Harden Shire - Heart of
Visit Harden Shire and explore
the historic twin towns of Harden - Murrumburrah, the villages of Galong,
Jugiong and Wombat, and the beautiful Hilltops region of New South Wales, Australia
Harden Shire nestles amid the 'Hilltops' district -
the softly rippling hills of the Southwest Slopes region of New South Wales.
It is home to 3,800 people,
half living in the twin towns of Harden and Murrumburrah,
340 km southwest of Sydney and 125 km northwest of Canberra by road.
The district excels in
quality agricultural products
wheat, canola, wool, lamb,
beef, pork, chicken, cherries and stone fruit, olive oil, mustard seed oil, vegetables,
honey and premium red and white wines. Road and rail transport are other
Harden Shire is a convenient and tranquil base to
relax, to explore the region or attend events in nearby towns
Binalong, Boorowa, Cootamundra, Temora, Gundagai, Yass and Young
- all less than an hour away, and all with their own character.
It's also a good place to break a long journey.
For visitors, Harden Shire offers scenic countryside, historic
attractions, sporting activities, events and boutique outlets selling arts, crafts and fresh produce.
Local Hilltops wines, fruit,
lamb, beef, eggs, virgin olive oil, mustard seed oil and distinctively flavoured
honeys are of exceptional quality and freshness. The historic village of Murrumburrah celebrated
its 150th anniversary in 2008.
A new Gold Trail is being developed, highlighting the
district's gold mining and bushranger heritage.
Towns and villages
The town of Harden-Murrumburrah, the villages of Galong, Jugiong
Wombat, and localities of Aurville, Barwang, Beggan Beggan, Benmore,
Cooney's Creek, Cunningar,
Currawong, Demondrille, Garangula, Kingsvale, McMahon's Reef, Prunevale
and Nubba are interesting places to visit.
Galong was the home of the Irish-born squatter Ned Ryan, whose
1850s home was incorporated into St Clement's Redemptorist Monastery,
built in 1918 and now a Roman Catholic retreat centre. Galong has many historic
buildings and spectacular marble monuments in the walled cemetery,
picturesquely sited in a wheat field. In the 1860s, bushrangers used to
rob travellers on the roads and hide out at nearby Kalangan.
Jugiong is a small, thriving community just off the Hume Highway
set amid hilly country on the northern bank of the Murrumbidgee River,
with an excellent cafe and wine store specialising in red and white wines
from the region.
Kingsvale was created after World War I as soldier settlement blocks,
and continues to be an important source of quality stone fruit in summer,
especially cherries. You can buy from stalls at the orchards, such as
Petal Falls, or pick your own. Cherry picking is popular in late
Wombat lies on the Olympic Highway and is notable for the Wombat
Hotel (1903), Wilkie's Cafe, the Geranium Nursery (open in summer with 500 varieties of
geraniums), the Grog Shed, fresh 'Wombat eggs', the Chinese mine workings
and other hidden treasures.
Harden Shire has a hospital, two medical centres,
pre-schools, two primary schools, a high school, churches, Olympic swimming
pool, 18-hole golf course, squash courts, gymnasium, bowling club,
tennis courts, racecourse, showground and playing fields, retirement
villages, caravan park,
cafes, restaurants, hotels, motels, a Roman Catholic retreat and the Murrumbidgee River
at Jugiong. Community clubs cater to sports, hobbies and many activities.
Harden Shire was home to people of the Wiradjuri
nation. Following the explorer Hamilton Hume, squatters took up vast
pastoral runs here from about 1828. The settlement of Murrimboola (Wiradjuri
waterholes' or 'two canoes') on Murrimboola Creek was gazetted in September 1858, and the name later
changed to Murrumburrah to avoid confusion with Merimbula. The Great Southern Railway was
extended to Galong, Harden (1877) and Murrumburrah (1879), leading to
expansion of the towns. The second settlement at North Murrumburrah
became the railway town and later retail centre of Harden, but the two
towns are now physically continuous.
attractions - a relaxing place for a country break
Harden Shire is an ideal place for
a relaxing break from the stress of city life. As well as its scenic
countryside, historic buildings,
sporting attractions and events,
the district is fast developing as a centre for quality, fresh local
produce sold direct at an increasing number of outlets. Fruit picking,
especially cherries in November-December, is popular. Local fruit in
season, eggs, olive oil, mustard seed oil, wine and honey are available.
The yellow canola crop is spectacular in spring,
while Stocks Native Nursery has displays of hundreds of flowering
plants, at their best in October but attractive all year round. The
sunsets and the stars can be spectacular.
A place to live or a place to retire
With a hospital and new medical centre,
pubs, bowling club, golf course, attractive
lifestyle and affordable housing, Harden-Murrumburrah is an outstanding
venue for those seeking a tree-change or a comfortable retirement.
How to get there
Car: Driving south from Sydney or Wollongong, turn west off the Hume Highway
onto the Burley Griffin Way 12 km
south of Yass Service Centre, signposted to Harden (47 km) & Temora via
Binalong. Murrumburrah is 2 km past Harden.
Coming north from Melbourne, turn left off the Hume Highway to
Wagga for the scenic route via Junee, Cootamundra and Wallendbeen, or at
Jugiong and follow the signs (38 km) to Harden. From Canberra, take the Barton Highway to Yass, then the
Hume Highway south until you turn right onto the Burley Griffin Way. From
Wagga or Adelaide, take the Olympic Highway via Junee and Cootamundra to
Wallendbeen, follow the signs to Harden. For a map, click
Rail: XPT fast passenger train services operate twice daily to Sydney, Wagga Wagga and
Melbourne to Harden Station, an 'on request' stop. Countrylink and Greyhound coaches link
Canberra, Harden-Murrumburrah, and
coaches operate services from Canberra via Harden-Murrumburrah (on
request stop) to Wagga Wagga.
Air: Commercial airports at
Wagga Wagga (WGA/YSWG) & Canberra (CBR/YSCB), both 90 minutes drive.
Light aircraft can land at Cootamundra (CMD/YCTM), Temora (YTEM), Young
(NGA/YYNG) or possibly at Harden Racecourse
Local government: go to
Harden Shire Council
Contact us for more information
Harden NSW 2587