New South Wales
|Population||2,406 (2016 census)|
|Elevation||93.3 m (306 ft)|
|Federal division(s)||Division of Farrer|
Hay is a town in the western Riverina region of south western New South Wales, Australia. It is the administrative centre of Hay Shire local government area and the centre of a prosperous and productive agricultural district on the wide Hay Plains.
Located approximately midway between Sydney and Adelaide at the junction of the Sturt, Cobb and Mid-Western Highways, Hay is an important regional and national transport node. The town itself is built beside the Murrumbidgee River, part of the Murray-Darling river system; Australia's largest. The main business district of Hay is situated on the north bank of the river.
Aboriginal communities in the western Riverina were traditionally concentrated in the more habitable river corridors and amongst the reedbeds of the region. The district surrounding Hay was occupied by at least three separate Aboriginal groups at the time of European settler expansion onto their lands. The area around the present township appears to have been a site of interaction between the Nari-Nari people of the Lower Murrumbidgee and the Wiradjuri who inhabited a vast region in the central-western inland of New South Wales.
In late 1829 Charles Sturt and his men passed along the Murrumbidgee River on horses and drays. They launched their whale-boat near the Murrumbidgee-Lachlan junction and continued the journey by boat to the Murray River and eventually to the sea at Lake Alexandrina (before returning by the same route). During the late-1830s stock was regularly overlanded to South Australia via the Lower Murrumbidgee. At the same time stockholders were edging westward along and the Lachlan, Murrumbidgee, Billabong and Murray systems. By 1839 all of the river frontages in the vicinity of present-day Hay were occupied by squatters. By the mid-1850s pastoral runs in the western Riverina were well-established and prosperous. The nearby Victorian gold-rushes provided an expanding market for stock. The prime fattening country of the Riverina became a sort of holding centre, from where the Victorian market could be supplied as required. One of the popular routes established in the mid-1850s crossed the Murrumbidgee River at Lang's Crossing-place.
The locality where Hay township developed was originally known by Europeans as Lang's Crossing-place (named after three brothers named Lang who were leaseholders of runs on the southern side of the river). It was the crossing on the Murrumbidgee River of a well-travelled stock-route (known as "the Great North Road") leading to the markets of Victoria. In 1856-7 Captain Francis Cadell, pioneer of steam-navigation on the Murray River, placed a manager at Lang's Crossing-place with the task of establishing a store (initially in a tent). In December 1857 Thomas Simpson re-located from Deniliquin to establish a blacksmith shop and residence at Lang's Crossing-place. Six months later the Canadian shipwright Henry Leonard arrived; he commenced building a hotel and dwelling-house near Simpson's buildings and launched a punt on the river. In August 1858 steamers owned by rival owners, Francis Cadell and William Randell, successfully travelled up the Murrumbidgee as far as Lang's Crossing-place (with Cadell's steamer Albury continuing up-river to Gundagai).
Henry Jeffries, the leaseholder of "Illilawa" station (which included Lang's Crossing-place at its western extremity), was vehemently opposed to Henry Leonard's operations; threats against his punt caused Leonard to stand guard with a loaded gun. An attempt by Jeffries to pull down Leonard's hotel as it was being constructed caused an outcry from those advocating a settlement at the location. In consequence the NSW Government sent a surveyor to map out a new township. Henry Leonard completed his inn and opened it on 30 October 1858. The Murrumbidgee Punt Hotel was described as a "large size" weatherboard building with a shingled roof "and a fine verandah along the front". By mid-1859 the Department of Lands had proclaimed reservations on either side of the river at Lang's Crossing-place and Henry Shiell was appointed Police Magistrate. By October 1859 the township had been named "Hay" after John Hay (later Sir John), a wealthy squatter from the Upper Murray, member of the NSW Legislative Assembly and former Secretary of Lands and Works. Later the same month successful land-sales were held at Hay.
'Lang’s Crossing Place' Post Office opened on 16 April 1859 and was renamed "Hay" to match the township name in 1861.In early 1860 a brick court-house and lock-up was built at Hay (at the site of the present post office).
