Gilgandra, New South Wales

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New South Wales
The main street of Gilgandra
Gilgandra is located in New South Wales
Coordinates 31°42′0″S 148°40′0″E / 31.70000°S 148.66667°E / -31.70000; 148.66667Coordinates: 31°42′0″S 148°40′0″E / 31.70000°S 148.66667°E / -31.70000; 148.66667
Population 4,368 (2011 census)[1]
Established 1888
Postcode(s) 2827
Elevation 282 m (925 ft)
  • 460 km (286 mi) from Sydney
  • 66 km (41 mi) from Dubbo
LGA(s) Gilgandra Shire
State electorate(s) Barwon
Federal Division(s) Parkes
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
24.7 °C
76 °F
9.9 °C
50 °F
557.2 mm
21.9 in

Gilgandra is a town located in the central west region of New South Wales, Australia. The town is located on the junction of the Newell, Oxley and Castlereagh highways and can be reached in about six hours by car from Sydney. The town is the administrative seat for the Gilgandra Shire.

Like Coonabarabran, Gilgandra can be considered to be a gateway to the Warrumbungles National Park. At the 2011 census the population of the Gilgandra "statistical area" was 4,368 people.[1] The name Gilgandra is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning "long waterhole" and may be related to fact that town stands on the Castlereagh River.[2]


The town was proclaimed in 1888, and the first town blocks were sold in 1889. The area had been previously settled and Gilgandra’s Post Office was established in 1867 and in 1881 a local school opened, and the first court hearing in the Gilgandra court house was in 1884. The shire was constituted in 1906.[3]

During World War I, a recruitment march to Sydney began in Gilgandra. The march was known as the Coo-ee March, after the distinct call of "cooee" they shouted at each town along their journey to attract recruits. Twenty-six men left Gilgandra on 10 October 1915. They were feted at each town on the route and recruitment meetings were held. By the time they reached Sydney just over one month later on 12 November, the numbers had swelled to 263 recruits.[4][5]

Shops and services[edit]

There is a hospital, pharmacy, and medical centres. In 2009, a Supa IGA supermarket was opened. various clothes stores including Target Country and several hotels. Two clubs have bowling greens (bowling club and RSL club) and the golf club has a full sized golf course surrounded by a racecourse.


Gilgandra has many churches especially for a small town. There is a Catholic, Anglican, United Churches, Lutheran, Jehovah's Witness, Church of Christ, Presbyterian, and a local Indigenous church.


Gilgandra has 3 schools; Gilgandra High School, (North Gilgandra) (7-12), St. Joseph's School (North Gilgandra) (K-6) and Gilgandra Public School (North Gilgandra) (K-6). The town also has a local pre-school (East Gilgandra), Early Childhood Centre (West Gilgandra) and a TAFE Campus (South Gilgandra). St John's primary (West Gilgandra) was closed in 2004.


In the hotter months, the swimming pool is open, and there are skateboard ramps for the youth. There is a youth club, which has squash courts, basketball courts, a gym, and an indoor area.

The tourist information centre is on the south side of town, on the Newell Highway, as entering from Dubbo, on the right hand side after the silos.

There is a Rural Museum, which has old coaches, shearing sheds and equipment, as well as some of the old rooms, decked out as to how they were in the former days. There is Cactus World, which has a large range of cacti.

Gilgandra has an observatory open from Wednesday to Sunday.

There is the community radio station WARFM, which is on 98.9FM, which has a broad range of shows. This is run by local volunteers, and if one feels like they want to present a show, an application will be taken, training given, and probably an available timeslot will be given.

There is also an aero club which serves as a flight school.

Gilgandra has a technical college. There are courses such as business administration, digital photography, and others at times.

Notable people[edit]

  • Don O'Connor (born 1958), Australian cricketer who played for the Tasmanian and South Australia in the Sheffield Shield competition.
  • William Thomas Hitchen, organised a successful recruiting march from Gilgandra to Sydney in late 1915.
  • Tony McGrane, Mayor of Gilgandra for 16 years, member of State Parliament
  • Raymond John Bailey (1932–1958), found guilty and executed for the Sundown Murders.


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Gilgandra (Statistical Local Area)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Gilgandra". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 24 September 2009. 
  3. ^ "Gilgandra " District History". Gilgandra Shire Council ( 2004. Archived from the original on 19 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-02-27. 
  4. ^ "The Coo-ee March". Gilgandra and District. Archived from the original on 17 October 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-10. 
  5. ^ "Gilgandra". Peoples Voice. Archived from the original on 7 September 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-10.