Taree is a city on the Mid North Coast, New South Wales, Australia. It and nearby Cundletown were settled in 1831 by William Wynter.[2] Since then it has grown to a population of 26,381,[1] and commands a significant agricultural district. Situated on a floodplain by the Manning River, it is 16 km from the Tasman Sea coast, and 317 km north of Sydney.[2]

New South Wales
The Martin Bridge, which carries traffic over the Manning River
Taree is located in New South Wales
Coordinates31°54′0″S 152°27′0″E / 31.90000°S 152.45000°E / -31.90000; 152.45000
Population26,381 (2018)[1]
Elevation5 m (16 ft)
LGA(s)Mid-Coast Council
State electorate(s)Myall Lakes
Federal division(s)Lyne
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
24.3 °C
76 °F
12.0 °C
54 °F
1,174.9 mm
46.3 in

Taree is within the local government area of Mid-Coast Council, the state electorate of Myall Lakes and the federal electorate of Lyne. Established in 1854 as a private town, it was proclaimed a municipality in 1885 and a city in 1981.

Name edit

The name Taree is derived from "tareebit", a Biripi word meaning tree by the river, or more specifically, the Sandpaper Fig (Ficus coronata).[2]

History edit

The Biripi were the indigenous people of what is now known as Taree. The Aboriginal population of the Manning River was relatively dense before colonisation by Europeans.[3]

In 1826, Assistant Surveyor Henry Dangar was instructed by John Oxley as Surveyor General (and a shareholder in the Australian Agricultural Company) to survey the land between Port Stephens and the Hastings River. During this expedition, Dangar identified that Harrington Lake was a river with two entrances to the sea. Later in 1826, the river was named the Manning River by Robert Dawson for the Deputy Governor of the Australian Agricultural Company, William Manning.[4]

In 1829, Governor Darling proclaimed the division of the settlement of the colony of New South Wales into Nineteen Counties. The northern limit of the settlement was declared to be the Manning River.

Taree was laid out as a private town in 1854 by Henry Flett, the son-in-law of William Wynter who had originally settled the area in 1831. 100 acres (40 ha) had been set aside for the private township and 40 lots were initially sold. Taree was declared a municipality on 26 March 1885 and the first municipal council was elected by the residents.[5] In the early 1800s the road from Newcastle to Port Macquarie came via Gloucester and forded the river near Wingham. Boats could not go further upstream than this due to narrowing of the river and rapids. Hence a town formed at Wingham, about a day's ride from Gloucester. Timber getting, especially cedar, ensured goods were brought to Wingham and then shipped to Newcastle and beyond by boat. Coopernook similarly formed a local shipping hub. In 1844, the government of New South Wales had established Wingham as its administrative centre. When the North Coast railway line came through in 1913,[2] it initially terminated at Taree. Even before the rest of the line was completed it became apparent that it was safer to send goods by rail to Newcastle and Sydney rather than hazarding the bar at the outlet to the river at Harrington where many ships had been lost. Although connected to the railway, sea transport continued to dominate along the North Coast until the 1930s. This changed when the Martin Bridge replaced the ferry across the Manning River in 1940.[2] River traffic significantly reduced after this, ensuring Taree's place as the centre of business.

The oldest surviving building in Taree is the old St Paul's Presbyterian Church, built-in 1869 in the Victorian Gothic Revival style, next door to the current building, in Albert Street.[2]

A record breaking rain event in March 2021 lead to flooding in the town, sweeping debris such as a water tank and shipping container into the Manning River which struck the Martin Bridge.[6] The river peaked at 5.7 metres, inundating properties in Taree South and Glenthorne and falling just short of the historical high of 6 metres in 1929.[7]

In the 24 hours to 9 am on 7 July 2022, a record 305 mm of rain was recorded in town. Since records began in 1881, this was the wettest day in the history of Taree.[8]

Heritage listings edit

Taree has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Climate edit

Taree experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa, Trewartha: Cfal/Cfbl); with warm to hot, humid summers and mild to cool, short winters;[10] and with a moderately high precipitation amount of 1,149.7 millimetres (45.25 in), with moderate precipitation even during its drier months.[11] The highest temperature recorded at Taree was 45.7 °C (114.3 °F) on 12 February 2017; the lowest recorded was -4.0 °C (24.8 °F) on 14 June 2004, 14 July 2002, and 29 August 2003. The area features 102.5 clear days and 120.9 cloudy days annually.[12]

Climate data for Taree Airport AWS (1997–2022 averages and extremes)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 42.9
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 29.0
Daily mean °C (°F) 23.7
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 18.4
Record low °C (°F) 9.0
Average rainfall mm (inches) 94.8
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 9.4 10.3 10.7 9.7 7.6 8.7 6.2 5.4 5.9 7.6 10.0 9.1 100.6
Average afternoon relative humidity (%) 60 63 62 62 58 59 56 50 53 55 62 60 58
Average dew point °C (°F) 18.2
Source: Bureau of Meteorology (temperature, precipitation, humidity) (1997–present normals and extremes)[13]

Economy edit

Of the 17,820 residents of Taree, 3,319 work full-time and 2,169 work part-time. The unemployment rate is approximately double the national average. The most common industries of employment in retail, government and aged care. The median weekly household income is $719. This compares with a national average of $1,234. A plurality (35.4%) of children live in families with no one in employment.[14] 41.3% of households have a gross weekly income of less than $600; this is approximately half the national average.

