Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales
Kangaroo Valley is a river valley along the Kangaroo River in the Shoalhaven region of New South Wales, Australia, located west of the seaside in the City of Shoalhaven. It is also the name of the small suburb within it, formerly known as Osborne, with a population of 879 in the 2016 census. The township is accessed by the Moss Vale Road, which links Moss Vale to the Princes Highway at Bomaderry a little north of Nowra.
As of 2013, the small town has a variety of arts and craft shops, restaurants and cafes, a hotel, club, post office, supermarket and other businesses, including an ambulance station, general practitioner and a chemist.
Kangaroo Valley has a bus service to Nowra and Moss Vale. Priors Scenic Express also provides a long-distance coach service to Bowral, Mittagong, and Sydney as well as to the Shoalhaven and South Coast, as far as Narooma.
Events held in the town include the Kangaroo Valley Agricultural and Horticultural Show, Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival, and Kangaroo Valley Village Markets.
The first inhabitants of Kangaroo Valley were the Australian Aboriginal Wodi-Wodi people, who had reportedly occupied the land for around 20,000 years before the European settlement of Australia in 1788. An 1826 census indicated 79 Aborigines lived in the valley in five separate encampments. The first recorded European sighting of the valley was in April 1812, when surveyor-explorer George Evans passed through the area as he travelled north from his exploration of Jervis Bay. Evans reportedly claimed that the valley offered a view that "no painter could beautify."
The area was first settled in 1817 when Charles Throsby, an explorer and Captain Richard Brooks, a cattleman, opened the area for white settlement. The felling and exporting of cedar trees quickly became the main industry in Kangaroo Valley. By the mid-1840s, a number of dairy farmers made the region their home, specialising in the production of butter as other dairy products such as milk couldn't be exported as they would often curdle long before they had completed the treacherous journey out of Kangaroo Valley to neighbouring settlements.
By the 1870s, activity had begun to concentrate in the area that is now the village, as other centres in Kangaroo Valley, such as Trendally, died with the dairy industry in the region. Both the Church of the Good Shepherd (built in 1870–72) and rectory (built in 1879 by John Tanner) were designed by John Horbury Hunt, and are listed on the Register of the National Estate.
The local public school was built in 1884 of local sandstone. Further additions constructed of weatherboard and brick were made later. The local courthouse was built c.1910, also of local sandstone. The design is asymmetrical and features a sloping buttress and arch. The main buildings include a residence and lock-up as well as the courthouse itself. Alterations and extensions have taken place over the years. The local school and the courthouse are both listed on the Register of the National Estate.
The valley has changed very little in the past 130 years with reminders such as the Hampden Bridge, completed in 1898, and the oldest suspension bridge in Australia, and old Barrengarry School serving as a testimony to the past when Kangaroo Valley was home to a flourishing dairy industry. Agriculture still exists, though other industries such as tourism and outdoor recreation have since taken over as the primary source of income.
Kangaroo Valley is a gently sloping wide valley surrounded on its sides by high mountains of the NSW Southern Highlands, approximately two hours' drive south-west of Sydney and about two hours north of Canberra. Flying Fox Pass looks over the valley. A few kilometres further north is the Fitzroy Falls.
Cultural activities and events
The district has a strong artistic community and, since 2007, has mounted a biannual arts and music festival. In 2009, the festival celebrated the 80th birthday of Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe with three concerts devoted to his music.
The annual Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival in October is presented by Shoalhaven Folk Club Inc with local, Australian and international performers.
The pretty and historic township of Kangaroo Valley shares its secrets with a visit to the Pioneer Farm Museum where this historical settlement depicting farm life in the second half of the 19th and early 20th century is brought to life. One of the best and most authentic in the wider Sydney Region! Invigorating bushwalks are available at the back of the museum park including the Walker Suspension Bridge spanning 72 metres and leading to two marked bushwalks on more than seven hectares of natural reserve.
Kangaroo Valley Public School is a genuine country school with a close knit community and supportive P&C Association. A small school, providing a happy, nurturing and quality educational experience for all its students. For many years, it has achieved and maintained an excellent standard in academic, sporting, community and cultural endeavours.
In addition to a local public primary school, The Scots College 200 acres (0.81 km2) Glengarry outdoor education campus for year-nine students is located in Kangaroo Valley, with five 20-bed dormitories, six classrooms, a gymnasium and a theatrette. The Scots College participates in many community events including the traffic stopping ANZAC Day March and Ceremony and the A&H Society Annual Show in February.
Hampden Bridge, 2006
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Kangaroo Valley (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
- "Kangaroo Valley". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
- "Kangaroo Valley". Visit NSW. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- "Kangaroo Valley". The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 December 2007.
- "About Kangaroo Valley". Kangaroo Valley Tourist Association Inc. 2006.
- The Heritage of Australia. Macmillan Company. 1981. pp. 2, 161.
- "Kangaroo Valley". The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 May 2009. p. 10.
- "Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival". Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival. Retrieved 14 July 2015.