Batlow, New South Wales
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New South Wales
|Population||1,026 (2011 census)|
|Elevation||775 m (2,543 ft)|
|State electorate(s)||Wagga Wagga|
Batlow is well known for its apples. About 50 growers in the district supply 1.6 million cases of apples, or 10% of the Australian apple crop, to the Australian market. The district also produces cherries and stone fruit. The town's main landmark, the 'Big Apple', stands testament to the orchards which have been vital to the town's economy for over 120 years.
When gold was discovered in the area in 1854, a small settlement called Reedy Creek was established as a supply point and service centre for the mining area, and a Mr Batlow surveyed a townsite nearby. The gold deposits were quickly exhausted, but farmers found the area better suited to a variety of crops, so the mining supply point was moved and the current township established around 1855. Reedy Flat Post Office opened on 1 August 1873 and was renamed Batlow in 1889. Fruit trees and timber quickly became the main sources of income for the town, and in 1910 the townsite was gazetted.
In 1922, the first cool stores in New South Wales were constructed in the town. At the same time a railway was built from nearby Tumut. These developments facilitated the town's trade with Sydney and beyond. The district supplied troops with dehydrated fruit and vegetables during World War II.
Batlow is located 94 km west of Canberra, though, by highway is approximately 225 km due to the Great Dividing Range between them. The nearest city is Wagga, while three towns, Tumut (NE), Adelong (NW) and Tumbarumba are within 40 km (S).
The countryside around Batlow is a plateau of rolling hills, just under 1000 m in altitude. Being on the western edge of the Great Dividing Range, Batlow receives much of the precipitation that has not fallen further west, an average of 1300 mm per year. Little or no rain is received from ocean to the east, due to the large distances and the Great Dividing Range. The cold winters combined with the higher rainfall and good soils make an excellent apple growing climate. However, in 2006, Batlow experienced the most severe downturn in rainfall in New South Wales, receiving only 392 mm of rain that year.
Batlow is an agricultural town offering services and facilities to the surrounding area, including two primary schools and a high school, a library (with telecentre), a hall and several stores and small businesses. The Batlow Fruit Co-operative, trading since 1922, is based in the town.
Batlow's economy turns around the production of apples for the fresh food market. Some revenue is also obtained from other agricultural exploitations and timber from the large soft and hardwood plantations. There is a strong influx of seasonal labour for the harvesting of fruit from March to April. A smaller influx occurs at thinning time in December.
The 43,000 ha Bago State Forest between Batlow and Tumbarumba contains stands of alpine ash and radiata pine.
Batlow is in the Tumut Shire and the Mayor of the Tumut Shire is Trina Thomson. Batlow was moved to the bellwether Federal Division of Eden-Monaro for the 2007 Federal election. With Batlow usually voting overwhelmingly conservative, the vote swung to the centre left Australian Labor Party member Mike Kelly by 26%.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Batlow (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
- Batlow: Big Apple, Big Trip.
- "MnKqvqZTSX". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 2009-06-11.
- Sydney Morning Herald. "Travel - Batlow". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2006-10-30.
- "Great Circle Distance between BATLOW and CANBERRA". Geoscience Australia. March 2004.
- Sydney Morning Herald (2007-01-08). "Crunch Time for Apple Growers". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-12-29.
- AEC (2007). "Polling Place Results". AEC. Retrieved 2007-12-29.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Batlow, New South Wales.|
- Batlow Apples
- Picture of the Big Apple c.1986 (National Library of Australia)
- Tumut Shire Council
- Batlow Railway Station