Wellington, New South Wales
Wellington is a town in the Central Western Slopes region of New South Wales, Australia, located at the junction of the Macquarie and Bell Rivers. It is within the local government area of Dubbo Regional Council. The town is 362 kilometres (225 mi) northwest of Sydney on the Great Western Highway and Main Western Railway, and 50 km southeast of Dubbo, the main centre of the Central Western Slopes region.
New South Wales
|Population||4,077 (2016 census)|
|Elevation||305 m (1,001 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Dubbo Regional Council|
Wellington was the second European settlement west of the Blue Mountains, first established as a convict establishment in 1923.
The area was originally occupied by the Wiradjuri people. The 'Wambool' (Macquarie River) was an important source of sustenance for this widespread Aboriginal group united by kinship and a common language. Surviving evidence in the Wellington area of the occupation by the Wiradjuri people prior to European contact includes rock shelters with archaeological deposits, a carved tree, scarred trees, open camp sites, grinding grooves sites and bora (ceremonial) grounds.
The European discovery of the Wellington Valley occurred during the return journey of John Oxley’s Lachlan River expedition in 1817. While crossing from the Bogan River to the Macquarie River in August 1817 Oxley and his party happening upon the Wellington Valley with the Bell River running through it. They followed the river to its junction with the Macquarie. Oxley was effusive about the valley, describing it as “beautifully picturesque” and “studded with fine trees upon a soil which may be equalled, but can never be excelled”. The Bell River was named “as a compliment to Brevet Major Bell of the 48th Regiment” and the Wellington Valley was named after the Duke of Wellington.
In January 1823 Lieutenant Percy Simpson was appointed by the colonial government to establish a settlement at the junction of the Bell and Macquarie rivers in the Wellington Valley. Simpson and a party of soldiers and convicts arrived at the locality via Bathurst in February with 12 cows and 40 sheep, as well as a provision of wheat. Simpson chose a site for the settlement on high ground above the Bell River (about three kilometres south of the modern township). There were early problems, including desertions and stock theft by convicts, but fields of wheat and other staples were eventually established. A muster roll in 1826 recorded 85 men at Wellington. By that stage a number of pastoral runs had been established in the vicinity of the settlement and along the Macquarie River. The convict outpost at Wellington was discontinued in 1831 and "the settlement was used for a time as a Government stock station". A traveller to the area in 1832 described the settlement as “abandoned” except for “a dozen stockmen and soldiers who remained to protect the buildings from the mischievous spoilation of the natives”.
In December 1831 the Secretary of State for the Colonies informed Governor Bourke that an agreement had been entered into with the Church Missionary Society in England “by which the organisation had undertaken to send out and superintend a mission to the natives”. Permission was sought to “establish the Mission at Wellington Valley”, to which the Governor agreed, authorising them to “occupy the Government buildings there and to use for grazing any land they desired to occupy for that purpose”. The missionaries sent to Wellington in 1832 were Rev. William Watson and Rev. James Handt, a Lutheran clergyman.
In 1835 Messrs. Backhouse and Walter, both Quakers, visited the Mission. Backhouse reported that ”the blacks at the station were not numerous”, with “about 30” being the usual number living there. The Aborigines were said to be “very capricious” and “by no means desirous to learn”. They were “attracted” to the food supplied by the Mission and “they were not disposed to work”. A mission report in 1836 stated that “the vocabulary of the native language had been revised and enlarged” and that “services were held in the language”.
Rev. Handt left Wellington in 1836 “as his wife was ill”. Rev. James Gunther and his wife arrived in August 1837, replacing Handt and his wife. 
In 1840, a village called Montefiores was established on the north side of the Macquarie River crossing. The Town of Wellington, on the south bank of the Macquarie River opposite Montefiores, was gazetted in 1846, and on 20 March 1885, Wellington was proclaimed a town.
The first local government body covering Wellington was the Wellington Municipal District, proclaimed in 1879. In 1950 it was amalgamated with Macquarie Shire and part of Cobbora Shire to form Wellington Shire. There was a number of transfer of areas with adjoining shires, and in 2016 Wellington Shire was amalgamated with the local government area of Dubbo City to form Western Plains Regional Council.
Wellington is the second oldest New South Wales settlement west of the Blue Mountains. One of its hotels, the Lion of Waterloo, established by Nicolas Hyeronimus in 1842, is the oldest operating west of the Blue Mountains.
