Lake Cargelligo, New South Wales

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Lake Cargelligo
New South Wales
Main street
Lake Cargelligo is located in New South Wales
Lake Cargelligo
Lake Cargelligo
Coordinates 33°18′0″S 146°22′0″E / 33.30000°S 146.36667°E / -33.30000; 146.36667Coordinates: 33°18′0″S 146°22′0″E / 33.30000°S 146.36667°E / -33.30000; 146.36667
Population 1,380 (2011 census)[1]
Postcode(s) 2672
LGA(s) Lachlan Shire
State electorate(s) Barwon
Federal Division(s) Parkes

Lake Cargelligo (/ˌlk kɑrˈɛlɨɡ/, locally [ˌlæɪk kaːˈdʒeləɡəʉ])[2] is a town in the Central West region of New South Wales, Australia, on Lake Cargelligo. It is in Lachlan Shire. At the 2011 census, Lake Cargelligo had a population of 1,380 people.[1] Its name is said to be a corruption of the Aboriginal word 'Kartjellakoo' meaning 'he had a coolamon'. A coolamon is a shallow wooden dish. Alternatively it is derived from Wiradhuri and Ngiyambaa "gajal" for water container with suffix "lugu" for "her" or "his".[3] In 2011 it had an indigenous population of 236 (17.1%) and an Australian born population of 1,241 (89.7%).[1]


The explorers, John Oxley and George Evans, followed the Lachlan River down to Lake Cargelligo in 1817. Lake Cargelligo was known as Cudgelligo[4] (or sometimes Cudgellico) in the 1800s and was officially changed when the railway arrived in 1917. The opening paragraph of this article reporting on the meaning of the name is complete rubbish. Cudgellagong - the closest transliteration of the Aboriginal name actually means "Place of many reed beds". A reference to the Reed beds that used to surround the lake shallows and keep the water clean before the introduction of European carp wrecked the lake environment.


The railway from Cootamundra to Wyalong was extended to Lake Cargelligo in 1917.[5] The railway station opened as 'Cargelligo' in 1917 and was renamed 'Lake Cargelligo' in 1919. Rail-motor passenger services operated to the town until 1983.[6] Since then the railway link has been used for cargo transport, especially for bulk grain which the surrounding farms cultivate. It also has a strong World War I background and ANZAC heritage.

The lake[edit]

As its name would suggest, the town of Lake Cargelligo is situated on a lake fed by the Lachlan River through Lake Curlew. The lake was originally named Regent's Lake by the explorer John Oxley after the prince regent of England at the time. The lake was the primary water source for the early mining town, and has continued to remain an integral source of water for Lake Cargelligo's inhabitants and for all users along the lower Lachlan. These days the lake serves recreational uses as well, bird watchers are by far the largest group of visitors to the lake and surrounds due to the incredible diversity of waterfowl and other rare birds in the district. Boating, fishing and water skiing, also contribute to the town's tourism industry.

After many years of drought, it was reported in early 2010 that the lake ran dry for the first time since 1902.[7]



  1. ^ a b c Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Lake Cargelligo (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
  3. ^ "Lake Cargelligo". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "To Fencers". Advertisement. Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal. 11 Jan 1860. p. 3. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  5. ^ Lake Cargelligi Railway Station. Accessed 4 April 2008.
  6. ^ Banger, C. The Intercapital Daylight, 1956-1991 Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, Vol 52 No. 764. June 2001
  7. ^ ABC 7.30 Report 26 Jan 2010

External links[edit]