Wentworth, New South Wales
New South Wales
Darling Street, Wentworth
|Elevation||37.0 m (121 ft)|
Wentworth is a small border town in the far south west of the state of New South Wales, Australia. It lies at the confluence of Australia's two most important rivers, the Darling and the Murray, the latter forming the border with the state of Victoria to the south. The border with the state of South Australia lies approximately 100 km to the west. The town of Wentworth is in the local government area of the same name.
Named after the famous explorer and politician William Charles Wentworth, the town is 34 km to the west (via the Calder Highway) of the Victorian regional city of Mildura. The famous mining city of Broken Hill is 266 km to the north along the Silver City Highway.
Moorna Post Office opened on 22 February 1855 and was renamed Wentworth in 1860.
In 1876 Wentworth township was described in the following terms:
Wentworth is situated on the Darling, about half a mile from the junction, and is plainly visible from the Murray. The township is built on rising ground, and, save in very exceptional seasons, is quite out of reach of flood waters. The population is between 400 and 500. The place appears prosperous and progressive. The trade up the Darling River, and the supply of stores to the stations in the vicinity, form the life-blood of its prosperity. Wentworth possesses a custom-house – a hideous little building resembling a watch-house, and as great an eyesore as the cause of its establishment is an inconvenience and annoyance to trade. The other public buildings are a post and telegraph office, for Wentworth is on the main telegraph line to Adelaide, and a court-house and offices, which are also used for land offices. There is a resident police magistrate, Mr. Richardson ... The two churches in Wentworth are buildings creditable to the town. The Roman Catholic Church is a brick structure, the Protestant Church an edifice of brick and stone... There are three or four stores of considerable size, and several hotels. The Australian Joint Stock Bank has a branch here. The river, which, opposite the town is about the width of the Murray at Echuca, is crossed by a punt.
During the late 1800s Wentworth was an important river port; however, like many such towns, its significance faded with the development of the railways (railroads).
The town has been flooded many times by the two rivers. The most significant was in 1956, when both rivers flooded simultaneously. Local farmers, supplemented by the army and navy, worked for months to build levee banks to hold the water out of the town.
Wentworth is now an important tourist outback destination and provides a welcome break for those travelling to or from Broken Hill. In addition to its authentic outback charm, the town offers some interesting attractions:
- PS Ruby – a restored 1907 side-wheel paddlesteamer
- The annual Great Wentworth Tractor Rally
- The Wentworth Gaol
Wentworth was a popular destination for 'pokie tour' bus rides from Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, prior to the legalisation of poker (gambling) machines in that state.
Golfers play at the course of the Wentworth Services Golf Club.
Confluence of the Darling with the Murray River
- "2011 Census Quickstats". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11
- 'The Riverine Trade (No. V): Down the Murray', The Argus (newspaper), 12 February 1876, p. 9.
- The 1956 flood of Wentworth, Mildura Tourism Inc, Accessed September 16, 2007
- Full Points Footy, Sunraysia Football League, retrieved 2009-04-15
- Golf Select, Wentworth, retrieved 2009-05-11
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