History of Murrumbidgee

Murrumbidgee Council's area has a rich and diverse history


Jerilderie has a fascinating history which includes Ned Kelly and Australia's greatest military mind, General Sir John Monash.

The first known white settler to take up land in the immediate Jerilderie district was believed to be James Kennedy, who established the 80,000 acre Mary’s Creek Run, situated on the Billabong Creek, and occupying both sides of the Creek, sometime after 1840 and before March 1847 when the Colonial Government issued Orders-in-Council requiring squatters to enter into leases with the Government. Read more >> White settlement of the town

In 1879, the Ned Kelly gang carried out an audacious raid on Jerilderie, stealing more than 2,000 pounds from the Bank of New South Wales, holding a number of residents hostage and locking the police in their own cells. Read more >> Ned Kelly Connection

General Sir John Monash - Sir John Monash was an honoured military commander. He lived in Jerilderie and attended the Public School from 1874 to 1977. You'll find him on Australia's $100 note. Our local historian, Laurie Henery, has compiled a very information account of our Monash's life and achievements. >> Read more. 

Find out about the campaign to have General Sir John Monash GCMG KCB VD promoted to the rank of Field Marshal by 11 November 2018 here: http://www.salutingmonash.org.au/

Darlington Point 

Darlington Point was first established as a river crossing town with pastoral leases. From 1850 Paddle steamers transported produce, with a redgum wharf being built in 1881. Old wharf pylons can still be seen 200 metres upstream from the caravan park.

Travellers once crossed the river by punt. A singe bascule bridge was later built to accommodate both road and river traffic and remained in use until 1979. The magnificent old bridge was re-assembled at the entrance to the Darlington Point Caravan Park by engineering students from the University of NSW and the community.

Irrigation has enabled the development of intensive fruit, vegetable, grain and rice production. The district is an important part of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area food bowl, exporting outstanding produce all over the world.

The area has a strong indigenous connection. The Warangesda Aboriginal Mission was located in the town. It ran as a mission from 1880 to 1884 and an Aboriginal Station from 1884 to1926. Today is owned by the King family. The station is not open to the public.

The Darlington Point Museum and collections within are managed by Heritage Darlington Point. Heritage Darlington Point aims to raise awareness of local heritage and history as well as preserving and maintaining various collections held within the Darlington Point Museum. The museum opens on special days throughout the year.

heritage booklet 
History of Murrumbidgee Shire Hall (officially opened 7 June 1922)


Coleambally's history revolves around water because it was specifically built to take advantage of the additional water made available through the Snowy Mountains Scheme.

The scheme called for the water of the Snowy and Eucumbene Rivers to be diverted inland through a series of tunnels and dams, under the Great Dividing Range, and into the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers. The scheme has since been described as one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the World.

Key dates are: 

1958 - Construction of the main chanel got underway with four large Ruston Bucyrus Erie draglines doing the bulk of the excavating.

1959 - The first farms in the CIA were taken up. Farms were allocated using ballot system and generally "new irrigation settlers in the CIA were young married couples with children". 875 farms were originally surveyed for allocation by ballot.

1959 - Gogelderie Weir (which is the weir in the Murrumbidgee River used for diverting water into the CIA) was completed and officially opened.

1960 - First water delivered onto the CIA farm through the dethridge wheel.

1968 - The town was established to service the farmers and families in the Coleambally Irrigation Area. The town is a planned community with gardens and streets named after local birds.  

1968 - Construction of water tower

1969 – Coleambally Rice Mill opened

1974 – Great flood of the Murrumbidgee River

1982 – Drought and mouse plague

2000 – Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative limited becomes a private company owned by the irrigators

2010 – local growers planted cotton crops

>> Read more

History of Murrumbidgee Council