Cobar

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Cobar
New South Wales
Cobar main street.jpg
Main street of Cobar. Cobar retains much of its late 19th-century architecture
Cobar is located in New South Wales
Cobar
Cobar
Coordinates 31°29′0″S 145°48′0″E / 31.48333°S 145.80000°E / -31.48333; 145.80000Coordinates: 31°29′0″S 145°48′0″E / 31.48333°S 145.80000°E / -31.48333; 145.80000
Population 3,817 (2011 census)[1]
Established 1870
Postcode(s) 2835
Elevation 260 m (853 ft)
Location
LGA(s) Cobar Shire
State electorate(s) Barwon
Federal Division(s) Parkes
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
25.1 °C
77 °F
12.7 °C
55 °F
406.5 mm
16 in

Cobar is a town in central western New South Wales, Australia. The town is 712 km (442 mi) northwest of the state capital, Sydney. It is at the crossroads of the Kidman Way (to Queensland) and Barrier Highway (to South Australia). The town and the local government area, the Cobar Shire, are on the eastern edge of the outback. At the 2011 census, Cobar had a population of 3,817,[1] out of Cobar Shire's population of about 4,700. The Shire has an area of 44,065 square kilometres (17,014 sq mi)—about two-thirds the size of Tasmania.[2]

History[edit]

The name Cobar is derived from the Aboriginal Ngiyampaa word Kuparr, Gubarr or Cuburra, meaning 'red earth' or 'burnt earth', the ochre used in making body paint for Corroborees.[3] [4] It has also been suggested, but it is less likely, that the name may represent an Aboriginal attempt to pronounce the word 'copper'.[5]

Some of the most significant Aboriginal rock art in NSW is within the shire. The indigenous Ngiyampaa/Wangaapuwan traditions of this diverse bio-region are best represented in the rock art of Mount Grenfell, 40 km west of Cobar. Over 1,300 depictions of humans, hand stencils and animals are at this site.

Pastoralists began to settle the area in the mid-1860s.

Copper mining[edit]

Copper was discovered in 1870, leading to settlements being founded with Australia's European and Asian gold rush immigrant arrivals. The Great Cobar Copper Mining Company Limited was established in 1878. It and subsequent companies operated a number of light railways[6] carrying ore and similar material, as well as timber for mine supports. Cobar and many mining outskirts accommodated the miners who travelled to the area in the late 1880s. At this time Cobar was very much a Cornish town.[7] Several fine heritage buildings from the late 1880s/early 1900s settlement are still in existence, including the Great Western Hotel (1898), reputed to have the longest iron lace verandah in the Southern Hemisphere, the Cobar Court House (1887) and Court House Hotel (1895) in Barton Street, as well as the interesting Cobar Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, located in the beautiful former Mines Office (1910). On Hillston Road southeast out of town is Fort Bourke Hill which affords an excellent view of the town, and Towser's Huts, a series of stone miners' cottages dating possibly from as early as the 1870s.

New Cobar Open Cut Mine

At its peak, Cobar had a population on 10,000 and its own stock exchange. However, copper mining operations slowed in 1920, and by the 1930s the town's population had dropped to little over 1,000, only to rise again and stabilise at around 3,500 through the 1970s and early 1980s. Copper mining was intermittent until 1965 when full-time operations resumed.[8] In the 1980s, Gold, silver, lead and zinc were discovered in the area, which led to a further population increase. The town's current positive economic development is due to the affluence of the mining boom. Three important mining belts are operational in the Cobar area: the Cobar belt, the Canbelego belt and the Girilambone belt. Visits to mine sites may be arranged through the Cobar Heritage and Visitor Information Centre overlooking the open cut mine. The Festival of the Miners' Ghost, held during the last weekend in October, is a festival celebrating the spirits of the old miners.

Economy[edit]

The Cobar economy relies heavily on trade with the local mines and their employees, and consequently, on world metal prices. During 2008, after a fall of 75% in world zinc prices, one local mine cut 540 of 655 jobs, with flow on effects felt by many other businesses. Over the year Cobar's workforce reduced by 10%.[9] The town has increasing benefit from tourists passing through due to its location at the intersection of the Kidman and Barrier Highways. It also benefits from being the seat of the local government area. Cobar has two primary schools, a high school, an activities youth centre and a 31-bed hospital for acute care.

