Warialda is a town in the Northwest Slopes region of New South Wales, Australia, in Gwydir Shire. Situated on the banks of Warialda Creek, the town's name means "Place of Wild Honey."in local aboriginal language. At the 2011 census, Warialda had a population of 1,120.
New South Wales
Drovers taking sheep through Warialda
|Population||1,120 (2011 census)|
|Elevation||320 m (1,050 ft)|
|State electorate(s)||Northern Tablelands|
The Gwydir Highway runs through town and, along with Stephen Street, is considered one of the town's two main streets.
Warialda is serviced by daily NSW TrainLink coach services (excluding Tuesdays) to Inverell and Tamworth, connecting with train services to Sydney. Additionally, there are three weekly coach services each to Grafton (connecting with XPT train services to and from Brisbane) and Moree on alternating days (excluding Sundays). The NSW TrainLink coach stop is located outside the tourist information centre.
The town is connected to the Inverell railway line as a major station on the way between Moree and Inverell. Due to the lay of the land, the station was built just outside of town at a new site known as Warialda Rail.
The original inhabitants of the region were the Weraerai Aborigines and the first whites in the area were probably escaped convicts. Allan Cunningham was the first official European visitor in 1827. The first settlement was established in 1837 with a Border Police outstation erected in 1840. The town site was gazetted in 1847 and was the first in the Northwest Slopes region. Warialda was the headquarters of the Yallaroi Shire, until its merger with neighbouring Bingara Shire to form Gwydir Shire. Warialda Post Office opened on 1 January 1848. The town's first newspaper was the Warialda Standard, which was first published in 1896 and remains in publication.
Warialda is the birthplace of Elizabeth Kenny, world-renowned pioneer in the treatment of poliomyelitis. The baptismal font used for Sister Kenny's baptism is still in use and housed in the Church of England located in Stewart Avenue.
Warialda is also the birthplace of Olive Rose Fitzhardinge (1881–1956) who became famous in the 1930s as a rose breeder in Warrawee, the name of her best known rose.
Warialda is the service centre for the local agricultural sector. Farms around Warialda produce wheat, sorghum, barley, sheep, beef cattle. Some of the locals also earn a dollar or two hunting wild pigs, which are exported, mainly to Germany, where there are demands for wild boar which are not present in the Australian market.
Warialda serves as an education precinct for local families with a strong base of excellent education facilities including preschools, public schools, a catholic primary school, TAFE outreach centres and vocational education programs.
Agriculture, health and education are the primary industries providing support for a small but thriving business sector. Some of the local businesses include a supermarket, hardware store, cafes, service stations, butcher, bakery, pubs and a golf & bowling club along with other small businesses providing a cross-section of goods & services.
The Anglican and Catholic churches are located near the Gwydir Highway in the main part of town on the south bank of the Warialda Creek.
St. Simon's & St. Jude's Anglican Church is located on the corner of Stewart Avenue and Market Streets. Built 1966, it was home to Sister Elizabeth Kenny Memotial Baptistry, as a tribute to Elizabeth Kenny born in Warialda 20th Sept 1880, for her work with those who had Polio.
St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church is located on the corner of Stephen and Long Streets. The front of the church has three stained glass windows representing The Good Shepherd, from John 10:1-21, as an Australian scene.
The Presbyterian Manse was built from convict-hewn sandstone which formed part of the original town gaol. A local landowner used this stone built a house for himself and donated the rest of the stone to the church. The Manse bears examples of gaol graffiti, such as "Hell is here" upside-down outside the office window, and "Lord, remember me" at the back of the building.
Warialda High School has been named as a Centre for Excellence.
St Joseph's Catholic School provides education for K to 6.
Places of interest
Between Warialda and Inverell on the Gwydir Highway is Cranky Rock. According to local legend, in the late 1800s a Chinese man jumped off Cranky Rock into the creek while being pursued by the local police after murdering a local woman. Cranky Rock is now a popular picnic spot.
2008 marked the town's first Honey Festival. There is entertainment throughout the day, featuring local artists. In addition there are market stalls and refreshments available. The highlight of the day happens at 2pm when there is a street parade with colourful floats constructed and manned by community groups. The festival has since been held regularly in the town, with a tenth festival held in September 2016.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Warialda (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- "CountryLink Timetables". Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- Kirkpatrick, Rod (2000). Country Conscience: a history of the New South Wales provincial press 1841-1995. Canberra: Infinite Harvest Publishing Pty Ltd.
- "About the Warialda Standard". Warialda Standard. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
- Ross Patrick. "Kenny, Elizabeth (1880–1952)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- "NEW AUSTRALIAN ROSE". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 30 January 1931. p. 9. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- https://gwydirshire.com/event/warialda-honey-festival/, "Warialda Honey Festival" (online), Gwydir Shire Council. Accessed 8 April 2017.