Towns and Villages
Welcome to “Your Ultimate Bush Experience”, the traditional land of the Wiradjuri people, where the life style is laid back, the people are friendly and polite and there is an opportunity to escape from the grind of everyday life to enjoy a spot of fishing, camping, water skiing or bird watching.
The Local Government Area of Lachlan is graced by the towns of Condobolin, Lake Cargelligo and Tottenham and is supported by the villages of Tullibigeal, Burcher, Derriwong, Fifield and Albert. All of these communities have their own unique features and attractions to enjoy so please, take the time to stop, stay a while and enjoy.
The Albert Rabbit Trap Hotel is a welcome respite for any traveller and boasts good old country hospitality adopting the philosophy, 'there are no strangers here only friends you haven't met!'
Open mic nights for locals and visitors to display their musical skills are often held, as well as themed celebrations such as Australia Day and camp oven dinner nights.
Since featuring on Sunrise weather in winter 2011, Australian travellers have been eagerly awaiting the unveiling of the Big Rabbit Trap which is being built to encourage tourists to explore the hidden gems off the main highways known as country towns.
Drop into the Albert Rabbit Trap Hotel for a cold drink and a wholesome meal, or stay overnight in the rooms available at the hotel or book one of the cabins just across the road from the hotel. The town also features a new park with recently built amenities and plenty of camping spots to make your stay in Albert a memorable one.
Burcher is a very hospitable town and visitors are always welcome to stay and enjoy the peace and quiet of the close knit community located about half an hour from Condobolin and West Wyalong, making Burcher the perfect day trip.
On your way to Burcher taking Shire road 90 or Grassmere Rd, visit the Signature Alpaca Farm. This enterprise is run on 3,000 acres of cropping and grazing country 33 km south of the township of Condobolin. This is a working farm so there is generally some form of hands on work with the animals each day. Come out and see some of the young cria (baby alpacas) and if the weather is good, enjoy a “Picnic in the Paddock with the alpacas. This is a chance to get up close and personal with these curious creatures. To come and visit us please call and make an appointment and don’t be shy to ask us for directions ph: (02) 6895 7665.
A climb to the top of Manna Mountain just outside the village of Burcher 50kms north of West Wyalong also offers a broad view of the landscape. The scars left in the rocks from generations of Aboriginal people sharpening their axes indicate Manna Mountain has been a popular location with special significance for centuries.
Nearby is Lake Cowal which is home to the gold mine, Barrick Gold of Australia. The mine provides a boost to Burcher and its community with many residents of the town employed by the mine.
Condobolin is the largest centre in the Heart of NSW and is home to around 3,500 people. Affectionately known as Condo, the town lies on the bank of the Lachlan River, an hour from Parkes, Forbes, West Wyalong and Lake Cargelligo.
Early European explorers recorded their journeys passing through the Heart of NSW. In 1815 Surveyor George Evens who named the Lachlan River, was the first European to visit the area. Explorers John Oxley (in 1817) and Thomas Mitchell (in 1836) were the first recorded European presence in the region. Squatters soon arrived and by 1844 the 'Condoublin' run had been established.
The town was gazetted in 1859 but for over 20 years it was essentially a stopover and river-crossing for drovers moving stock from the north and west of New South Wales to Victoria, hence there were a few permanent residents in what remained a pastoral area characterised by large holdings.
Since the early settlers the Condobolin district has become a prime cropping and sheep and beef producing area.
A major copper discovery was made north at Melrose in 1885 and the town benefited from the subsequent traffic. A municipality was declared in 1890.
Gold was found north-west at Overflow station, immortalised in Banjo Paterson's poem 'Clancy of the Overflow' in 1896 and a major copper and gold mine was in operation at Condobolin from 1898 until around 1910.
The railway arrived in 1898 and Condobolin was the railhead for the Central West until the line to Broken Hill was completed in 1927.
Agricultural production was further expanded when the Wyangala Dam was established on the Lachlan in 1935.
The pioneers suffered droughts and floods in the same way as the present day residents, but it did not diminish their desire to build a strong community.
Condobolin continues to be a busy country town, with small industrial services and business, excellent medical services, a modern hospital and retirement village, banking services along with a variety of sporting and recreation facilities and the life blood of the town, the Lachlan River with all its natural beauty, fishing and wildlife.
The small town of Fifield, with the population of 70, came to be as a mining town. Fifield was renowned for its deep lead alluvial platinum mining and although the mine is now closed, you can still go for a drive around Fifield to view the white platinum mounds.
Today, Fifield's main industry is agriculture with many sheep, cattle and cropping properties surrounding the area.
Mining in Fifield may progress in coming years with the discovery of gold and platinum which is now able to be mined due to technological advances in the mining sector.
When you arrive at Fifield, take a break at the Fifield Hotel for a cool drink, hearty meal and a chat with the friendly locals at the newly renovated two storey Hotel. Stay a while in this relaxed town and you might be lucky to enjoy the live music by local band. Rooms are available in the Hotel and there is also free camping available at the back of the hotel.
