Araluen, New South Wales

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New South Wales
Araluen is located in New South Wales
Coordinates35°39′S 149°49′E / 35.650°S 149.817°E / -35.650; 149.817Coordinates: 35°39′S 149°49′E / 35.650°S 149.817°E / -35.650; 149.817
Population168 (2016 census)[1]
Elevation160 m (525 ft)
LGA(s)Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council
CountySt Vincent
State electorate(s)Monaro
Federal Division(s)Eden-Monaro
Localities around Araluen:
Majors Creek Reidsdale Monga
Majors Creek Araluen Buckenbowra
Berlang Neringla Merricumbene

Araluen (35°39′S 149°49′E / 35.650°S 149.817°E / -35.650; 149.817) is a small town 27 km south of Braidwood, New South Wales.[2] It is in the Southern Tablelands area of New South Wales, Australia. It is in Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council local government area. It is on the banks of Araluen Creek. The creek joins the Deua River.

History[change | change source]

The name 'Araluen' is an Australian Aboriginal word. It is believed to mean 'water lily' or 'place of the water lilies'.[3] When European settlers arrived Araluen was a wide alluvial valley. It had many billabongs covered with water lilies. No billabongs exist in the Araluen valley today. The natural shape and look of Araluen Creek and its valley were completely destroyed by uncontrolled and very destructive gold mining. This took place during the 'gold rush' in the second half of the 1800s.

The first Europeans to explore the area were Kearns, Packer and Marsh in 1822.[4] Andrew Badgery started farming cattle in the area in the 1830s. The first European settler to live at Araluen was Henry Burnell. He was able to buy 1280 acres of land.[4] He started farming sheep and cattle in 1835.[2] With the help of convicts he was able to build a farm house and farm buildings.

Gold[change | change source]

Gold was found at Araluen by Alexander Waddell in September 1851.[2] Thousands of people came to Araluen to look for gold during the gold rush. This included many Chinese gold miners. One of these miners was Quong Tart who came to Araluen when he was only nine years old.[2] He later became a famous business man in Sydney. In the 1860s there were more than 20 hotels in Araluen. The gold was alluvial gold, found in the bottom of the creeks. In some places there was up to 12 metres of dirt and sand on top of the gold. In the 1870s the gold miners used hydraulic sluices (high pressure water hoses) to wash away all the sand and dirt. Big floating dredges (digging machines) were put in the creek. There were 11 there in the 1900s.[2] The last dredge stopped working in 1932.

A flood in the Araluen and Braidwood area killed 24 people on January 1, 1860.[5] The flood destroyed the town. After the gold rush was over most people left the town. The Court House, built about 1861, is now used as a place for tourists to stay.[6]

Ben Hall[change | change source]

In May 1865 the bushranger Ben Hall and his gang tried to hold up the Araluen gold coach. The coach carried gold from the Araluen gold fields to Braidwood. This was a very steep road and very hard for a wagon pulled by horses to travel along. Often the only way to goods in and out of the valley was to drag them up or down on sleds.[2] The wagons could not go very fast, so this was a good spot for the bushrangers to rob the coach. The gold coach usually had a policeman with a gun sitting next to the driver. There were two more policemen on the back of the carriage. Four more policemen rode on horses in front and behind the coach. The gold was kept in a safe which was bolted to floor of the coach. (The coach has been restored and is on display at the Braidwood Museum) .[7] The police were able to keep the bushrangers away from the coach, but Constable Kelly was wounded in the shooting.

Fruit farms[change | change source]

The Araluen valley is now well known for its fruit farms and orchards. The fruit is sent to Canberra, Sydney and to other countries.[2]

Arts and Poetry[change | change source]

Australian poet, Henry Kendall (1839-1882)[1], wrote a poem called Araluen. This describes the quiet and peaceful mood of the valley. It includes the words "Araluen -- home of dreams...". He also called his first daughter Araluen.[8] She was named after the Araluen Creek. She died in 1870 at the age of 13 months.[9]

Araluen is home to author Jackie French.

In November every year, the Braidwood Folk Music club have a weekend of folk music called Music at the Creek.[10] This is held at the Majors Creek reserve, near the site of the Ben Hall robbery.

Araluen Zieria[change | change source]

The Araluen Zieria (Zieria adenophora), is a small shrub about 50cm tall and 50 cm wide. It is only found in one place, a slope above the Araluen Creek. There are only 56 known plants.[11] It has been listed as Endangered under the Australian government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. It is also listed by the New South Wales Government, Endangered (Schedule 1, Part 1) on the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. There is now a plan to protect the plant.[11] These plans include:

  • A fence to keep out wild goats
  • Stopping any building or disturbing the site
  • Studying the plant
  • Trying to grow new plants in other places
  • Looking for the plants in other places.

References[change | change source]

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Araluen (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 29 June 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "Araluen". Towns and Villages of the Southern Tablelands. Archived from the original on 2013-05-03. Retrieved 2008-11-13.
  3. "Araluen, New South Wales". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. 13 July 2001. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Walkabout - Araluen". Fairfax Australian Travel Guide. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
  5. "Araluen and Braidwood, NSW: Floods - 1860". Emergency Management Australia: Disasters Database. Retrieved 2008-12-03.[dead link]
  6. "Old Court House Bed and Breakfast Araluen". Combined Hotels. Archived from the original on 2009-01-03. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
  7. "Gold Escort Coach Gifted to the Braidwood Museum" (PDF). Braidwood Times. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  8. "Araluen by Henry Kendall (1839 - 1882)". Perry Middlemiss. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
  9. "Araluen Kendall, The Argus, November 22, 1924". National Library of Australia, Australian Newspapers. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
  10. "Music at the Creek". Archived from the original on 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "National Recovery Plan for the Araluen Zieria". Australian Government Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Retrieved 2008-12-03.

Other websites[change | change source]