Coordinates: 34°45′0″S 146°33′0″E / 34.75000°S 146.55000°E / -34.75000; 146.55000
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New South Wales
East Street, main street of Narrandera
Narrandera is located in New South Wales
Coordinates34°45′0″S 146°33′0″E / 34.75000°S 146.55000°E / -34.75000; 146.55000
Population3,746 (2016 census)[1]
Elevation173.0 m (568 ft)
LGA(s)Narrandera Shire
State electorate(s)Cootamundra
Federal division(s)Farrer
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
23.3 °C
74 °F
9.9 °C
50 °F
471.5 mm
18.6 in

Narrandera, (/nəˈrændərə/ nə-RAN-dər-ə)[3] until around 1949 also spelled "Narandera",[4] is a town located in the Riverina region of southern New South Wales, Australia. The town lies on the junction of the Newell and Sturt highways, adjacent to the Murrumbidgee River, and it is considered the gateway to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. At the 2016 census, Narrandera had a population of 3,746 people.[1]


Narrandera Post Office
Charles Sturt memorial on the Murrumbidgee River

Narrandera is a river town with a rich heritage. Captain Charles Sturt is credited with being the first European to observe the area that later was to become known as Narrandera. However Sturt, who passed through the district on 12 December 1829, was not the first explorer to cast eyes on the Murrumbidgee River. The upper Murrumbidgee, the "Big Water", was first noted in April 1821 by Charles Throsby. The name Narrandera is derived from the Wiradjuri word nharrang, meaning "frill-necked lizard".[5] and the name of the local Narrungderah clan.

Massacre of Narrungderah people[edit]

The local Aboriginal people of the Wiradjuri nation, were all but destroyed by settlement, disease brought by European settlers, and clashes with the settlers. The last blow was a massacre of the remainder of the Narrungderah clan by a small group of European settlers near what is now referred to as Massacre, or Murdering Island, and is known to have left only one survivor.[6] The people of the Wiradjuri nation who now reside in Narrandera make up ten percent of the population of the town, and predominantly came from the regions south and west of Narrandera, but were dislocated by colonial expansion.


Narrandera had its first recorded mention as a pastoral station or "run" (Narrandera Run) in 1848, at which time the property held by Edward Flood comprised approximately 31,100 hectares (76,800 acres).

In 1850, surveyor James Larmer reserved a site for what would later become Narrandera.[7] The township developed in the early 1860s. Gillenbah post office opened nearby on 1 March 1859 and was replaced by the Narrandera office in 1861. A Gillenbah office was open from 1881 to 1892 and from 1906 to 1941.[8]

The Borough of Narrandera was constituted by proclamation dated 17 March 1885, and gazetted the following day. The centenary of Local Government in Narrandera was celebrated in 1985.

1945 RAAF crash[edit]

On 3 September 1945, a Royal Australian Air Force Bristol Beaufighter assigned to No. 92 Squadron crashed into the canal at the western end of the town during a joy flight, killing all seven people on board.[9]

2013 sesquicentenary[edit]

A celebratory weekend event to mark Narrandera's sesquicentenary, named Back to Narrandera 1863 to 2013, was held in early October 2013. The Governor of New South Wales, Marie Bashir AC CVO, who was born in Narrandera, opened the celebrations at a luncheon. During her speech of proclamation she acknowledged the indigenous custodians of the land, and noted that the name Narrandera is a Wiradjuri word for "the place of lizard or goanna". Bashir informed the luncheon guests that 150 years ago 'on this site on the Murrumbidgee River, the beautiful place was officially proclaimed as a town named Narrandera'.[10] Included on the program of events and activities for the celebrations were the Parkside Cottage Museum was open for most of the weekend and displayed many historical artefacts, including archival resources about the P.S. Wagga Wagga; the Murrumbidgee Sheepdog Championships were held; there were Narrandera Cemeteries Heritage Walks; a cocktail party; and a Chinese exhibition. There was also a Railway Memorabilia Display with Vintage Train Rides and the John O'Brien Heritage House was opened to the public; there was a vintage film evening; a classic ball; a Back to the 60's Dance; the Lions Club held a recovery breakfast; and a Ye Olde Town Picnic followed; with other events, including a CWA Devonshire Tea; a farmers' market; and a time capsule was sealed and placed under the Narrandera Clock Tower. The new Rocky Waterholes Bridge was also opened.

Heritage listings[edit]

Narrandera has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Narrandera today[edit]

The town of Narrandera is located adjacent to the Murrumbidgee River, at the intersection of the Newell Highway and the Sturt Highway at the centre of a diversely productive agricultural region. Its attractive tree-lined streets contrast with the open plains that surround it.

