Wallangarra, Queensland

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Wallangarra
Queensland
Wallangarra (1).JPG
Border "gates" at Wallangarra
Wallangarra is located in Queensland
Wallangarra
Wallangarra
Coordinates 28°54′0″S 151°56′0″E / 28.90000°S 151.93333°E / -28.90000; 151.93333Coordinates: 28°54′0″S 151°56′0″E / 28.90000°S 151.93333°E / -28.90000; 151.93333
Population 385 (2006)[1]
Postcode(s) 4383
Location
LGA(s) Southern Downs Region
County Bentinck
Parish Tenterfield
State electorate(s) Southern Downs
Federal Division(s) Maranoa
The railway station which is listed on the Register of the National Estate. Note the different style of awnings and the QLD side compare to the NSW side.

Wallangarra is a village on the border between Queensland and New South Wales in Australia. It is the third most southerly town in Queensland, 258 kilometres (160 mi) south west of Brisbane. Wallangarra is on the Queensland side of the border and Jennings is on the New South Wales side. At the 2006 census, Wallangarra had a population of 385.[1]

The name, originally Wallan-Garra, these are Aboriginal words meaning "plenty of water".

In 1885, the Queensland government announced that a town would be formed where the railway line between Queensland and New South Wales would meet. On 29 June 1885, 179 lots were offered for sale at £8 per acre (£20/ha).[2]

Geography[edit]

Wallangarra lies in a valley between two ranges of mountains, which each are branches of the Great Dividing Range. It is 878 m above sea level. There is a gap between the more Westerly range at Wyberba, about five kilometres north of Wallangarra. This gap has made Wallangarra the major inland border crossing for the New England Highway and what was the first railway line between Brisbane and Sydney.

Climate[edit]

Wallangarra is one of the coldest towns in Queensland, due to its extreme southerly location in the state. Maximum temperatures in winter rarely rise above 15 °C (59 °F) or above 30 °C (86 °F) in summer. Wallangarra holds the record for the lowest maximum temperature in Queensland, 2.4 °C (36 °F) on the 3 July 1984.[3] Despite this, minimum temperatures are not as low due to local geographic variations, and towns well to the north such as Warwick and Oakey frequently record lower minimums.


Climate data for Wallangarra Post Office
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 36.2
(97.2)
34.3
(93.7)
31.7
(89.1)
34.5
(94.1)
24.5
(76.1)
20.7
(69.3)
20.4
(68.7)
25.9
(78.6)
28.1
(82.6)
32.6
(90.7)
35.0
(95)
36.0
(96.8)
36.2
(97.2)
Average high °C (°F) 26.6
(79.9)
25.4
(77.7)
24.1
(75.4)
21.1
(70)
17.5
(63.5)
14.5
(58.1)
13.9
(57)
15.3
(59.5)
18.4
(65.1)
21.5
(70.7)
24.3
(75.7)
26.6
(79.9)
20.8
(69.4)
Average low °C (°F) 14.7
(58.5)
14.7
(58.5)
13.1
(55.6)
9.3
(48.7)
5.7
(42.3)
3.0
(37.4)
2.0
(35.6)
2.7
(36.9)
5.2
(41.4)
8.3
(46.9)
11.0
(51.8)
13.3
(55.9)
8.6
(47.5)
Record low °C (°F) 7.7
(45.9)
6.1
(43)
3.0
(37.4)
−1.5
(29.3)
−3.7
(25.3)
−5.6
(21.9)
−5.1
(22.8)
−4.5
(23.9)
−3.7
(25.3)
−2.7
(27.1)
1.7
(35.1)
5.4
(41.7)
−5.6
(21.9)
Rainfall mm (inches) 101.7
(4.004)
85.4
(3.362)
68.2
(2.685)
38.2
(1.504)
44.7
(1.76)
47.5
(1.87)
50.4
(1.984)
40.6
(1.598)
47.8
(1.882)
75.6
(2.976)
81.1
(3.193)
99.8
(3.929)
781
(30.747)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 9.3 8.8 8.0 6.1 6.6 6.9 6.8 6.3 6.4 8.0 8.7 9.6 91.5
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[3]

