& DARLINGTON POINT
The Murrumbidgee Shire Council invites you to explore the two towns of its Shire The Murrumbidgee Shire Council invites you to explore the two towns of its Shire. Coleambally, the newest rural town in New South Wales, was established in a state pine forest in 1968. Darlington Point, an historical river town on the Murrumbidgee River was established in 1864.
You are assured of a warm welcome in Coleambally. A planned community with beautiful gardens and streets named after local birds, Coleambally was established to service the Coleambally Irrigation Area and is now a thriving centre supporting over 90 businesses. Call into the Tourist Information Centre, located at the Coleambally Caravan Park, next door to the Lions Park. Collect brochures on sites of interest, maps, and information on the history of the area or rice growing.
The Lions Park at the entrance to town is an ideal spot for a refreshing break with a gas BBQ, rest facilities and an excellent playground for the children. Wander over and examine the Bucyrus Erie dragline excavator, an amazing piece of construction machinery. The Bucyrus is still in working order and you can see it working when the Riverina Vintage Machinery Club hold their biennial rally in August 2003. Sitting atop a sandhill the unique wineglass tower can be seen over the tops of the cypress pine trees as you approach the town. A visit to the site reveals its history. Be sure to visit the Jenimar Arcade Mural located in Brolga Place. Depicting the history of the area, this mural was painted by the local art group in 1991.
A pictorial history of Coleambally can be seen at the Murrumbidgee Shire Office in Brolga Place. It is interesting to look at the development of the town through the camera lens. John McInnes Square in Brolga Place was constructed as a town square in 1988 as a Bicentennial project. The pergola is constructed of local redgum timber and is covered with wisteria to provide shade in summer. Public toilets are located here along with plenty of seating.
The Caravan Park kiosk and the Shell Coleambally Roadhouse provide takeaways. TT's Coffee Shop, Gail's Restaurant, the Coleambally Bowling Club and the Brolga Hotel all provide excellent takeaway or dine-in meals. The ambience of the restaurant at the Coleambally Motel is hard to beat after a hard day on the road. Bookings are advised. The Coleambally Bowling Club and the Brolga Hotel are the main centres of entertainment. Accommodation is available at the Coleambally Motel, Brolga Hotel/Motel or the Coleambally Caravan Park. Private bed & breakfasts or farm stays are available on request at the Tourist Information Centre.
Walking tracks are located in the forest reserves that surround the town, and kangaroos are often seen at dusk and dawn feding on the town ovals and nearby reserves. The area is home to an extensive array of fauna and flora including the threatened species, the Superb Parrot and the Southern Bell Frog. Rice fields provide a valuable feeding habitat for many species of water birds, including sandpipers, ibis, herons and egrets.
The main retail centre, Brolga Place, offers banking services, a supermarket, butcher, post office, newsagent, fabric, manchester and craft supplies, ladies boutique, hair salon, coffee shop, children's, teenage and men's fashions. There is also a footwear shop, pharmacy and electrical supplier. Ample off-street parking is provided and friendly country service is assured. Coleambally is serviced by a medical practice, a fully manned ambulance station, an aged care hostel and community health centre. The industrial areas provide the town with automotive and tyre services, transport, hardware and building supplies and also engineering and agricultural industries. The extensive operations of Sunrice's Coleambally Rice Mill are a short drive from the centre of town.
Tennis, netball, basketball, football, bowls, cricket and squash are all catered for in the recreation area. The swimming pool is a must in the long hot summer, with shaded grassed areas to relax in after your swim. A short drive from the town centre takes you to the clay target shooting, pistol club or golf course, one of the best sand green courses in the area. Visitors are welcome to join in any sporting activity.
Murrumbidgee Shire Community Experiemental/Demonstration Farm on the Kidman Way can be visited to see local crops growing. Check accessibility with the Tourist Information Centre. As well as rice farms you will see wheat, sheep, beef, soybeans, maize and vineyards as you travel along our roads. Farm visits may be arranged through the Visitors Centre.
Darlington Point is situated 3km north of the Kidman Way-Sturt Highway intersection and 30km south of Griffith. The Murrumbidgee River district of Darlington Point has much to offer the tourist keen for an enjoyable break with great bush hospitality. The unique river environment with majestic river red gums (Eucalyptus Camaldulensis)is a haven for bird and animal life. The river road is accessible both upstream and downstream, with good healthy bushwalking or canoeing possibly the best ways of enjoying this diverse environment. Kingfishers, honeyeaters, parrots and many waterbirds, with of course kangaroos, wallabies and possums abound in the area.
The river also provides fishing, swimming and boating, all of which can be enjoyed with a background of inspirational scenery. Access to Cuba State Forest is 11km east of Darlington Point on the Whitton Road. "Forest Drive" leads to some six beaches with basic toilet and BBQ facilities.
The Darlington Point Caravan Park, situated on a bend in the river with beautiful lawns, trees and beach is a restful must for the weary tourist. The Darlington Point Club and Punt Hotel provide excellent meals, drinks and entertainment. Golfers, bowlers and tennis players are all welcome at the Club. Takeaway meals and snacks are available from the Gum View and Coolibah cafes. The small but comprehensive business centre includes an NRMA garage, newsagent-hardware, supermarket, butcher, post-office and town pool. Of interest is the local history museum in Darlington Street, made up of the original Police Station and Council Chambers. A variety of pioneering machinery is on display alongside the old buildings.
Darlington Point was first established as a river crossing town with pastoral leases. Irrigation has enabled the development of intensive fruit, vegetable, grain and rice production. The district is an important part of the MIA food bowl, exporting outstanding produce all over the world. Paddle steamers once transported produce from as long ago as 1850 with a redgum wharf being built in 1881. Old wharf pylons can still be seen 200 metres upstream from the caravan park, Travellers crossed the river by punt. A singe bascule bridge was later built to accommodate both road and river traffic and remained in use until 1979. The magnificent old bridge was re-assembled at the entrance to the caravan park by engineering students from the University of NSW, supported by historically minded locals.