The Historic Port of Wentworth
History, culture and charm - the gateway to the Darling River and outback NSW.
Welcome to Wentworth, where the Darling River merges with the mighty Murray. Tributaries west of the Great Dividing Range feed these rivers with summer monsoon rain to the Darling and winter rain and snow melt to the Murray making this region ‘an oasis in the desert’.
Wentworth and surrounds retains much of its rich history, boasting a natural environmental and pioneering diversity – our region offers something for everyone.
In the late 1880’s Wentworth was Australia’s busiest inland port and was a vital link to remote inland ports along the length of the Darling River. Ports at Wentworth, Pooncarie, Menindee, Wilcannia and Bourke were vital trading locations for remote pastoralists and inland inhabitants.
The Darling River is no longer the watery highway for riverboats, trade and produce, however the colonial charm of life on the Darling will be felt when visiting the PS Ruby, a restored and fully functional paddle steamer. Contemporary river traffic has replaced the relics of the past yet the natural beauty, environmental and colonial charm can still be experienced from houseboats and leisure craft.
With a Weir and Lock 10 situated at Wentworth visitors can be assured of water levels to support Houseboating, Camping, Fishing and Skiing holidays all year round.
Township of Dareton
Named after Water Conservation & Irrigation Commissioner Henry Dare,
the centre of the Coomealla Irrigation District.
The town of Dareton is at the centre of the Coomealla Irrigation Area, an ambitious and successful horticultural development which begun in 1922. The bush landscape was transformed into a patchwork of orderly patterned vineyards and orchards by soldier settlers following the two world wars.
At the heart of Dareton is the Coomealla Memorial Sporting Club which provides fine dining and live entertainment. Adjacent to the ‘Coomie Club’ are excellent bowling greens, a caravan park and a full 18 hole greens golf course on the banks of the Murray River.
A visit to BMeet the meeting place of local indigenous artists will provide a fascinating insight to the very talented local artists. Neighboring BMeet is the Men’s Shed which has static displays of interest.
The area is an angler’s paradise and a natural habitat for fauna.
Township of Buronga
HOME OF THE AUSTRALIAN INLAND BOTANIC GARDENS, ORIGINALLY KNOWN AS HENDY TOWN, OFFICIALLY NAMED BURONGA IN THE 1930'S
Home of the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens, originally knows as Hendy Town, officially named Buronga in the 1930s.
Early explorers and overlanders no doubt would have passed by this site in the mid 1800s before pioneering graziers took up the land between the Murray and Lower Darling Rivers.
Originally part of the ‘Tapio Run’, Buronga is situated on the Sturt Highway (Hendy Road) and Silver City Highway, adjacent to Mildura. Buronga with an economy based on light industry, horticulture and viticulture is currently undergoing rapid residential expansion. Neighbouring Mildura, Buronga offers an easy lifestyle, with a fast growing retail, services and shopping precinct of its own.
The newly constructed Riverfront Nature Play park and Pump (bike) track are popular with families, cyclists and skateboarders of all abilities. Also in close proximity to Buronga is the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens, wineries, olive groves and citrus orchards. Two river bank caravan parks, a motel and B&B’s cater for accommodation.
Township of Gol Gol
ONCE A KEY PORT FOR GRAZING AND HORTICULTURE IN THIS AREA, TODAY A POPULAR LOCATION FOR WATER ACTIVITIES.
Once a key port for grazing and horticulture in the area, today a popular location for water activities.
Established in the late 1870s, the town of Gol Gol is historically significant as a vibrant horse drawn coach stop. Coaches were vital for communication, Royal Mail delivery and passenger transport in the Wentworth Shire. Up to six lines operated to and from the area to destinations such as Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and every change point in between. Gol Gol Inn was one of the pivotal stops and horse changeover locations.
The town hosts range of accommodation and recreational activities on the picturesque banks of the mighty Murray River. An award winning boutique winery and restaurant can be found at Trentham Cliffs, with tastings and outdoor dining available.
James King Park is a multi-purpose park, with tennis courts, playground, fitness equipment, BBQ and picnic areas. The park boasts one of the best double boat ramps in the Sunraysia district. The newly constructed wharf allows for houseboat accessibility to the park and sandbar as well as access to town with the shared walking and bicycle paths.
Township of Pooncarie
A TRAIL OF DISCOVERY TO MENINDEE, THE DARLING RIVER RUN, BROKEN HILL AND BEYOND.
Situated 115km north of Wentworth and 80km north-west of Mungo, this once thriving river port Pooncarie was settled by Europeans in the 1840's when pastoralists took up illegal grazing runs. in 1863 the settlement was gazetted as the township of 'Pooncaria'. Now known as Pooncarie (or locally known as 'the Port') the town has a population of less than 200 permanent residents. With a pub, general store and cafe, the residents of Pooncarie welcome all visitors and enjoy enlightening travellers on the history of the area. With a variety of accommodation options, there is sure to be one for you.
The Pooncarie Race Club has an annual picnic race meeting on the NSW Labour Day long weekend each year.
Pooncarie provides an alternative route to Menindee and Broken Hill however if you have time, stay and explore - you'll be glad you did. Make Pooncarie your first stop when travelling north on the Darling River Run.
Township of Menindee
VISITED BY EXPLORERS MAJOR THOMAS MITCHELL AND CHARLES STURT, AND LATER USED AS A BASE BY BURKE AND WILLS IN 1860
Menindee is the first town on the Darling River (gazetted 1863), settled in 1853 between the Darling River and Lake Menindee. Menindee currently has a population of around 550 residents. The lakes and river area were first discovered by the Barkindji People who lived around the Menindee Lakes and along the Darling River (Baaka) dating back over 40,000 years. The natural flood plain lakes now partially modified, sometimes empty sometimes full, provide a significant breeding and feeding grounds for thousands of water birds, fish and aquatic life.
Bordering the town is the Kinchega National Park, home of the heritage listed Kinchega Woolshed. Menindee played an important role in early exploration of our vast continent, as well as our states pastoral, riverboat and rail history, still providing access across the Darling for the transcontinental railway.