Located 695 km south-west of Sydney via the Hume and Riverina Highways, Barooga is a popular holiday resort of some 800 people attractively situated on the banks of the Murray River in the Riverina district of NSW. Located on the NSW-Victorian border its sister city is Cobram.
This is an area which was once occupied by the 150 or so members of the Jeithi Aboriginal tribe. Charles Sturt was the first European to investigate the area in 1838, finding fertile soil, abundant natural resources and a reliable water supply. 'Barooga' station was taken up in 1847 by George Hillas who used it for woolgrowing. He sold the property to Patrick McFarland who established wheatgrowing. The Barooga homestead is still standing and can be seen from the Barooga-Tocumwal Road, about 5 km out of town. The station's woolshed, one of the Riverina's largest still exists.
The township itself developed in the late 1880s on the land of an adjacent property, 'Boomanoomana', acquired in 1863 by William Hay. The property was subdivided in the late 1870s leading to the development of the township. Hay's descendents have restored the home and surrounds to original condition.
Today Barooga is supported by citrus and grape-growing, agricultural production (grain, rice, tomatoes, lucerne), dairying, livestock, two recently-opened factories and tourism.
Things to do
Exploring the area around town
Visitors are drawn by the large sandy beaches, unusual alongside an inland river, a backdrop of red-gum forest and abundant wildlife (there are over 90 species of birds in the area). The environment encourages camping, bushwalking and all manner of water activities. There is a superior golf course and a large sporting complex.
Binghi Boomerangs, on the Tocumwal Road at the northern end of the town, is actually one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of competition (and recreational) boomerangs in the world. You can watch the manufacturing process, browse through the souvenir shop and, if you purchase a boomerang, there are throwing demonstrations depending on the weather. And yes those boomerangs really do come back. In theory the business is open seven days a week but it is best to make an appointment, tel: (03) 5873 4463.
Botanic Gardens and Daveile Antique Lamp Gallery
The Daveile Gallery in Vermont St has a collection of antique oil lamps dating back to the 19th century, as well as fine china and a doll collection. The whole is set in lovely gardens and Devonshire teas are available, tel: (03) 5873 4426.It is located near the town's botanic gardens which are also in Vermont St. There are barbecue facilities.
Brentwood Fruit Juice Factory
Brentwood Fruit Juice Factory in Mulwala Rd was established in the 1960s as an alternative outlet for local fruit producers who were experiencing a decline in demand for fresh fruit. Tours are conducted of the operations during weekdays, around 10.00 a.m., and samples are available, tel: (03) 5873 4221.
About halfway along the road from Berrigan to Barooga is 'The Drop', where the Mulwala Canal crosses the road. There is a parking area to the right. This is part of a large water-flow control system which allows water to divert from Mulwala Canal into Berrigan Channel and is worth a look.
Cobram-Barooga Visitors Information Centre
cnr Station St & Punt Rd Cobrum
Barooga NSW 3664
Telephone: 1800 607 607 or (03) 5872 2132
Facsimile: (03) 5871 1727