Grenfell, New South Wales

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New South Wales
Grenfell Main Street 002.JPG
Main Street, Grenfell, during the 2011 Henry Lawson Festival
Grenfell is located in New South Wales
Coordinates 33°54′0″S 148°09′0″E / 33.90000°S 148.15000°E / -33.90000; 148.15000Coordinates: 33°54′0″S 148°09′0″E / 33.90000°S 148.15000°E / -33.90000; 148.15000
Population 2,513 (2011 census)[1]
Postcode(s) 2810
Elevation 410 m (1,345 ft)
LGA(s) Weddin Shire
State electorate(s) Cootamundra
Federal Division(s) Hume
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
22.5 °C
73 °F
9.4 °C
49 °F
622.9 mm
24.5 in

Grenfell is a town in Weddin Shire in the Central West of New South Wales, Australia. It is 370 kilometres west of Sydney. It is close to Forbes, Cowra and Young. At the 2011 census, Grenfell had a population of 1,996.[1] The town is served daily by connecting NSW Trainlink services from Sydney via Bathurst and Lithgow. The journey time is of ca. six hours.[2]


Grenfell was a goldmining town first known as Emu Creek and renamed in honour of John Grenfell, Gold Commissioner at Forbes, who had been killed in 1866 when bushrangers attacked a stagecoach on which he was travelling.[3] Weddin Post Office opened on 3 December 1866 and was renamed Grenfell on 24 December the same year.[4] By 1870-71 it was producing more gold than any other town in NSW. However, by the mid-1870s gold was in decline. Wheat was first grown in the district in 1871. In late October 1901, the railway from Koorawatha to Grenfell was officially opened.[5] Unlike most Australian country towns Grenfell has a main street which bends.

The town's rugby league team competed for the Maher Cup.

In June 2007, the Spirit of the Bush Concert was held on the sporting fields. Acts included the organiser and Australian of the Year Lee Kernaghan, local and international star Steve Forde & the Flange, Adam Brand, Leo Sayer, Diesel, and The McClymonts.

Railway Station from street side, built 1901

Henry Lawson Festival[edit]

The poet and story writer Henry Lawson was born on the nearby gold fields. On the Queen's Birthday weekend in June every year, the town hosts The Henry Lawson Festival of Arts, which attracts thousands of visitors. The festival is a celebration of local and international talent, with art, poetry and writing competitions drawing entries from all over Australia. It was first held in 1958.[6] The June weekend was chosen because it is close to Lawson's birthday. Over the years, such personalities as Chips Rafferty, Barry Humphries, Kamahl, Jack White and Sigrid Thornton have attended.


Grenfell Railway Station Sign

Major events[edit]

  • Australia Day – January
  • Dazza and Shazzas – Backyard Rave Party & BBQ – March
  • ANZAC Day Commemorations – April
  • Grenfell Picnic Races – April
  • Henry Lawson Festival – June
  • Grenfell Show – August/September
  • Caragabal Sheep Races – September
  • Jockey Club Races – September
  • Weddin Mountain Muster – September/October
  • Grenfell Gold Fest – October
  • Uncle Franks Lemon Party - November
  • Carols by Candlelight – December

The villages of Weddin Shire[edit]

  • Greenethorpe – George Greene built Iandra Castle between 1886 and 1908 and established Australia's first share farming agreement. He was instrumental in providing a rail link from Koorawatha to transport wheat. Greenethorpe grew as a support town for the rural population and was named in honour of George Greene.
  • Caragabal – The town developed as a staging post and watering hole for coach drivers and horses on the run between West Wyalong and Grenfell. Caragabal was once a thriving hub for railway, stock and grain. The town has an 18 hole golf course, tennis courts, bowling club and hotel.
  • Quandialla – Quandialla is the aboriginal word for spiny anteater. Founded in 1914 as a railway town, Quandialla has a population of 200 people. Services in the village include the historic hotel, general store, swimming pool, and bowling club. Quandialla was the setting for the film 1915.


Main article: Grenfell fossil site

Grenfell is an important centre of for fossils of Devonian ducks, which occur in many surrounding outcrops of the Hunter Siltstone geological formation.


Cricketer Stan McCabe, cyclist Reggie McNamara and tennis player Jan Lehane were born in Grenfell.


  1. ^ a b "2011 Census QuickStats – Grenfell (Urban Centre)". 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Grenfell's History". Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  5. ^ "KOORAWATHA TO GRENFELL RAILWAY.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 28 October 1901. p. 4. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  6. ^ A ride from Grenfell to Gulgong is also held to commemorate the Lawson family trek from Grenfell to Gulgong when he was a boy.The Grenfell Henry Laawson Festival of Arts History of Festival

External links[edit]

Media related to Grenfell, New South Wales at Wikimedia Commons