Across the road from the Fifield Hotel is the town park where you can stretch your legs on the path to the war memorial display. Learn about local property and family names built into this path as a record of all the people who have lived in Fifield or who have connections with Fifield. The biannual "Back to Fifield" event is held over the October Long Weekend and draws a crowd from far and wide.
Photo of Liberty Park, Lake Cargelligo
Lake Cargelligo is an unexpected oasis in Central NSW. Affectionately known as Lake, Lake Cargelligo has beauty and tranquillity making it a perfect place to stop, stay and indulge. Ideally situated not far from the Newell Highway, Mid Western Highway and The Kidman Way, Lake Cargelligo is well worth the visit and has something for everyone to enjoy.
Lake Cargelligo was first names Regency Lake by John Oxley in 1817, in honour of HRH Prince Regent, later George IV, but surveyor general Major Thomas Mitchell renamed it Cudjallagong which was the
name given to the Lake by the local Aboriginal people. Lake Cargelligo has also been called Lake Cedgellico and Lake Cargellico regardless, the beauty and tranquillity has remained unspoilt and is a perfect place to stop, stay and indulge in the relaxing atmosphere.
Ochre Pits at Lake Cargelligo
The name Lake Cargelligo is a variation of "Cudjallagong" which in the Wiradjuri language means 'Lake'. The area is rich in aboriginal history as the Wiradjuri tribe gathered on the banks of Lake Cargelligo for many years prior to it being discovered by Oxley in 1817.
An aboriginal quarry containing rich yellow and red ochres can still be found at an area on the lake's edge known as Frog's Hollow.
Due to the presence of relatively permanent water, the lake and some parts of the Lachlan River, were used by aboriginal people for centuries as meeting places and sources of food and water.
Many aboriginal artefacts have been found on the lake foreshores. The ochre from the pit was used by the local indigenous population to decorate themselves during corroborees, for aboriginal painting, and for decorating didgeridoos which was a valuable trading commodity.
Although Lake Cargelligo is in the centre of Wiradjuri country, there are many aboriginal people living here now who have been resettled from Carowra Tank in the heart of Ngiyampaa country, as well as from Menindee which is Paakantyi country.
Aboriginal Freshwater Midden at Lake Cargelligo
Deadmans Point at Lake Cargelligo is the location of several Aboriginal freshwater shell middens. Shell middens were formed by accumulations of shell by Aboriginal people collecting, cooking and eating fresh water mussels over a long period of time. They are usually found along river banks, swamps and lakes. This particular midden contains the freshwater mussel (Velesunio ambiguous). This midden is fairly large and would be the result of many meals eaten over thousands of years of human deposition. Some large middens can also contain burials.
The story of how Deadmans point got its name...
The Wool Wash and Wooyeo Woolshed
The wool wash was used in the late 1800's to wash the sheep before they were shorn by blade shearers in the Wooyeo woolshed.
The wool was then transferred 200km by horse and wagon to Whitton, which was the nearest railhead. The wool wash was located on the lake foreshores near the existing slaughter yards. The property owned by the Stenhouse family is still known as the "Wool Wash".
Sheep were herded into a pen situated high above the water. When pushed into the water from this height, the sheep were guaranteed to become completely submerged to ensure they were washed thoroughly. The sheep then swam approx 30 meters to the shore into a cobble-stoned draining pen to dry, before being walked to the Wooyeo woolshed.
The t-shaped 52 stand shearing shed was 300ft long and 30ft wide with a central board and a spacious wool room. The woolshed was built of Cyprus pine weatherboards and corrugated iron. It was well lit with skylights and elevated to allow easy cleaning and movement by sheep in the under-floor races. Every year there would be a day racing followed by the ball in the woolshed.
During the 1880's and early 1890's the largest annual function of the district was the Wooyeo Ball.
As a result of farming operations moving from wool to wheat and the breakdown of Wooyeo Station into smaller holdings, the woolshed has become a ruin.
The History of Gold in Lake Cargelligo
On Sunday 13th April 1873, Mrs Charlotte Foster, who cooked at a burr cutters' camp, found a piece of quartz which showed specks of gold. Her husband and the population of Cudgellico went gold mad as word got out and the town was inundated with prospectors. This led to the establishment of Foster's Reef Gold Mining Company.
The mine was located in the current main street at the intersection of Foster and Reef streets. The deepest shaft was 200ft which drives of 150ft. The main street was later named Foster Street.
Crushing commenced 15 January 1877. About 4000 pounds was spent on machinery which consisted of a 20 horsepower horizontal engine, driving a battery of 12 head of 6 cwt revolving stampers.
The crushing plant located close to the shores of the lake, assisted in the processing of ore. Water in the underground shafts and poor veins of gold eventually brought mining to a halt. Shafts remain under some shops and houses in town.