Warragamba, New South Wales

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New South Wales
Warragamba is located in New South Wales
Coordinates33°53′30″S 150°36′12″E / 33.89167°S 150.60333°E / -33.89167; 150.60333Coordinates: 33°53′30″S 150°36′12″E / 33.89167°S 150.60333°E / -33.89167; 150.60333
Population1,241 (2016 census)[1]
LGA(s)Wollondilly Shire
State electorate(s)Wollondilly
Federal Division(s)Hume
Localities around Warragamba:
Megalong Valley Megalong Valley Wallacia
Megalong Valley Warragamba Wallacia
Silverdale Silverdale Silverdale

Warragamba is a town in New South Wales, Australia, in Wollondilly Shire. Located on the eastern edge of the Blue Mountains, Warragamba is one and a half hour's drive west of Sydney. The name Warragamba comes from the aboriginal words Warra and Gamba meaning water running over rocks.[2]


In 1804, George William Evans became the first white man to discover the Warragamba River, penetrating upstream to the present site of Warragamba Dam.[3]

However, for Indigenous peoples, the river and the valley were an integral part of daily life, and remain today a significant place of cultural heritage.

Originally constructed as a workers' settlement during the construction of Warragamba Dam, Sydney's primary water source, in the 1940s the modern town of Warragamba remains on the same site adjacent the dam. The town was built from scratch, including homes, shops, schools and other facilities.

On completion of the dam being built many workers bought their homes from the Water Board and stayed on in the township.[4] Warragamba Public School celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in September 1998 despite the fact it was to be demolished after the completion of Warragamba Dam in the 1960s.[5]

Warragamba is unusual for an Australian town, as the streets do not have typical names, but are numbered (such as First Street and Eighteenth Street).

Ongoing dam works (including recent safety improvements) have severely reduced weekend visitors. The town also lost 30 homes and businesses in the 2001 Warragamba bushfires. It was home to African Lion Safari until 1991.

A new Warragamba Dam Visitor Centre and Haviland Park are becoming a popular tourist attractions thanks in part to the excellent picnic facilities.

Heritage listings[edit]

Lake Burragorang Warragamba Dam has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


At the 2016 census, Warragamba had a population of 1,241. 85.4% of people were born in Australia and 92.4% of people only spoke English at home. The most common responses for religion were Catholic 31.8%, Anglican 26.4% and No Religion 25.6%.[1]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Warragamba". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 13 July 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Warragamba Parish History
  3. ^ Evans, George William (1780–1852) Biographical Entry – Australian Dictionary of Biography
  4. ^ A Valley Lost – Building Warragamba
  6. ^ "Track". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01372. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Warragamba Emergency Scheme". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01376. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Megarritys Bridge". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01367. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Warragamba Dam - Haviland Park". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01375. Retrieved 18 May 2018.

External links[edit]