Climate[edit]

Cobar has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh) with hot summers and cool winters. It has a median annual rainfall of 390mm. Rainfall is extremely variable, particularly in late summer and early spring. The highest rain falls have been in excess of 200mm in any one month. Rainfall is generally only about 4 days per month.

The average relative humidity in Cobar during the summer is about 30% in the afternoon and about 50% at 9am. In winter it is about 45% at 3pm, and about 75% at 9am.

Annual mean wind speed at 9am and 3 pm is about 12.2 km/h with lesser speeds on winter mornings.[10][11]

Climate data for Cobar
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 47.0
(116.6)
46.1
(115)
41.5
(106.7)
36.0
(96.8)
29.6
(85.3)
26.3
(79.3)
25.7
(78.3)
30.5
(86.9)
38.0
(100.4)
39.4
(102.9)
43.6
(110.5)
44.1
(111.4)
47.0
(116.6)
Average high °C (°F) 34.1
(93.4)
33.2
(91.8)
30.0
(86)
25.2
(77.4)
20.0
(68)
16.5
(61.7)
15.8
(60.4)
18.0
(64.4)
21.9
(71.4)
26.0
(78.8)
29.4
(84.9)
32.6
(90.7)
25.2
(77.4)
Average low °C (°F) 20.5
(68.9)
20.1
(68.2)
17.1
(62.8)
12.8
(55)
9.0
(48.2)
6.1
(43)
5.0
(41)
6.2
(43.2)
9.1
(48.4)
12.6
(54.7)
15.8
(60.4)
18.7
(65.7)
12.8
(55)
Record low °C (°F) 10.3
(50.5)
8.4
(47.1)
6.2
(43.2)
3.2
(37.8)
0.4
(32.7)
−2.0
(28.4)
−2.3
(27.9)
−2.5
(27.5)
−0.3
(31.5)
2.9
(37.2)
4.4
(39.9)
9.1
(48.4)
−2.5
(27.5)
Precipitation mm (inches) 46.7
(1.839)
43.8
(1.724)
35.5
(1.398)
25.7
(1.012)
32.5
(1.28)
28.1
(1.106)
29.1
(1.146)
26.7
(1.051)
25.0
(0.984)
35.5
(1.398)
36.4
(1.433)
36.3
(1.429)
401.3
(15.799)
Avg. precipitation days 5.8 4.8 4.9 4.2 6.1 6.7 6.5 6.0 5.7 6.6 6.1 5.1 68.5
Source: [11]

Notable people[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Cobar (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  2. ^ http://www.cobar.nsw.gov.au/ Retrieved 07-01-2010
  3. ^ Donaldson, Tamsin. "Ngiyampaa". Macquarie Aboriginal Words. Sydney: Macquarie Library. p. 38. 
  4. ^ Reed, A.W. Aboriginal Place Names. Sydney 1967: Reed New Holland. p. 26. 
  5. ^ "Cobar". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 28 June 2009. 
  6. ^ Shoebridge, J.W. The Railways of The Great Cobar, Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, September, 1969 pp. 189-218
  7. ^ http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=wgoFxfSTfYAC&pg=PA227&lpg=PA227&dq=australia+first+fleet+cornwall&source=bl&ots=pQ8ZsDZmGb&sig=TfiFNvZO2PtZBgpAQUgjeTEuoqw&hl=en&ei=-YAHTYaRHsKYhQfXyLnuBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=australia%20first%20fleet%20cornwall&f=false
  8. ^ http://www.csamine.com.au/about-us/
  9. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2009/01/23/1232471590783.html From boom town to bust Retrieved 24-01-2009
  10. ^ http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/nsw/cobar/climate.shtml Climate of Cobar, Retrieved 24-01-2009
  11. ^ a b "BOM - Cobar weather statistics". 

External links[edit]

Media related to Cobar, New South Wales at Wikimedia Commons