The census taken in April 1861 revealed that there were 172 people living at Hay township, consisting of 115 males (of whom 25 were aged 15 years or under) and 57 females (of whom 23 were aged 15 years or under). Of the 90 males aged 16 years or more, only 38% were married or widowed; of the 34 females in this category, 76% were married or widowed. The census also enumerated the buildings at the new township: 4 brick structures; 17 of "weatherboard, slab or inferior"; and, 14 tents.
In April 1861 two new hotel licences were granted at Hay: the Caledonian Hotel (Thomas E. Blewett and George Dorward) and the Argyle Hotel (Thomas Simpson). The two hotels were located side by side in Lachlan Street. During 1862 the Argyle closed its doors, and was offered for sale. In September 1865 George Maiden briefly re-opened it as the Royal Mail Hotel. In February 1866, Christopher Ledwidge, landlord of the Caledonian Hotel since 1864, purchased the Royal Mail and incorporated the two into one hotel. The Caledonian Hotel was badly damaged by fire in 2006 and demolished the following year.
According to the 1871 census of the Colony of New South Wales there were 664 people living at Hay township: 388 males and 276 females. The proportion of those in the Hay community aged less than 16 years had increased from 28% in 1861 to 38% in 1871.
In November 1871 a petition was prepared by the residents of Hay requesting that the township be granted municipal status. Elections for aldermen were held in August 1872. At the first municipal meeting the local businessman, Frank Johns, was elected mayor.
The first bridge over the Murrumbidgee River at Hay was built in 1872 at a cost of £20,000. The structure included a turntable which enabled the middle-section to be swung open to allow the passage of steamers. The opening of the Hay Bridge was delayed while the approaches were formed. It was finally opened on 31 August 1874 by the Colonial Secretary of New South Wales, Henry Parkes. The old bridge was eventually replaced by a new one, opened in June 1973. The old Hay Bridge was subsequently demolished. The turntable, last used in 1946, was placed in the river-bend just north of where the bridge had been.
As it developed Hay became an essential hub of the surrounding district. Pastoral runs surrounding the township were the main employers of labour; with its stores and hotels, hospital, post-office, banks, court-house and police-station, Hay became an important focus for rural workers and resident squatters alike. Carriers, contractors, wool-buyers and dealers in stock established themselves at Hay and the township became a busy port for the steamers plying the inland rivers. Stores for the township and district stations were unloaded at the wharves at Hay, and the steamers and barges loaded with wool-bales for the return trip (usually to Echuca, which by 1864 had been connected by rail to Melbourne).
The writer Joseph Furphy lived at Hay in the 1870s while working as a carrier in charge of a team of bullocks. Furphy later used the area surrounding Hay as the setting for his novel Such is Life (published in 1903).
During 1879-80 the local building firm, Witcombe Brothers, constructed a new gaol at Hay, to replace the old Lock-up in Lachlan Street (at the site of the current Post Office). The new Hay Gaol was opened in December 1880.
During 1881-2 the railway line was extended from Narrandera to Hay and a new railway station constructed at Hay. The new line, connecting Hay directly to Sydney, was opened in July 1882.The extension of the NSW railway to Hay signalled a decline in the importance of the transportation of wool by river-steamer and a shift in the local economic focus from Melbourne to Sydney. The railway to Sydney operated with a differential price structure, ensuring that rail became a desirable mode of transporting wool for many of the Riverina stations.
In 1883 the extensive Anglican diocese of Goulburn was divided, with the western half designated as the major portion of the newly created Diocese of Riverina. Hay was chosen as the episcopal seat of the new diocese and Bishop Sydney Linton was consecrated on 1 May 1884 at St Paul's Cathedral, London. Linton and his family travelled to Sydney and then on to Hay, where the bishop was enthroned on 18 March 1885 in the old St Paul's church. The new St. Paul's – pro-cathedral of the new diocese – was completed by the end of 1885. In 1889 a residence was completed for Bishop Linton at South Hay; the design and materials used in constructing the corrugated-iron clad ‘Bishop’s Lodge’ was an attempt to cope with Hay's climatic extremes. Hay remained the seat of the Anglican Diocese of Riverina until 1953 when it was transferred to Narrandera, New South Wales.