Narrandera now marks the transition between an extensive dry-land area devoted to cereal crops and sheep and wool production to the east, and, to the west, the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) fed by water from the Burrinjuck Dam. The MIA is a region where irrigation has opened the way to a diversity of enterprise, from the growing of rice and other cereals under irrigation to the production of citrus, wine grapes, potatoes, and increasingly, cotton and nuts.

The Narrandera Memorial Gardens include the unusual Hankinson Fountain.[17] Manufactured by the Royal Doulton Company of England, the ceramic fountain is one of only two known to be in existence, the other located in Pakistan. It was given to the people of Narrandera by Alderman and Mrs Hankinson in 1922 in honour of locals who served in World War I.

Narrandera is known for its waterways described below, but in particular for the Lake Talbot Water Park. The waterpark is set in an amphitheatre of shaded lawns. The Water Park features a 50-metre pool, a large children's pool, an infants pool and a water playground as well two giant water-slides. It adjoins Lake Talbot, which is fed by the Bundidgerry Creek. The Lake is used by swimmers water-skiers and canoeists.

The Narrandera Flora and Fauna reserve is home to a Koala Regeneration Reserve. The reserve was set up in the 1970s to return Koalas to the town as they had been wiped out in the region by 1950 through accidental poisoning and through the fur export industry. There are now several hundred healthy Koala in the Reserve and they have bred and spread for many kilometres beyond Narrandera. Kangaroos are also well represented in the Reserve.

Narrandera's immediate surrounds feature a number of waterways, the major waterway being the Murrumbidgee River. Others include Lake Talbot, the Narrandera Wetlands, Bundidgerry Creek, and the ephemeral Lake Coolah.

The town also has number of historic features, such as a fig tree on the corner of King and Cadell Streets, which is thought to be 150 years old; and the Mon Repos, a residence built in a Queen Anne-style, which was built in the 1890s. The Oakbank Brewery Tower located beside the Murrumbidgee on Oakbank Road is a prominent feature, once owned by Lincolns brewers, then by Oakbank Brewery. Its last productive days were as a cordial (soft drink) factory owned by the Webster family of Narrandera.[18]

Narrandera Parkside Museum houses a cloak made from the first bale of Merino wool sent back to England by the MacArthur family.

The Irrigation Canal which flows through the town carries water to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area to Narrandera's west. It originates 34 kilometres (21 mi) east at Berembed Weir where water is diverted from the Murrumbidgee River. The canal follows the natural bed of Bundidgerry Creek and in places spreads wide and has no levee banks. Lake Talbot was formed in 1924 when the bank of the Irrigation Canal gave way, flooding the river flat between the canal and Bundidgerry Hill. The shallow body of water was allowed to remain and became an important recreational feature of the town. A wetland has been created off Lizard Drive, only 300 metres (980 ft) from the Murrumbidgee River. The Wetland acts as a collection point for storm water run-off from the town.


Like many rural localities in the area, the population level has progressively declined over a number of years, evidenced as follows:

Selected historical census data for Narrandera urban centre/locality
Census year 2001[19] 2006[20] 2011[21]
Population Estimated residents on Census night 4,116 3,961 3,871
Historical population
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics data.[22][23]


Narrandera has a cold semi-arid climate (Bsk) with a substantial range in maximum temperatures throughout the year, typical of the Riverina. Summers are hot and very sunny with the occasional thunderstorm. Winter is cool, partly cloudy and features many days of light, misty drizzle and fog which can persist for multiple days in a row. Sleet can occur on rare occasions whereas snow is virtually unknown.

Climate data for Narrandera Airport AWS (1970–2022); 145 m AMSL; 34.71° S, 146.51° E
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 47.4
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 33.6
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 17.8
Record low °C (°F) 5.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 39.2
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 5.1 4.1 4.8 5.4 7.3 10.1 11.4 10.7 8.5 7.4 6.5 5.4 86.7
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology; Narrandera Airport AWS


Narrandera railway station
Narrandera railway station

Narrandera is well served for transport. The Sturt Highway and the Newell Highway cross just south of Narrandera. Narrandera Airport is 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) west of the town, and is serviced by Rex Airlines, operating return services daily to Sydney, approximately one hour and 20 minutes' flying time away.

Narrandera is served by a twice-weekly NSW TrainLink Xplorer service operating between Sydney and Griffith. NSW TrainLink also operate a road coach service from Wagga Wagga to Griffith via Coolamon.[24]


Narrandera has a rugby league team competing in the Group 17 competition. Founded in 1921[25] and known as the Lizards, the club previously disbanded in 2005, leaving Group 20.[26] This left the town with no rugby league club from 2006-2011 and 2015-17. After briefly amalgamating with neighbouring club Yanco-Wamoon to form Bidgee Hurricanes (2012–14), the club reformed independently in 2018 and joined the reformed Group 17. The club has three premierships from their time in Group 20 (1986, 1991, 1999) and two from Group 17 in 2022, which broke a 23-year drought, and 2023.[27][28]

The Narrandera Eagles (formerly and still officially Narrandera Imperials Football Club) compete in the Riverina Football League, winning premierships in 1986 and 2012. Formerly of the South West competition, the club won 15 titles in that league.

