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New South Wales
Central Binalong looking towards the post office and the Hotel Binalong
Binalong is located in New South Wales
Coordinates34°40′00″S 148°39′00″E / 34.66667°S 148.65000°E / -34.66667; 148.65000Coordinates: 34°40′00″S 148°39′00″E / 34.66667°S 148.65000°E / -34.66667; 148.65000
Population543 (2016 census)[1]
Location37 km (23 mi) NW of Yass
LGA(s)Yass Valley Shire
RegionSouthern Tablelands
State electorate(s)Goulburn
Federal Division(s)Eden-Monaro
Localities around Binalong:
Galong Boorowa Kangiara
Galong Binalong Bowning
Berremangra Bookham Bowning

Binalong /ˈbnˈəˈlɒŋ/ (Byn-a-long) is a village in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia, 37 km north-west of Yass in Yass Valley Shire.[2][3] At the 2016 census, Binalong and the surrounding area had a population of 543.[1]

Overview and history[edit]

The indigenous people of the district were part of the Ngunnawal people. The first Europeans recorded as visiting the area were the exploratory party of Hamilton Hume in 1821.

The name of the town is believed to derive either from an Aboriginal word meaning "under the hills, surrounded by hills, or towards a high place"[4] or from Bennelong, the name of a noted Aborigine.

Binalong lay beyond the border of the Nineteen Counties which was the formal legal extent of European settlement in New South Wales. Despite this, squatters continued to acquire lands in this frontier region. In 1839, Binalong was established as the headquarters for the Commissioner of Crown Lands in the Lachlan squatting district. The first commissioner was Henry Cosby who was allocated a section of paramilitary Border Police to suppress both Aboriginal resistance and the raids of bushrangers in the district.[5] Lieutenant-Colonel Edgar Beckham replaced Cosby as commissioner in 1841 and continued the work of enforcing colonisation until 1869.[6]

From 1847 there was a court of petty sessions. The same year a local entrepreneur applied successfully to the Commissioner of Police for a grant to build an inn to provide accommodation and victuals for the visiting magistrate and police witnesses, and the Swan Inn was established close to the courthouse. The town was gazetted in 1850.

In 1853, Cobb and Co was established in Melbourne as a coaching company, and upon eventually expanding their operations into New South Wales, entered into an agreement with the Swan Inn to provide staging services for coaches, drivers and passengers travelling along the adjacent road to the goldfields at Lambing Flat or Young. The town flourished as a coaching stop. The Swan Inn became known as "The Cobb and Co".

The public school was established in 1861.

The family of the poet Banjo Paterson moved to the Binalong district in 1869 when he was five years old. He attended the primary school in Binalong but later went to boarding school in Sydney returning home in the holidays. The district features in a number of his poems, for example, Pardon, the son of Reprieve. Paterson's father is buried in the local cemetery.

The presence of gold meant also that there were bushrangers in the area. The grave of John Gilbert is near the town in the former police paddock. He was a member of the Gardiner-Hall gang and shot by police in 1865.

The original railway station opened in 1875 [7] and was replaced by the current structure on an island platform when the railway was deviated and duplicated in 1916. The 1916 signal box is now closed. The original station remains as a private house on the road to Yass.

The Swan Inn closed following the building of the railway and the establishment of other hostelries closer to the railway station. It reopened in the mid-1980s as a restaurant and continues under the name The Black Swan. A motel was built on the adjoining block of land.


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Binalong (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 June 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Binalong". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Binalong". OpenStreetMap. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Binalong Parish". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  5. ^ "LAW INTELLIGENCE". The Sydney Herald. X, (1081). New South Wales, Australia. 5 November 1840. p. 2. Retrieved 10 March 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "GUNDAGAI". The Sydney Morning Herald. XIX, (2400). New South Wales, Australia. 22 January 1845. p. 4. Retrieved 10 March 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "Binalong railway station". Retrieved 31 March 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Binalong, New South Wales at Wikimedia Commons