During the First World War 641 men enlisted for service from Hay and the surrounding district, one of the highest per capita enlistment rates in Australia. Of the men who enlisted one-in-six died during the war, with devastating effect on the close-knit communities of the Hay district.
In 1919 a proposal was adopted to build a High School at Hay as a memorial to those who died in the Great War. The Hay War Memorial High School was opened on Anzac Day, 1923, with Mr. L. E. Penman as the first headmaster.
During World War II Hay was the location of internment and prisoner of war camps, due in no small measure to its isolated location. Three high-security camps were constructed there in 1940. The first arrivals were over two thousand refugees from Nazi Germany and Austria, many of them Jewish, aged between 16 and 60. They had been rounded up in Britain when fears of invasion were at their peak, and were then transported to Australia aboard the HMT Dunera. They arrived at Hay on 7 September 1940 in four trains from Sydney and were interned in Camps 7 and 8 (located near the Hay showground) under the guard of the 16th Garrison Battalion of the Australian Army.
Later known as the 'Dunera Boys', the internment at Hay of this assemblage of refugees from Nazi oppression in Europe was an important milestone in Australia's cultural history. 800 of those interned at Hay eventually chose to remain in Australia. The influence of this group of men on subsequent cultural, scientific and business developments in Australia is difficult to over-state; many became an integral and celebrated part of the nation's cultural and intellectual life.The 'Dunera Boys' are still fondly remembered in Hay. Every year the town holds a 'Dunera Day' in which many surviving internees return to the site of their former imprisonment.
In November 1940 the other compound at Hay, Camp 6 (near the Hay Hospital), was occupied by Italian civilian internees. Camps 7 and 8 were vacated in May 1941 when the Dunera internees left Hay; some were sent to Orange (NSW), others to Tatura in Victoria, and others to join the Pioneer Corps of the Australian Army. Upon their departure Italian prisoners-of-war were placed in Camps 7 and 8. In December 1941 Japanese internees (some from Broome and islands north of Australia) were conveyed to Hay and placed in Camp 6. In April 1942 the River Farm began operating on the eastern edge of the town, enabling market-gardening and other farm activities to be carried out by the Italian internees and POWs. In August 1944, in the wake of the Cowra POW break-out on 5 August 1944, 600 Japanese POWs were transferred to Hay and placed in the two high-security compounds 7 and 8. On 1 March 1946 the last of the Japanese POWs left Hay. During 1946 the Italians who remained there were progressively released or transferred to other camps, and the Hay camps were dismantled, and building materials and fittings sold off, by June the following year.
Hay has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
The Riverine Plain is an alluvial plain consisting of sediments of silt, clay and fine sand deposited by the extensive ancestral streams of the early Quaternary period (overlying more ancient granite rocks and sediments). The snow-fed Murrumbidgee River flows westwards across this plain; to the north its major tributary, the Lachlan, flows in a long arc until the two rivers join in a maze of reed-bed swamps and channels between Hay and Balranald. South of the Murrumbidgee the Billabong Creek is fed by a variety of streams, and eventually flows into the Edward River (an anabranch of the Murray River). Plant communities along the river corridors near Hay typically consist of forests dominated by River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), with Black Box trees (E. largiflorens) on the outer margins and in low-lying areas further from the river.
Away from the river Hay is surrounded by flat, mostly-treeless plains, predominately of grey clay and red earth soils. Saltbush shrublands ( Atriplex sp.), with an understorey of grasses and forbs, was the dominant plant community at the time of European settlement. However severe depletion of the saltbush has occurred after years of overstocking, damage by rabbits and the broad-scale agriculture of recent decades, particularly in areas along the river and proximate to irrigation canals. The plains surrounding Hay feature a complex system of shallow creek beds and dry lakes, interspersed by wind-created sand-ridges where Cypress-pine ( Callitris sp.) is often found growing.