Narrandera also has strong local cricket and basketball competitions.

Notable residents[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

The novel Jessica, by Bryce Courtenay, mentions Narrandera several times as the main town near the place where the book is set.



  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Narrandera (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 1 December 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Narrandera Postcode Australia Post
  3. ^ Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
  4. ^ "Correspondence". Narandera Argus and Riverina Advertiser (NSW : 1893 - 1953). NSW: National Library of Australia. 26 June 1945. p. 2. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  5. ^ McNicol, Sally; Hosking, Dianne (1994). "Wiradjuri". Macquarie Aboriginal Words. Sydney: Macquarie Library. p. 98.
  6. ^ "History of Narrandera". Narrandera Shire Council. 2005. Archived from the original on 21 August 2006. Retrieved 30 January 2007.
  7. ^ DOWD., B. T. (1935). "The Genesis of Narrandera. (Journal and Proceedings Vol. 21 Part. 2)". Trove. Royal Australian Historical Society. p. 48. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Post office list". Phoenix Auctions history. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  9. ^ "SEVEN AIRMEN KILLED". Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 - 1954). Qld.: National Library of Australia. 5 September 1945. p. 5. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  10. ^ "2013 sesquicentenary" (PDF). Visit Narrandera (PDF). Narrandera Shire Council.[dead link]
  11. ^ "Narrandera Showground Industrial Hall". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Department of Planning & Environment. H01952. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Text is licensed by State of New South Wales (Department of Planning and Environment) under CC-BY 4.0 licence.
  12. ^ "Narrandera rail bridge over Murrumbidgee River". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Department of Planning & Environment. H01050. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Text is licensed by State of New South Wales (Department of Planning and Environment) under CC-BY 4.0 licence.
  13. ^ "Berembed Weir and Site". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Department of Planning & Environment. H00957. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Text is licensed by State of New South Wales (Department of Planning and Environment) under CC-BY 4.0 licence.
  14. ^ "Derrendi Cottage". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Department of Planning & Environment. H00441. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Text is licensed by State of New South Wales (Department of Planning and Environment) under CC-BY 4.0 licence.
  15. ^ "Narrandera Railway Station and yard group". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Department of Planning & Environment. H01209. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Text is licensed by State of New South Wales (Department of Planning and Environment) under CC-BY 4.0 licence.
  16. ^ "Gogeldrie Weir". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Department of Planning & Environment. H00961. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Text is licensed by State of New South Wales (Department of Planning and Environment) under CC-BY 4.0 licence.
  17. ^ "Monument Australia website". Archived from the original on 26 February 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  18. ^ "History of Narrandera". Narrandera Shire Council. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 24 March 2008.
  19. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Narrandera (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 5 January 2015. Edit this at Wikidata
  20. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Narrandera (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  21. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Narrandera (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 1 November 2012. Edit this at Wikidata
  22. ^ "Statistics by Catalogue Number". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  23. ^ "Search Census data". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  24. ^ "Southern timetable". NSW TrainLink. 7 September 2019.
  25. ^ "Advertising". Murrumbidgee Irrigator. 21 June 1921. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  26. ^ "Assault sparks fears for football club future". ABC News. 22 July 2004. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  27. ^ "Narrandera seeing double after Lizards crawl to community cup championships". The Riverine Grazier. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  28. ^ Smith, Tallon (2 August 2023). ""Narrandera's the best team of all": Lizards go back-to-back in the Proten Community Cup". Battlers For Bush Footy. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  29. ^ "The Governor of NSW". Parliament of New South Wales. 13 April 2010. Archived from the original on 28 January 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  30. ^ English, Peter. "The man from Narrandera". Cricinfo Magazine. ESPN. pp. 30 April 2008. Archived from the original on 12 January 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  31. ^ Grove, Robin (2007). "Kathleen Ann (Kathy) Gorham (1928–1983)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Vol. 17. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. ISSN 1833-7538. Archived from the original on 15 April 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  32. ^ Innis, Michelle (8 April 2016). "An Heir to a Tribe's Culture Ensures Its Language Is Not Forgotten". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  33. ^ Walsh, G. P. (1983). "Patrick Joseph Hartigan (1878–1952)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Vol. 9. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. ISSN 1833-7538. Archived from the original on 11 April 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  34. ^ "News Fremantle's 2008 NAB AFL Draft Summary". Hawthorn Football Club. 29 November 2008. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  35. ^ "Zac Williams -". Archived from the original on 14 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014.

External links[edit]