Tilpa, New South Wales

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Tilpa
New South Wales
TilpaBridge.jpg
The Darling River at Tilpa c. 1945. The punt can be seen behind the new bridge
Tilpa is located in New South Wales
Tilpa
Tilpa
Coordinates 30°56′11″S 144°25′0″E / 30.93639°S 144.41667°E / -30.93639; 144.41667Coordinates: 30°56′11″S 144°25′0″E / 30.93639°S 144.41667°E / -30.93639; 144.41667
Population 159 (2006)[1]
Postcode(s) 2840
Elevation 88 m (289 ft)
Location
LGA(s) Central Darling Shire
State electorate(s) Murray-Darling
Federal Division(s) Calare

Tilpa is a town in the Far West region of New South Wales, Australia. The town is located on the Darling River, in the Central Darling Shire local government area, 917 kilometres (570 mi) north west of the state capital, Sydney.

At the 2006 census, Tilpa and the large surrounding area had a population of 159.[1] The town itself is said to have a population of only nine.[citation needed]

The Darling River at Tilpa has erratic flows and is often dry in periods of drought. However floods in 1956 saw the Darling River span 80 kilometres (50 mi) at its widest, isolating Tilpa for five months.[2][dubious ]

History[edit]

In its heyday, Tilpa was an important river port with paddle steamers delivering supplies to nearby sheep stations and returning down river laden with bales of wool.[3] The wool was taken to Wentworth—at the confluence of the Darling and Murray Rivers—and then either to Adelaide or to Echuca for passage to the port at Melbourne.[4] The town was home to a punt, allowing sheep, horses and people to cross the Darling River safely, for a fee.[3] The punt has since been replaced by a bridge. The photo on the right dates it to after 1963 as that is when the bridge was completed.

Culture[edit]

Tilpa Hotel

The local pub—the Tilpa Hotel—was built over 100 years ago. A timber and corrugated iron building, the inside walls are covered in messages and autographs placed by visitors in return for a donation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.[5] A feature of the town is a Boer War memorial in Australia that includes a commemorative to Harry "Breaker" Morant, who was controversially executed by the British Army for murdering Boer prisoners.[4] The town also claims to have the smallest heritage trail in Australia (two signs across the street from each other) and the only cemetery in Australia with no interments.[4][6]

Economy[edit]

Tilpa is mainly an agricultural area, with sheep grazing the primary activity, and some pockets of irrigated land along the river. Tourism, including farmstay programs on local stations, is the other major local industry. Fishing and camping are popular along the river.[3] The prolonged drought in 2007 saw Tilpa run out of potable water. A Sydney-based company has offered to trial a portable water filtration plant to improve the quality of both the river and bore water.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Tilpa (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  2. ^ "Tilpa". Tourism New South Wales. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  3. ^ a b c "Tilpa". WISE Basins. National Parks and Wildlife (New South Wales). Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  4. ^ a b c "Visit Outback NSW: Tilpa". Outback NSW Tourism. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  5. ^ "Tilpa Pub". NSW Holidays. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  6. ^ Wilson, Mary (26 May 2008). "Bush cemeteries". Western NSW History: Cemeteries. Retrieved 2008-10-03.  : Confirmation of lack of graves in cemetery.
  7. ^ "Cobb says no funding help for Tilpa water woes" (in Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 2007-05-18. Retrieved 2008-10-03.