Hay has a semi-arid climate (BSk) with warm to hot summers and cool winters. Climate averages have been kept for Hay since 1877; however, records only started from 1957 onwards. Temperature extremes are quite marked over the full year: the average maximum temperature in January is 33.0 °C (91.4 °F) and the average minimum temperature in July is 3.5 °C (38.3 °F). The highest temperature recorded at Hay was 47.7 °C (117.9 °F) on 5 January 2013; the lowest recorded was −3.8 °C (25.2 °F) on 3 August 2014. The average annual rainfall is 368.3 millimetres (14.50 in).
|Climate data for Hay (Miller Street), New South Wales, Australia (1991-2020 normals and extremes); 93 m AMSL|
|Record high °C (°F)||47.7|
|Mean maximum °C (°F)||40.8|
|Average high °C (°F)||33.7|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||25.8|
|Average low °C (°F)||17.8|
|Mean minimum °C (°F)||11.7|
|Record low °C (°F)||7.7|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||31.0|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||3.2||3.3||3.0||2.6||3.8||5.3||6.0||5.0||5.0||4.0||4.2||4.0||49.4|
|Average relative humidity (%)||40.0||43.5||46.0||50.5||63.5||72.0||71.5||62.5||54.0||43.5||43.0||39.0||52.4|
|Average dew point °C (°F)||10.3|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||288.3||259.9||282.1||258.0||251.1||231.0||235.6||235.6||255.0||272.8||273.0||288.3||3,130.7|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||9.3||9.2||9.1||8.6||8.1||7.7||7.6||7.6||8.5||8.8||9.1||9.3||8.6|
|Percent possible sunshine||65.5||69.2||74.0||76.8||78.6||77.8||75.2||69.7||71.4||67.7||65.5||64.6||71.3|
|Source 1: Bureau of Meteorology (temperature, precipitation, humidity) (1991-2020)|
|Source 2: Weather-Atlas (sunshine)|
At the 2016 census, Hay township had a population of 2,406, of whom 6.0% were of indigenous origin. 79.3% of the residents of Hay are Australian-born (compared to 66.7% nationwide), 83.9% of people spoke only English at home and 37.4% of the population are 55 years of age or older (compared to 27.6% in Australia as a whole).
The most common responses for religion were Catholic 30.6%, Anglican 24.9% and No Religion 17.4%.
Hay's railway station is the terminus of the Hay branch off the Main South Line via Yanco. However, this station is currently closed. The last passenger train ran in 1983 after 101 years of service. The goods service was closed in November 1984. The heritage listed Hay Railway Station c1882 was restored in 2005 at a cost of $1m. It features on an Australian stamp. The Dunera Museum at Hay Railway Station is housed in air conditioned carriages and has been visited by over 31,000 persons between 2002 and 2014. The Hay Internment and POW Camps Interpretive Centre housed there tells the stories of over 6,600 German, Italian, Japanese and Australian civilian Internees and Italian and Japanese POW's imprisoned there between 1940 and 1946 in three camps 6,7,8 of 1,000 men each.
Hay is accessible by the Cobb Highway, the Mid Western Highway and the Sturt Highway. Coach services are offered to Cootamundra from which train services are offered to Sydney or Melbourne, and also to Mildura. The Hay Bridge carries the Cobb Highway across the Murrumbidgee River in the town of Hay.
Hay is one of Australia's leading wool growing and sheep meat producing areas, with the area home to around 26 parent studs. Cattle are also produced for sale for slaughter and, in recent years, for sale to feedlots for fattening. In irrigated areas, crops such as lettuce, pumpkins, tomatoes, garlic, corn, rockmelons, watermelons and broccoli are grown, picked and packaged in the area. Hay is also the leading producer in the Riverina of safflower, lettuce and broccoli.
In recent years, rice and cotton have been produced in Hay, so much so that the Hay Plain has colloquially become known as the Hay Paddy (citation required). While colder growing seasons have hindered the development of the cotton industry, rice production has expanded from over 400 hectares in 1991-92 to over 7,000 hectares in 1997–98, with production for the Hay district in 2002 estimated at 75,375 tonnes. A rice receival depot on the outskirts of town is capable of drying up to 32,000 tonnes of rice before delivery to the mill at Deniliquin.
Hay, like many places in the Riverina, supports and competes in a wide variety of sport, including all major football codes.
