WELCOME TO BOGAN SHIRE
The Bogan Shire, situated in Western New South Wales, has an area of 14,610 square kilometres, which is equivalent to about 1.8% of the State’s land surface. The geographical centre of the State lies within the
Shire boundaries. Bogan Shire has an estimated population of 2900 (2011 ABS) and located within the
Shire are the villages of Hermidale, Coolabah and Girilambone.
Nyngan, the Shire’s Administrative Centre, is located 580km north west of Sydney on the Bogan River at
the junction of the Mitchell and Barrier Highways - an ideal rest point for the weary traveller. The Mitchell Highway continues on through Bourke to Western Queensland and the Barrier Highway leads to The Silver City of Broken Hill and on through South Australia to Adelaide.
The Bogan River begins between Peak Hill and Parkes and is the main watercourse in the Shire but only flows after significant rain falls within the catchment area. A permanent water supply for the town is
maintained via Albert Priest Channel which crosses the Mitchell Highway 25 km east of Nyngan and brings water from the Macquarie River at Warren to a weir pool on the Bogan. A reliable water supply for Nyngan
is thus ensured. Cobar’s water is supplied via pipeline from Nyngan. The weir pool provides a pleasant and attractive waterway for birdlife and bird-watching, fishing, and boating.
The first recorded European visitor to the region was Major Thomas Mitchell who led an expeditionary party that camped at the present site of Nyngan on 10 May 1835. A plaque marking the spot where they camped is located in Rotary Park. Mitchell described the camping spot as a: ‘long pond with many birds, ducks and brolgas’.
It was almost fifty years before the construction of a railway line to Bourke provided the impetus for a township on the Bogan. Around 1882, residents of the small settlement of Canonba, some 30 kilometres north on the banks of Duck Creek, moved to establish a town by the railway and Nyngan came into being. A number of houses from the older settlement were dismantled and re-erected at Nyngan.
Nyngan Village boundaries were gazetted on 18th December 1882. The Municipality of Nyngan was proclaimed on 17th February 1891 with a population of 1355.
april 1990 floods
Record heavy rains in the catchment of the Bogan River saw floodwaters rise to alarming levels, threatening the town. Despite the best efforts of the townspeople and an army of volunteers, the levee was breached. On the morning of April 24, Nyngan was under water and isolated in a vast inland sea. With damage estimated at $50 million and all services to the town cut, it was decided to airlift almost the entire population of Nyngan to safety until the floodwaters receded and services could be restored.
This remarkable feat of organisation was commemorated by the gift of an Iroquois Helicopter from the Australian Government to the people of Nyngan. The helicopter, a symbol of courage, played a vital role in the Vietnam War Battle of Long Tan, and stood as a static display adjacent to the Railway Station until 21 May 2011. It has now been transported to Caloundra to be restored and placed on display. Caloundra RSL kindly restored and transported a replacement Iroquois to our town. A new levee, one metre higher than the 1990 flood level now protects the town and its people.
For further information about Nyngan and the 1990 Flood visit the Nyngan Museum.
- Rotary Park
- Davidson Park
- Flood Evacuation Memorial Park
- Vanges Park
- O’Reilly Park
- Lions Park
- Teamsters Rest (Location of Dump-Ezy)
This memorial was erected by the McLaughlin family for the Bicentennial Year. Molong artist, Michael Carrol designed the sculpture, which represents a drover, his dog and a mob of sheep in a typical pose as they move across the plain.
The mural was constructed to mark Australia’s bicentenary in 1988. It depicts the Bogan River and surrounding properties. The annual rainfall chart for the previous 100 years is depicted on the lower section of the wall in yellow tiles.
The small park and fountain across from the RSL Club mark the Centenary of the founding of Nyngan in 1883.
The Museum is located in the heritage restored Railway Station and has displays of our history from 1835 to the present day including a scale model of the Girilambone Copper Mine, and an audio room where older residents’ stories can be heard. Opening times: 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday, 10.00am to 12.30pm Saturday.
MID-STATE SHEARING SHED MUSEUM
The Mid-State Shearing Shed Museum is a volunteer run replica shearing shed and museum that is dedicated to the people in the shearing industry. A disused railway goods shed was converted into a replica shearing shed by a group of retired shearers and enthusiastic community members. Their aim is to inform the general public and visitors of the important contribution that the shearing industry has made and is continuing to make to Nyngan and to New South Wales.
CAIRN – the Centre of NSW
The geographical centre of NSW is 72km south of Nyngan. Adjacent to the Condoblin Road is a cairn marking the spot. This was made from slag (waste material from smelting) taken from the old Mount Royal Copper Mine that used to operate at Tottenham.
THE COBB & CO HERITAGE TRAIL
The Bathurst to Bourke Cobb & Co Heritage Trail recalls the history of the days of Cobb & Co, when the Royal Mail Coach was the main link for isolated settlers with towns. Today’s traveller can explore the roads from Bathurst to Bourke, discovering the relics of the 19th Century inns, changing stations and homesteads. Canonbar, once a small township on the Duck Creek, was a terminus for the first coach running west of Dubbo. Colane Station was a changing station for Cobb & Co and the old Post Office still stands. Two enormous Moreton Bay figs are on Colane. These were planted by WF Whitney of Cobb & Co. The company bought “Buckiinguy” on the Macquarie Marshes to breed horses and cattle. Whitney and his wife resided there in 1865 before moving to Orange.
MAJOR ANNUAL EVENTS
The Nyngan Show, Nyngan Ag Expo, Duck Creek Picnic Races, Nyngan Easter Rugby League Challenge, Bogan Day Out and Hermidale Gymkhana are major events for our community and attract many visitors to our town and Shire.
Situated 46km west of Nyngan on the Barrier Highway this village was first settled in the late 1880’s. The railway reached Hermidale in 1892 and the school opened its doors in 1901.Travellers are encouraged to take a break in the Phillip Dutton Rest Area named in honour of our Olympic Medallist who won Gold in the Equestrian Three-Day Team Event at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics. Hermidale hosts a Gymkhana on Easter Sunday.
46km north of Nyngan on the Mitchell Highway, Girilambone began with the discovery of copper around 1880’s. According to legend a large meteorite struck a hill near the town, hence the name Girilambone means “Place of Falling Stars”. Girilambone proudly boasted of being the smallest town in Australia with a ridgy didge RSL Club but the club that was established in the early 1950’s has recently closed.
76 km from Nyngan on the Mitchell Highway towards Bourke, Coolabah was established during the 1880’s. A coach stop with the unlikely name of “The Three Legs O’Man” stood about 2 miles from the present day Coolabah on the Cobb & Co route to Bourke. The name came from the Isle of Man. In 1884 a new hotel of that name was built in the present site of Coolabah and a large well was dug next to the hotel. This fully bricked well remains today as a point of interest for visitors.
For more information about any of these interesting, fun, free activities and other great things to see
and do in the Bogan Shire contact the friendly team at the Bogan Shire Council Building.