Town Profiles

Bargo

Bargo is about 100 kilometres south west of Sydney. At the southern end of the Wollondilly region, it is also a main residential town surrounded by farmlands. First explored by Europeans in 1798, who discovered their first Koalas, lyrebirds and wombats here, the area was covered in dense scrub and called by the Europeans the Bargo Brush. Being close to the freeway, Bargo has become an outer dormitory suburb with its residents commuting to the Macarthur Area and the city itself by car or by…

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Buxton

Buxton is a small village about 30 kilometres south of Picton on the ‘Old Loop Line’ Railway. Named after a town in Derbyshire, England the town owes its existence to the railway. In 1867 the Great Southern Railway was extended from Picton to Mittagong along a steep incline atop the ridge on which Buxton today sits. For the next 50 years this single line was the main track south, until a two track deviation was built through Tahmoor and Bargo in 1919, after which it was known as the loop line.…

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Oakdale

Oakdale lies some 5 kilometres west of The Oaks on the road which once was the main access to the Burragorang Valley. The early European history of Oakdale is largely that of “Cowpastures” (see “The Oaks” for more information.) When the name Oakdale for the village was gazetted is not known, but presumably it was after the establishment of a post office at the state school, whose teacher was also the postmaster. At the park in the centre of the village there are picnic tables, bbqs,…

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Picton

Picton is about 80 kilometres south west of Sydney. At about the geographical centre of the Wollondilly region, it is also the main town and administrative centre of the region. First explored by Europeans in 1798, it remained ‘beyond the pale’ – declared a ‘no go’ area by the Governors who sought to restrict settlement closer to the colony at Sydney, until 1821. One of the earliest grants (1822) was made to Major Antill, and it is on part of his land that most of Picton is situated…

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Tahmoor

Tahmoor was originally traversed by European settlers as early as 1798 – a party led by John Wilson, although it is probable that he had been here before. Tahmoor has a major shopping centre, supermarket and banks. Many shops are open on weekends. Plenty of cafes and take-away food bars. There is a large hotel just south of town, with a bistro and a comfortable budget-priced motel much favored by travelers and those enjoying a stay in this delightful part of the Wollondilly. Tahmoor grew…

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The Oaks

The area first came to the notice of Europeans in search of cattle which had escaped from the government herds at Parramatta. These cattle had “gone bush” and thrived in the rich pastures of this area. Visited by Governor Hunter in 1795 (from whom nearby Mt. Hunter gets its name) who appreciated the country as excellent for cultivation, it was however forbidden to European settlers by successive governors up to 1822. The area became known as ‘Cowpastures’, which extended from Nepean River…

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Thirlmere

The area now known as Thirlmere was first traversed by Europeans as early as 1798 (Wilson), whose attention was more focused on Thirlmere Lakes (Barrallier, 1802) and finding an alternate route north towards Bathurst. In the earliest days it was part of the general geographic area south of Appin known as ‘Bargo’. Although a few settlers took up grants near the Lakes in the 1830’s, they remained isolated on the fringes of the greater settlement at Picton. Thirlmere, like many towns, was…

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Wilton

When the ‘Cowpastures’, Bargo and acres further inland were opened up for settlement after 1815, a number of small land grants were surveyed in the Wilton area – then known as East Bargo, but only a few taken up. In its earliest days Wilton area was best known for the main roadway which went from Appin, overBroughton Pass then on to Lupton’s Inn (Bargo). Wilton is the only town on the main road from Picton to the freeway north of Wollongong, and between Appin and Picton. To find the…

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