The Hay Magpies are a Rugby league team playing in Group 20, a competition consisting of teams from towns situated in the South Western Riverina area. In the history of Group 17, the Hay Magpies won 12 premierships, more than any other team in the group. The Magpies moved into Group 20 in 2007, after the collapse of group 17. Hay being the only town from the former competition to survive.
The local Rugby Union team is the Hay Cutters playing in the Southern Inland Rugby Union against teams from as far away as Tumut and Albury.
The Hay Lions are an Australian Rules Football club and were inaugurated on Friday, 19 May 1876.They are currently competing in the Golden Rivers Football League which consists of small towns in northern Victoria and the western Riverina.
The Hay Jockey Club runs a popular annual race meeting in November, promoted as "the biggest day in the year". Whilst the meeting is professional and supported by the TAB, it retains a "picnic races" atmosphere.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) provides a range of television and radio stations to the Hay district including ABC TV, digital television channels, ABC1, ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, ABC Riverina, ABC Radio National and youth station Triple J.Regional broadcasters, Prime7, WIN Television and Network 10 are the commercial television stations available in Hay. Network Ten is available from the digital signals only.
The Riverine Grazier is the local weekly newspaper, first published in 1873. The newspaper has a circulation of 5,000 and services the areas of Hay, Booligal, Balranald and Ivanhoe. The Riverine Grazier is published on Wednesdays.Other daily papers from Griffith, Sydney and Melbourne are available in Hay.
2HayFM is the community radio station of Hay, broadcasting to inhabitants of the town and surrounding areas. [ citation needed ] It plays a mix of music, news and information on local matters using paid staff and volunteers. 2HayFM broadcasts on 92.1 FM with a range about 100 km around Hay.(the station began full-time broadcasting late in 1992 after a series of test broadcasts in the late 1980s and early 1990s)
In May 2022, filming for Mad Max film Furiosa took place in Hay.
The Murrumbidgee River is a major tributary of the Murray River within the Murray–Darling basin and the second longest river in Australia. It flows through the Australian state of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, descending 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) over 1,485 kilometres (923 mi), generally in a west-northwesterly direction from the foot of Peppercorn Hill in the Fiery Range of the Snowy Mountains towards its confluence with the Murray River near Boundary Bend.
Balranald is a town within the local government area of Balranald Shire, in the Riverina district of New South Wales, Australia.
The Riverina is an agricultural region of south-western New South Wales, Australia. The Riverina is distinguished from other Australian regions by the combination of flat plains, warm to hot climate and an ample supply of water for irrigation. This combination has allowed the Riverina to develop into one of the most productive and agriculturally diverse areas of Australia. Bordered on the south by the state of Victoria and on the east by the Great Dividing Range, the Riverina covers those areas of New South Wales in the Murray and Murrumbidgee drainage zones to their confluence in the west.
Griffith is a major regional city in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area that is located in the north-western part of the Riverina region of New South Wales, known commonly as the food bowl of Australia. It is also the seat of the City of Griffith local government area. Like the Australian capital, Canberra, and extensions to the nearby town of Leeton, Griffith was designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin. Griffith was named after Arthur Hill Griffith, the then New South Wales Secretary for Public Works. Griffith was proclaimed a city in 1987, and had a population of 20,251 in June 2018.
Ivanhoe is a very small township on the Cobb Highway between the Lachlan and Darling rivers in New South Wales, Australia. It is located within the Central Darling Shire local government area. Ivanhoe functions as a service centre for the surrounding area. The township is characterised by a particularly wide main street. At the 2016 census, Ivanhoe had a population of 196 people.
Darlington Point is a small town on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River in the Riverina district of western New South Wales, Australia. It is part of the Murrumbidgee Council local government area. The centre of town is four kilometres from the Sturt Highway, along Kidman Way. Darlington Point is 631 kilometres (392 mi) south-west of Sydney and 33 kilometres (21 mi) south of Griffith. At the 2011 census, Darlington Point had a population of 1,016.
Grong Grong is a small town that is located in the Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia. The town is situated on the Newell Highway, 23 kilometres (14 mi) east of Narrandera in the Shire of Narrandera.
