Bilpin, New South Wales
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New South Wales
View of Bilpin
|Population||932 (2011 census)|
|Elevation||623 m (2,044 ft)|
|Location||90 km (56 mi) from Sydney CBD|
|LGA(s)||City of Hawkesbury|
Bilpin is a small town on the historic Bells Line of Road in the City of Hawkesbury local government area in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, New South Wales. In 2011, the town had a population of 932 people.
Bilpin is known as "Land of the Mountain Apple". Fruit orchards and beautiful gardens thrive in the fertile soil and the road is lined with small fruit stalls, especially during summer. Bilpin apples and Bilpin apple juice are well-known around Australia. There was a mention of Bilpin Apple Juice in the ABC TV mini-series, "Changi". Bilpin is now known as a tourist destination, with roadside stalls and orchards where visitors can pick their own fruit. It is close to Mount Tomah Botanic Garden. World's Largest Fruit Bowl is located in Bilpin, it is a roadside attraction.
The town was originally named after Archibald Bell, Jr., - Bilpin = "Bell's Pin", (pin as in pinnacle) an adventurous man who crossed the Blue Mountains at the age of nineteen in 1823. The famous children's author, Hesba Brinsmead, was brought up in Bilpin and wrote several books set in the region, including Longtime Passing (1971), for which she won the Children's Book of the Year award. In her book, she suggests that Bell was assisted by the local Aboriginal people (the Dharuk tribe) to find the way across the mountains. It has been suggested also that the traditional corroborree ground existed on the land behind Bilpin Oval.
Bilpin Community Hall is the centre of Bilpin life. It hosts a Farmer's Market on every Saturday morning between ten and twelve, as well as the annual Spring Flower show; the Mount Wilson to Bilpin Bush Run in August (which aids the Bilpin Bush Fire Brigade); and an annual quilt exhibition.
The Bilpin Arkadian Players are a local theatre group which perform several shows each year and the Bilpin playgroup and mobile preschool operate within the hall. Several community groups such as the Gardening Club and Quilting Club and Farmers' Association also meet regularly. Bilpin has a small school nearby which was opened in 1927.
Bilpin Coaches picks up local children and drops them off at Bilpin school each morning and afternoon and runs additional services for other local schools. Hawkesbury Community Transport also offers a bus service weekly for people to get to Richmond to do their shopping.
The residents of Bilpin were somewhat older than is typical of the whole country; their median age was 46 years, compared to the national median of 37. Children aged under 15 years made up 16.6% of the population (national average was 19.3%) and people aged 65 years and over made up 21.4% of the population (national average was 14.0%). Almost three-quarters (70.2%) of residents were born in Australia, compared to the national average of 69.8%; the next most common countries of birth were England 4.4%, New Zealand 1.4%, Germany 1.0%, Italy 0.9% and Netherlands 0.6%. Most (80.6%) people only spoke English at home; other languages spoken at home included Italian 0.6%, German 0.5%, Maltese 0.5%, Slovak 0.5% and Dutch 0.4%. The question about religion was optional in the Census; of the people who answered it, the most common response was "No Religion" (24.6%); the next most common responses were Anglican 19.3%, Catholic 18.0%, Christian (nfd) 3.2% and Uniting Church 2.8%. The median weekly household income was $1,279, compared to the national median of $1,234. The average household size was 2.6 people.