A railway heritage[edit]

The town was created to service a break-of-gauge between Queensland's narrow gauge of 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) and New South Wales's standard gauge of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) when the two systems came together in 1888.[4] The railway was the only rail link between Queensland and New South Wales until a standard gauge track was completed in 1932, with the completion of the bridge at Grafton. From that time on, the Wallangarra station lessened in importance. All scheduled rail services stopped in 1997.[5] In 2003, after major refurbishment, the station was reopened as a museum.

The railway line from Stanthorpe to Wallangarra has continued to be maintained and steam trains taking tourists to Wallangarra occasionally operate.

Preceding station   NSW Main lines   Following station
Terminus Main North Line
towards Sydney

Heritage listings[edit]

Wallangarra has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Army dump[edit]

During World War II, the Commonwealth Government created a general army store on the Queensland side of the border, and an ammunition dump on the New South Wales side. Dual gauge tracks were run to each store.

Access to the army stores was via Margetts St, one of the main roads in the town. The late Muriel Daphne Verdun Nicolson lived at 30 Margetts St from before WWII until her death in 2001. During WWII she reported that the flow of trucks and materiel went on all day and night.

The stores hold enough bridging material to rebuild the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Helicopters, F-111 parts and all sorts of odds and ends are held there. The ammunition dump was, in the 1970s, the largest ammunition dump in the Southern Hemisphere. As of 2004, it is the second largest in Australia. Children going to the Wallangarra State Primary School are still entertained by the massive scheduled explosions of stale ammunition.

Riverina Stock Feeds[edit]

Taking advantage of the rail junction Riverina Stock Feeds operated a packing plant opposite the Wallangarra railway station for many years until 1995. After that it moved to Warwick, a city 100 kilometres to the north. Warwick also has a major Woolworths warehouse. Interestingly the Chairman of Woolworths who located the ware house at Warwick grew up in Wallangarra.

Abattoirs[edit]

Until 1982 The Anderson Meat Packing Company operated a large beef abattoir at Wallangarra. Anderson's employed in excess of 400 workers at the Wallanagarra plant. The plant was located on the border so as to take advantage of rail lines from both Queensland and NSW.

After this closed the town's future looked dim. Ten years later, however, Australia's largest mutton works opened on a new site just to the east of the town. The mutton produced is Halal, and most of it is exported to Arab countries.

Wallangarra Dam[edit]

Drive out along Margetts St, over the railway bridge, past the Rugby League grounds and out past the army. From there follow Old Paling Yard Road up the foot hills of Mt Norman. There you will find a water treatment plant and a road branch to the left going down to Beehive dam. Beehive dam is in the mountains, and fed by a spring. It is a beautiful place for a picnic.

Attractions[edit]

Wallangarra is situated on the picturesque Granite Belt, and is bounded by Sundown National Park to the West and Girraween National Park to the East. Being situated on the Great Dividing Range, Sundown is dry and Girraween is much more moist.

Notable former residents[edit]

Rugby League legend Billy Moore lived in Wallangarra as a child. He is best known for playing for the North Sydney Bears and the Queensland State of Origin team. He was born in Tenterfield, New South Wales as this was the closest hospital.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Wallangarra (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  2. ^ Stokes, I.M., The History of the Wallangarra Meatworks, The Tenterfield Star, 23 October 1967.
  3. ^ a b "Wallangarra Post Office". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  4. ^ The Centenary of the Southern Line Kerr, J.D. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, December, 1970 pp261-291
  5. ^ The Last Years of the Warwick/Wallangarra Mails Milne, Rod Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, July, 1995 pp179-189
  6. ^ "Wallangarra Railway Station and Complex (entry 16006)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  7. ^ Sharwood, Anthony (15 June 2011). "Why Queensland care more, and NSW couldn’t care less". The Punch. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 

External links[edit]