The sculpture by artist Rae Bolotin is exciting and evocative for all ages. In the garden, kids' imagination will  "see" colourful dinosaur eggs, perhaps seashells or a giant snail -- it's all in the interpretation. 

The sculptures are crafted 1/16" steel -- some iridescent and shaped by the  Chinese art of metal beating. Rae travelled entensively throughout China and became fascinated by this ancient art which sadly is being lost for future generations. 

The weather cooperated -- a heavy rain while the exhibition crowd shared a glass of wine and heard Director Rob Smith describe how this exhibition, "Seeds" originated with an inspired walk with Rae through the garden looking for seeds that are found there.

Rae then spoke of her experiences in China and the risky firing of the almost paper thin stainless steel. Luckily, the clouds parted and we moved out to the garden exhibition where the delicate botanical elements are strategically placed. Several of the giant seed forms now held water from the earlier downpour. What a really charming addition to the artist's beautiful work.

The Garden requests that we do not touch -- the art is delicate and easily damaged. The exhibition is on through May 29, 2011. Don't miss it. Note: The garden no longer charges an entry fee.

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IF THE WEATHER HOLDS, and you want a bit of a workout in the most recent NSW World Heritage site,  consider the Convict-built Great North Road. You can access this spectacular preserved stretch on the North side of Wisemans Ferry.  Take the "big" ferry, turn left and within metres you'll see the sign (on the right). There is a very small unpaved area on the left for unofficial parking. 

We won't go into all the history of the North Road in this post ( it is very intriguing) but recommend you call the NPWS 02 4324 4911  or 1 300 36 1967 and request a brochure -- it is full of interesting details.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Devine's Hill is a two hour return walk past quarry sites, 12 metre-high buttress walls and somewhat erie, Hangman's Rock. Were convicts hung at the Hangman's? Details aren't available, but from the shape and size, hangings would have been possible. If you can ignore the name, the colours and shapes brought on by errosion are quite stunning and a great background for a photo opp.

The walk provides wonderful views of the Hawkesbury River and our favourite -- the signeage along the walk is the best we have ever seen. The road is closed to vehicles. Mountain Bikes are challenging, but not recommended for the steep ascent of Finch's Line.

For families -- children under 10 might find this a bit boring unless prepared in advance. It is part of Australia's colourful and early history.

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