Demographics edit

Historical population

In the 2021 census, there were 26,519 people in the Taree "Significant Urban Area" (which includes some close towns such as Wingham and Cundletown). The median age in Taree is 46, compared to the national median of 38. 11% of the population identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, with the median age amongst this group being 20. Taree has a significantly higher proportion of older people, with 26.8% of people over 65 compared to a national average of 17.2%, and 4.1% of residents aged 85+, almost double the national average of 2.1%.

84.6% of people were born in Australia, compared to the national average of 66.9%. The next most common countries of birth were England 2.1%, New Zealand 0.7% and Philippines 0.7%. 88.3% of people spoke only English at home.

The most common response for religion was No Religion (36.9%), followed by Anglican (21.7%) and Catholic (14.7%), while 8.6% declined to answer this optional question.[15]

Taree Courthouse
Cundletown Post Office
The old St Paul's Presbyterian Church.

Transport edit

Taree is located on the Pacific Highway. Taree railway station on the North Coast line is served by NSW TrainLink services from Sydney to Grafton, Casino and Roma Street.[16]

Taree Airport was served by FlyPelican services to Sydney until July 2022.[17]

Education edit

There are several public schools in the Taree area including Taree Public School, Taree High School, Taree West Public School, Manning Gardens Public School, Chatham Public School, Chatham High School, and Cundletown Public School.

Private schools in and around Taree include Manning District Adventist School, Tinonee, Manning Valley Anglican College, Cundletown, Midcoast Christian College, Kolodong, St Joseph's Primary School, and St Clare's High School.

Several post-secondary education and training facilities have a presence in Taree: the North Coast Institute of TAFE, Taree Community College, the Australian Technical College – Manning Valley Campus.

Media edit

Abandoned Peters Ice Cream Factory

Newspapers edit

The Manning River Times[18] is based in Taree.

Television edit

All major digital-only television channels are available in Taree. The networks and the channels they broadcast are listed as follows:

Of the three main commercial networks:

  • The Seven Network airs a half-hour local Seven News bulletin for the North Coast at 6 pm each weeknight. It is broadcast from studios in Canberra with reporters based at a local newsroom in the city.
  • Nine airs NBN News, a regional hour-long program including opt-outs for the Mid North Coast, every night at 6 pm. It is broadcast from studios in Newcastle with reporters based at a local newsroom in the city.
  • WIN Television airs short local news updates throughout the day, broadcast from its Wollongong studios.

Radio edit

There are four local radio stations, commercial stations 2RE and Max FM and community stations 2BOB and 2TLP.

The ABC broadcasts Triple J (96.3FM), ABC Classic FM (98.7FM), Radio National (97.1FM) and ABC Mid North Coast (95.5FM and 756AM) [19] into Taree.

Rhema FM Manning Great Lakes broadcasts from studios in nearby Wingham and Racing Radio is also broadcast to Taree.

Sport edit

The most popular sport in Taree is rugby league. The city has one team competing in the Group 3 Rugby League Premiership, the Taree City Bulls. The Old Bar Pirates and Wingham Tigers are based just outside the city in Wingham and Old Bar. The town has produced many NRL-calibre stars, most notably Latrell Mitchell and Danny Buderus.

Other sports played in the town include soccer, rugby union, tennis and cricket.

Rugby League Teams in Taree and Surrounds edit

Senior Teams

  • Taree City Bulls
  • Wingham District Tigers
  • Old Bar Pirates

Junior Only Teams

  • Taree Red Rovers (feeder club of Taree City Bulls)
  • Taree Panthers (feeder club of Taree City Bulls)
  • Old Bar Pirates
  • Wingham District Tigers

Tourism edit

The Big Oyster

A local tourist attraction is a building called "The World's Largest Oyster", also called "The Big Oyster".[2] Big Things are a common form of tourist attraction in Australia. Like the Big Merino and Big Banana, the 'Oyster' is an artifact based on local produce; the Manning River produced 1,752,000 oysters during 2013.[20] The Big Oyster was an unsuccessful business venture, known to the locals as a 'Big Mistake', and is now home to a motor dealership.

