The Australian Standing Stones is an impressive rock formation built in tribute to the areas Celtic ancestry, as well as to provide a monument to the nation’s Celtic pioneers. The stones started as a vision dreamed up in response to the Celtic Council of Australia’s search in 1988 – the year of the Bicentenary – for a monument that would recognise the contribution of Celtic peoples to early Australian life. It would take four years, the input of several key business and community representatives and a massive search of surrounding bushland for suitable stones for the dream to become reality.
The Stones are modelled on the Ring of Brogdar in Scotland’s Orkneys.
Two locals – chairman of The Stones building committee John Tregurtha and Lex Ritchie, the town’s tourist officer who doubles as an experienced bushman – spent months searching the surrounding bush for granite monoliths to form the monument. They found just three stones that could be used in their natural state, with the remainder having to be split off from larger rocks using a special expanding compound. The stones, which weigh an average 17 tonnes, then had to be transported to Centennial Parklands before being opened to the public in 1992.
The Standing Stones make a spectacular backdrop for the town’s Australian Celtic Festival in May.