Stirling is always a pleasure as you wander among the natural beauty of the vistas, parks and gardens, character homes and charming streetscapes. The tree-lined main street is a riot of colour in both spring and autumn. Stately old homes sit comfortably alongside contemporary architectural triumphs, and a thriving commercial centre supports a strong community. Strolling Stirling’s streets you’ll soon understand why it’s so popular in all seasons. You can ramble randomly or delve into the town’s heritage via the History Walking Trail.
Here a just a few things to look out for:
A new sculpture at the top of Druid Avenue by New Zealand artist Jocelyn Pratt has been recently installed. Carved from Black Hill granite at the 2014 Adelaide Hills International Scultpure Symposium, the whimsical leaf boat, topped with a stainless steel sail, is titled Journeys. Stirling now has two sculptures as a legacy from the Adelaide Hills International Sculpture Symposium, making it a ‘must see’ on the sculpture trail.
Druid Avenue itself is a noteworthy street, famous for its magnificent oaks. These trees, an ancient symbol of Druidism, were planted in 1890 by The Pride of the Hills Lodge of the Druids Society.
The Stirling main street, also known as Mount Barker Road, is much wider than others in the district. Before surveys were taken in 1853-54 it’s believed the horse-drawn vehicles would search for the firmest piece of ground to travel on, thus creating a broad thoroughfare in winter. The formal surveys allowed for this practice to continue.
Much of Stirling’s famous autumn colour comes from the spectacular liquidambars planted along the main street in 1973.
Overlooking the oval is a distinctive memorial. The stainless steel hand launching a paper aeroplane honours the life of Stirling resident Charles James Melrose. Better known as Jimmy, Melrose was a pioneering aviator who set several records. He was killed aged 22 in 1936, when his new monoplane broke up in bad weather over Victoria. In spite of his young age, his achievements were so inspirational that over 100,000 people lined the streets of Melbourne to pay their respects.