Goolgowi is a small town located in western New South Wales, Australia, around 650 kilometres (400 mi) west of Sydney via the Mid-Western Highway and is the administrative centre of Carrathool Shire. At the 2016 census, Goolgowi had a population of 402.
The Hay Gaol is a heritage-listed former prison and now museum at 355 Church Street, Hay, Hay Shire, New South Wales, Australia. It was an adult prison from 1880 to 1915 and 1930 until 1940, a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II, and a juvenile facility, the Hay Institution for Girls, from 1961 to 1974. It was designed by James Barnet and Colonial Architect and built from 1879 to 1880 by Witcombe Brothers. The site faces Church Street, and is otherwise bounded by Piper, Macauley and Coke Streets, north-east of the town centre. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 13 March 2009.
Rankins Springs is a village in the Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia in Carrathool Shire and on the Mid-Western Highway. At the 2011 census, Rankins Springs had a population of 299 residents living in 145 private dwellings. The settlement is strung out along the Mid-Western Highway and adjacent railway line. The main agricultural activities of the district around Rankins Springs are the growing of crops such as wheat and oats, and beef-cattle and wool-production.
Booligal is a village in the Riverina area of western New South Wales (NSW), Australia. It is located on the Cobb Highway, on the Lachlan River north of Hay. Booligal is a part of Hay Shire local government area.
Carrathool is a village in the western Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia, in Carrathool Shire. In 2011 census, Carrathool had a population of 296 people. It is about 5 kilometres (3 mi) north of the Sturt Highway between Darlington Point and Hay. The village is situated on the plain a few kilometres north of the river, clustered around the now-disused railway station.
Maude is a village on the north bank of the Murrumbidgee River in New South Wales, Australia. It is in between Hay and Balranald in Hay Shire. It is located 55 kilometres downstream from Hay and 25 kilometres upstream from the junction of the Lachlan River with the Murrumbidgee. At the 2006 census, Maude had a population of 161 people. Maude consists of a General Store, hotel, post office and caravan park. The town is surrounded by market gardens supplied with water from Maude Weir, a popular spot for anglers, looking for yellow belly, redfin and Murray cod.
Booroorban is a locality in the central part of the Riverina. It is in the Edward River Council local government area and on the Cobb Highway between Hay and Deniliquin, around 769 kilometres (478 mi) south west of the state capital, Sydney. At the 2016 census, Booroorban had a population of 33.
Oxley is a community on the lower Lachlan River in the Riverina district of New South Wales, Australia near the junction of the Lachlan and Murrumbidgee Rivers. The township which developed in the mid-1860s was named after the noted Australian explorer, John Oxley. At the 2006 census, Oxley had a population of 159 people.
Mossgiel is a location in New South Wales, Australia, in Carrathool Shire. It was a township on the coach route between the Lachlan and Darling Rivers, 50 km southeast of Ivanhoe near the junction with the road to Hillston. The settlement experienced a steady decline during the 20th century. Nowadays Mossgiel township consists of one house and a community hall.
One Tree is a location on the Cobb Highway on the flat plain between Hay and Booligal in the Riverina district of New South Wales, Australia. In 1862 a public house was built there, originally called Finch's Inn and the locality developed as a coach changing-stage and watering-place between the Murrumbidgee and Lachlan rivers. One Tree village was surveyed and proclaimed in 1882, though the location remained as just an amenity on the plain, centred on the hotel.
The Hay Internment and POW camps at Hay, New South Wales, Australia were established during World War II as prisoner-of-war and internment centres, due in no small measure to the isolated location of the town. Three high-security camps were constructed in 1940. The first arrivals were over two thousand refugees from Nazi Germany and Austria, most of whom were Jewish; they had been interned in the United Kingdom when fears of an armed invasion of Britain were at their peak.
Hay Post Office is a heritage-listed post office at 120 Lachlan Street, Hay, Hay Shire, New South Wales, Australia. It was designed by the Colonial Architect's Office under James Barnet, and built by E. Noble and Co. The property is owned by Australia Post. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 22 December 2000.
Yandumblin is a rural locality of Hay Shire Council and a civil parish of Nicholson County, in the Riverina region of Australia.
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