Araluen is a small town near Braidwood in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia, in Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council. It lies in the valley of Araluen Creek, that joins the Deua River at roughly the midpoint in its course. At the 2016 census, Araluen had a population of 168 people.
New South Wales
|Population||168 (2016 census)|
|Elevation||160 m (525 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council|
The area now known as Araluen lies on the traditional lands of the Walbanga people, a group of the Yuin. The name 'Araluen' meant 'water lily' or 'place of the water lilies' in the local Aboriginal language.
At the time of European settlement Araluen was described as a broad alluvial valley with many natural billabongs covered with water lilies. Unfortunately, no such billabongs exist in the Araluen valley today. The natural landscape of Araluen Creek and its valley were destroyed by rampant and extremely destructive alluvial gold mining during the 'gold rush' in the latter half of the 19th century.
By 1852, gold was being mined on Araluen Creek, around what is now Araluen. There were several mining villages in the area. Araluen experienced a great population increase during the gold rush. It experienced a decline after a flash flood in 1860 virtually destroyed the town, killing 24 people. Another flash flood came in March 2012 killing one person.
A 1874 account indicated the destructive impact:
- On approaching Araluen affairs assume a more serious air. The change commences where the Sideling Gold Mining Company has erected its great waterwheel, and is at work reefing and ground sluicing. This is at a distance of seven miles from Araluen. The company consists of eight proprietors, who are sanguine. The particulars promised respecting this claim have not yet reached me. From this claim the indications of mining increase. The timber is more interfered with, races intersected the country everywhere, and patches of upturned country impart an air of desolation inseparable from mining industry. The Araluen Creek winds through an extensive valley 1200 feet above the sea level, and surrounded by ranges of mountains about two miles apart. The ranges attain an altitude of 1000 feet, are precipitous, and sparsely wooded to the summit. In this enclosure the shallow stream which now winds about, once swelled into a lagoon, and over the whole of the rocky bed formed a deposit which is now the object of search. This layer of "wash-dirt", which varies from four to thirty feet in depth, contains the gold. Near the creek it is easily reached, but away back it is covered with the tailings and débris of former diggers, that has to be removed. Further from the creek, therefore, the more stripping there is to deal with—16, 18, and 20 feet.
There was a revival of gold mining at Araluen in the first two decades of the 20th-century, when the area was extensively mined using gold dredges, adding to damage to the landscape of earlier mining efforts. By the mid-1920s, dredging had ended. Over its years as a goldfield, Araluen produced in excess of £11,000,000 worth of gold.
It had various schools between 1867 and 1956. Araluen West Public School operated from 1867 to 1919, although it was called Bourketown Public School during its first two years. Araluen Upper Public School operated from 1872 to 1888. Araluen Lower Provisional School operated from 1943 to 1956. Araluen West Evening Public School operated from 1880 to 1886 and in 1890 and 1892. Araluen Evening Public School operated in 1880 and 1881.
The town was connected by road to Braidwood, via Majors Creek, from its earliest days. Those travelling from the coast went via Braidwood, either over the Clyde Road (from Nelligen on the Clyde River) or the Braidwood Road (from Nowra). From around 1858, packhorses were used to bring supplies from the coastal river town of Moruya. In 1867–1868, a road—Araluen Road—was built from Araluen to Moruya.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Araluen (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
- "Araluen". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
- "Araluen". OpenStreetMap. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
- "Tindale Tribes - Walbanga". archives.samuseum.sa.gov.au. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
- "Araluen, New South Wales". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- "Golden Araluen". Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1919). 24 May 1905. p. 29. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- Araluen and Braidwood, NSW: Floods - 1860 Archived 23 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Emergency Management Australia.
- "From Moruya to Araleun". The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser. Vol. XVIII, no. 752. New South Wales, Australia. 28 November 1874. p. 683. Retrieved 23 June 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Our Latest Local Gold Dredge". Braidwood Dispatch and Mining Journal (NSW : 1888 - 1954). 22 May 1901. p. 2. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Gold dredging at Aualuen". Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954). 19 July 1913. p. 7. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "ROMANCE OF GOLD". Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954). 2 February 1924. p. 13. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Fruit Growing in Araluen". Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1919). 7 March 1896. p. 21. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Araluen Peaches". Farmer and Settler (Sydney, NSW : 1906 - 1955). 4 March 1943. p. 7. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Orchards of Araluen". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995). 21 March 1967. p. 12. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- "Araluen West Public School in the School history database search". New South Wales Department of Education. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- "Araluen Upper Public School in the School history database search". New South Wales Department of Education. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- "Araluen Lower Provisional School in the School history database search". New South Wales Department of Education. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- "Araluen West Evening Public School in the School history database search". New South Wales Department of Education. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- "Araluen Evening Public School in the School history database search". New South Wales Department of Education. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- "Progress of public works". Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875). 23 October 1867. p. 2. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
- "Pen portraits". The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950). Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 5 November 1928. p. 4 Edition: Home final edition. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- ABC spends afternoon at Araluen Archived 25 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine, The Braidwood Times, 2 February 2009.