The Manning Entertainment Centre was built in the 1980s as the cultural centre of the district. It seats 505 people[21] and has previously presented artists such as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra,[22] the Australian Ballet[23] and Dame Joan Sutherland.[24] Local performers, including the district eisteddfod and local amateur dramatic societies, use it to provide cultural opportunities for the local community.

Located next to the Entertainment Centre and the Visitor Information Centre at the northern entrance to Taree is the Manning Aquatic and Leisure Centre. This facility includes a 25-metre indoor heated pool with slippery dip and a 50-metre outdoor pool and soon after the time of opening had the second most expensive pool entrance fee in Australia, the most expensive being a pool in Perth, Western Australia. The Aquatic Centre was built in the late 1990s – early 2000s to replace the Taree Pool, which has been redeveloped into a public park with outdoor stage.[25]

The Manning Regional Art Gallery is located in a cottage-style building next to Taree Public School. The art gallery hosts a changing selection of works by local artists and visiting exhibitions.

Nearby towns include historic Wingham, Tinonee, and the beachside town of Old Bar.

Annual events edit

January edit

Events in the NSW Rowing Association Annual Pointscore Rowing Regatta are held at Endeavour Place in Taree during the third week of January. This Regatta runs over three days (Friday to Sunday) and consists of over 200 races with more than 500 competitors travelling from many parts of New South Wales to compete.[26][27]
The Manning River Summer Festival runs throughout the month of January, incorporating the town's New Year's celebrations, a "Family Fun Day" in Queen Elizabeth Park on Australia Day, and also vide variety of cultural events.

March / April edit

The Easter Powerboat Classic is held on the Manning River near Queen Elizabeth Park during the Easter Long Weekend.

August edit

The Taree Gold Cup is a prestigious horse racing event held at the Bushland Drive Racecourse.

October edit

The Taree Annual Show is held the second weekend in October. It consists of a sideshow, precision driving team, rodeo events, and cattle and livestock judging.

Notable people edit

Fred Atkins carrying the Olympic Torch through Taree for the Sydney Olympic Games 2000.
Arts, entertainment and media
Politics and public service

References edit

  1. ^ a b "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2017-18: Population Estimates by Significant Urban Area, 2008 to 2018". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Taree". The Age. 16 August 2007. Retrieved 7 October 2008.
  3. ^ Ramsland, John (2001). Custodians of the Soil. Taree: Greater Taree City Council. p. 16. ISBN 0-9579357-0-6.
  4. ^ The Present State of Australia by Robert Dawson, page 372
  5. ^ "Taree, a short factual history 1854-1954: a century of progress", Taree Centenary Celebrations Committee, 1954
  6. ^ "Martin Bridge at Taree closed to all traffic, including emergency services". Manning River Times. Australian Community Media. 21 March 2021. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  7. ^ http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/statements/scs74.pdf [bare URL PDF]
  8. ^ "Taree's wettest day on record with 305 mm".
  9. ^ "Taree Railway Station group". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Department of Planning & Environment. H01264. Retrieved 18 May 2018.   Text is licensed by State of New South Wales (Department of Planning and Environment) under CC-BY 4.0 licence.
  10. ^ About Taree Primary Health Network. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
  11. ^ "Taree climate: Average Temperature, weather by month, Taree weather averages - Climate-Data.org". en.climate-data.org. Retrieved 4 May 2022.
  12. ^ Summary statistics TAREE (PATANGA CL) Bureau of Meteorology
  13. ^ "Taree Airport AWS, NSW Climate (1997–present normals and extremes)". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 4 May 2022.
  14. ^ "2011 Census QuickStats: Taree".
  15. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (28 June 2022). "Taree Significant Urban Area". 2021 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 23 April 2023.  
  16. ^ North Coast timetable NSW TrainLink
  17. ^ Change to Taree Airport Services MidCoast Council 28 July 2022
  18. ^ "Home page". Manning River Times. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  19. ^ "Home page". ABC Mid North Coast. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  20. ^ Parker, Sarah (5 June 2013). "Plan for the future health of Manning oyster industry". Manning River Times. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Sydney Symphony brings its magic to Taree". 31 May 2012.
  23. ^ "The Australian Ballet: Event Detail". Archived from the original on 26 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  24. ^ "Taree City Festival: Celebration of the talent in our valley - Local News - News - General - Manning River Times". Archived from the original on 12 October 2009. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  25. ^ "Greater Taree City Council - Harry Bennett Park is officially open". Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  26. ^ "Rowing NSW". regattas.rowingnsw.asn.au. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  27. ^ "Rowing NSW". regattas.rowingnsw.asn.au. Retrieved 5 May 2016.

External links edit