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New South Wales
Boorowa Court House
Boorowa is located in New South Wales
Coordinates34°26′S 148°43′E / 34.433°S 148.717°E / -34.433; 148.717Coordinates: 34°26′S 148°43′E / 34.433°S 148.717°E / -34.433; 148.717
Population1,641 (2016 census)[1]
  • 40 km (25 mi) E of Young
  • 70 km (43 mi) S of Cowra
  • 240 km (149 mi) W of Sydney
LGA(s)Hilltops Council
State electorate(s)Goulburn
Federal Division(s)Hume
Road entry sign to Boorowa on the Lachlan Valley Way

Boorowa is a farming village in the Hilltops Region in the south west slopes of New South Wales, Australia.[2] At the 2011 census, Boorowa had a population of 1,211 people.[1] It is located in a valley 340 kilometres (210 mi) southwest of Sydney around 490 metres (1,610 ft) above sea-level. The town is in Hilltops Council local government area.


Before the arrival of Europeans, the area was part of the lands owned by the Wiradjuri Nation with the Gandangara Aboriginal Australians. It is believed that the name 'Burrowa', the original spelling, derives from the local Aboriginal language and refers to a native bird, the plains turkey Australian bustard.

The first European to travel through what is now Boorowa Shire was surveyor George Evans in 1815. Unofficial occupation of the district began in 1821 with Irishmen Rodger Corcoran and Ned Ryan, both former convicts who had received their 'ticket of leave' from the Governor. The first land grant in the general area was issued to Thomas Icely in 1829. A mill was operating on the future town site of Boorowa by 1837, along with an inn and several houses.

Governor Gipps proposed the creation of a village named 'Burrowa' in 1842, to be located 9 km north-east of the present site at Kings Plains which had been surveyed in 1828. However, that spot proved unsuitable and the village was established on its present site in 1843. The early years in the district saw lawlessness and mayhem as a result of long running boundary disputes, theft of livestock and arson, even murders; the cause being remoteness and lack of law and order. Bushrangers roamed the surrounding unsettled wild mountainous land, making raids into the town and stations of the district.[3]

Squatters took up large tracts of land in the Boorowa area but the introduction of the Robertson Land Acts in 1861 resulted in a new land grab where large numbers of settlers, particularly 'ticket of leave' men, applied for a 'selection' of land with low cost land parcels available.

The district was given over to farming, although it received a push along when gold was found at Carcoar, Browns Creek and Kings Plains. Gold mines were established although copper and iron were also extracted. Samuel Marsden's copper mine operated until 1900.

The town's rugby league team competed for the Maher Cup during the 20th century.


Boorowa residents and the local member of parliament lobbied the Government to direct the new southern main line progressing towards Goulburn to pass through the town. However the towns of Yass and Murrumburrah won the debate. The next best option was a branch line to the town and this lobbying lasted 40 years before the line was eventually constructed, opening for traffic on 10 October 1914.

The arrival of the railway in 1874 spurred development. Burrowa's name was then changed to "Boorowa". Boorowa replaced Carcoar as the major service centre to local farmlands. It became a municipality in 1888. By the turn of the century a butter factory and freezing works were major employers in the town. Passenger trains ceased in 1980 and the Boorowa railway line from Galong to Boorowa closed in 1987.[4]

The post office was ordered to discontinue use of the name "Burrowa" in 1914,[5] but the two spellings were used interchangeably throughout the area for many years[6] and the town's newspaper stubbornly retained the old spelling on its masthead until January 1951.


The main infrastructure achievements over the 180 years that connected Boorowa to the rest of the Colony included the first Post Office and mail service in 1835, the electric telegraph in 1866, voice telephone in 1906, electric street lighting in the 1920s by the towns own generator, later the town and consumers were connected to the Burrinjuck Hydro electricity system in 1938.[4]


The town is located on the Boorowa River, a tributary of the Lachlan River. The Murrumbidgee River drains the southern portion of the Boorowa district. The soil in the area is rich volcanic soil washed down over millennia from an extinct volcano known as Mount Canemumbola.[4]

Notable people[edit]


  • Boorowa's agricultural show is held in March.
  • October long weekend - The "Running of the Sheep" down the main street of Boorowa during the Irish Woolfest.



  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Boorowa (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 3 February 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Boorowa Council's Community/Social Plan 2005 - 2010 (PDF), 14 June 2006, p. 20, archived from the original (PDF) on 30 June 2009
  3. ^ Lloyd, Helen, ‘160years’, Boorowa-over 160 years of white settlement, written by Helen V Lloyd, Toveloam Pty Ltd Press, 1990.
  4. ^ a b c "Boorowa-Argyle Country". Website. Archived from the original on 4 December 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  5. ^ "Burrowa or Boorowa?". The Burrowa News. New South Wales, Australia. 25 September 1914. p. 2. Retrieved 15 August 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "Burrowa". Daily Witness. New South Wales, Australia. 5 February 1924. p. 2. Retrieved 15 August 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "Eric Bryce (1932-2007): Represented Artist". Australian Music Centre. 2007. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  8. ^ Tate, Audrey. "Dale, Marguerite Ludovia (1883–1963)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 30 March 2015 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  9. ^ Waterhouse, Richard. "McGrath, Francis (1866–1947)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 30 March 2015 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  10. ^ Walsh, G. P. "Quinn, John (1864–1937)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.

External links[edit]

Media related to Boorowa, New South Wales at Wikimedia Commons