History, culture and charm - the gateway to the Darling River and outback NSW.
DISCOVER THE RICH PAST
The Wentworth Shire and Darling Outback showcases over 150 years of pioneer settlement and 40,000 years of indigenous culture.
As a mark of admiration the authors of this document wish to acknowledge the Barkindji people, the Traditional Owners and occupiers of country in this area and in doing so recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
Standing the test of time
Scattered throughout the Wentworth Shire and Darling Outback are historic buildings and structures - a legacy to the pioneers and engineers of times long past. From the grandeur of large homesteads nestled along the rivers, to historic schools, churches and courthouses (in regular use since 1879). Lift-span bridges still operate to facilitate navigation of larger river vessels, long retired farm and household implements are displayed in local parks and the Pioneer Museum, all a tribute to the perseverance of our pioneers and their strong will to provide for their families. Graziers were the first to arrive – the various ports flourished. Irrigation later turned the region into an ‘oasis in the desert’. What a legacy our pioneers have created.
THEGOA LAGOON AND INDIGENOUS TRAILS
The Aboriginal people the ‘Barkindji’ (or Paakantyi’) living along the Darling River referred to it as the ‘Baaka’ meaning ‘belonging to the river’. The Baaka was the life source for the Barkindji people providing the spiritual connection and essential food, clothing and tools for life in this sometimes harsh environment.
The Thegoa Lagoon with its proximity to the Murray Darling junction was a natural ‘meeting place’ where Aboriginal people gathered for Corroborees. Nothing’s changed – it remains an idyllic ‘meeting place’.
A self-guided tour will expose the walker to its natural beauty and the prevalence of the archaeological sites – including middens, hearths, (fireplaces) and scar trees from which canoes, shields and tools have been crafted by the Barkindji people.
The keen observer will marvel at the Boundary Tree a remarkable example of the Aboriginal ability to graft branches together to create an eye or ring in the tree. Visible from a distance this was a clever way of marking a tribal boundary.
Thegoa Lagoon Reserve offers walk and drive trails and a bird hide to observe flora and fauna within minutes of Wentworth and the popular Murray Darling river junction.
Thegoa self-guided tour brochures are available at local Visitor Information Centre’s.
Out and About….
• Wentworth Trail
Travel back in history …. at your own pace.
Visit 34 points of interest as you are guided about Wentworth on the Wentworth trail. The tour of the historic Port of Wentworth begins at the Visitor Information Centre, 66 Darling Street. It highlights historical buildings, from the old Post Office built in 1899, to the Town Hall (1844) to the cultural sites such as mussel beds and middens.
• Australian Inland Botanic Gardens
An oasis in the desert.
Take the time to discover the jewel of Sunraysia with a visit to the beautifully landscaped botanic gardens. There’s the Garnpang Homestead Gift and Coffee Shop, rose gardens and plants representing every Australian State and territory on display. A ‘Big Breakfast and Market’ is held on the 4th Saturday of every month at the Homestead.
• Perry Sand Hills
A natural wonder of Wentworth.
Explore the drifting sands of this ice age formation, home to mega fauna fossils and a World War Two RAAF practice range. Enjoy a quiet stroll over the hills or go wild with the endless fun to be had up and down the dunes.
• Visitor Information Centre Gallery
There is always a new exhibition or display to be seen at the VIC Gallery, including but not limited to sculptures, paintings and photography by artists from all over Australia.
Visiting the free gallery provides the perfect introduction to the regions rich environmental, cultural and historical past. The Visitor Information Centre and Gallery is the perfect place to commence your visit.
For more information call into the Wentworth Visitor Information Centre or visit www.visitwentworth.com.au
or phone 03 5027 5080.
PS RUBY - THE AUTHENTIC 1907 HERITAGE PADDELSTEAMER
Built in Morgan, S.A. in 1907, as a ‘side wheeler’ the PS Ruby (or the Paddle Steamer Ruby) is currently the flagship of the historic Port of Wentworth. ‘Side wheelers’ were designed and built for their manoeuvrability and were ideally suited to the unpredictable and sometimes treacherous Murray River. Whilst the PS Ruby had an industrious life as a cargo and passenger vessel operating between Echuca, Mildura, Wentworth and Goolwa she now rests in dry dock within the confines of Fotherby Park Wentworth. Recognising the historic value of this iconic vessel the Rotary Club of Wentworth purchased the neglected PS Ruby in 1968, and successfully completed an extensive restoration process which now has the Ruby being presented to the public as an authentic and operating paddle steamer of its era. Having completed the restoration Rotary have handed ownership to the Wentworth Community in the trusteeship of the Wentworth Shire Council.
You can step back in time on a guided tour of PS Ruby. Contact Wentworth Visitor Information Centre on 03 5027 5080 to enquire about tour times.