Near to The Lion of Waterloo is the location of the last recorded duel fought on Australian soil, in 1854.
As a regional centre Wellington benefited by the development of the gold mining industry in the district from the 1850s. Initially this was working alluvial deposits of gold but later focused on the mining of quartz reefs. Among the mining districts was Mitchells Creek located 8 miles to the north east near the locality of Bodangora.
Wellington has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 4,077 people in Wellington.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 27.8% of the population.
- 82.4% of people were born in Australia.
- 86.8% of people only spoke English at home.
- The most common responses for religion were Anglican 27.0%, Catholic 25.4% and No Religion 19.4%.
Wellington is the centre of rich agricultural land. While alfalfa and vegetables are grown on lands on the river, wheat, wool, lambs and beef cattle are grown on surrounding pastures. The town acts as a commercial centre for the surrounding district.
In September 2008, the Wellington Correctional Centre was opened. A Probation and Parole Office was also opened in the centre of town. Wellington Council hopes this will stimulate economic growth in the area, due to increasing employment opportunities and the need for non-locals to utilise Wellington facilities.
There is a popular Community Radio Station operating on a frequency of 91.5 MHz FM.
Wellington has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) with hot summers and cool winters, and uniform rainfall throughout the year. The town is rather sunny, getting 138.1 clear days annually. In January, the average minimum temperature in the town is 16.9 °C and the average maximum is 32.9 °C, while in July the average minimum is 2.2 °C and the average maximum is 15.2 °C.
|Climate data for Wellington (D&J Rural)|
|Record high °C (°F)||43.7
|Average high °C (°F)||33.0
|Average low °C (°F)||16.9
|Record low °C (°F)||6.5
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||59.2
|Average precipitation days||5.5||5.0||5.1||4.6||6.1||7.9||8.2||7.7||6.5||6.7||6.3||5.9||75.5|
|Average afternoon relative humidity (%)||36||39||41||44||53||57||55||50||46||42||38||34||45|
|Source: Bureau of Meteorology|
The closest commercial airport is that of Dubbo. QantasLink and Regional Express service the airport three-five times daily from Sydney. A small airport (Bondangora Airport) for private planes exists twelve kilometres east of Wellington.
Ogden's Coaches operates return services to Dubbo, with one extending to Narromine as a through-routed service with the Narromine link.
Lake Burrendong, a man-made lake, is located 30 kilometres south of the town. Its capacity is three and a half times that of Sydney Harbour and supplies water for irrigation schemes downstream. It is also a popular location for anglers, sailors and water skiers. Burrendong Arboretum is a sanctuary for endangered Australian flora and covers 1.60 km².
The nearby Wellington Caves feature the Cathedral Cave with the massive Altar Rock and has a viewable underground river running at the bottom. Immediately to the East of the township lies the Catombal Range with magnificent bushwalks in and around Mt Arthur and Mt Wellesley.
The Wellington Boot, a country racing festival is held in March and April annually. The Bell River Wine Estate is nearby.
- Tim Storrier - Award winning artist.
- Media stars John Laws, Laurie Oakes and Ray Martin all lived in Wellington
- Ben Austin – Paralympian, grew up in Wellington
- Millicent Bryant - first woman in Australia to earn a pilot licence, born at Apsley, Wellington.
- Max Cullen – actor
- Silvanus Daniel - politician
- Terry Fahey – former professional rugby league footballer for South Sydney Rabbitohs, Eastern Suburbs and Canberra Raiders
- Blake Ferguson – NRL player for the Parramatta Eels, played junior Rugby League with the Wellington Cowboys
- Nicolas Hyeronimus – pioneering innkeeper, merchant, pastoralist and inaugural MLA for Wellington
- Colleen McCullough – author, born in Wellington
- Ian O'Brien – Olympic gold medallist in the 200 m breaststroke at the 1964 Summer Olympics, grew up in Wellington
- Tyrone Peachey – NRL player.
- Trent Runciman - Former NRL player
- Kotoni Staggs - NRL player for the Brisbane Broncos
- Brent Naden - NRL Player, born in Wellington
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Weillington (NSW) (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "Wellington (D&J Rural)". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. March 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
- "Blacks Camp". Office of Environment and Heritage. NSW Deprtment of Planning, Industry and Environment. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
- The Discovery and Occupation of Wellington Valley (part one) by James Jervis (Senior Research Officer of the Royal Historical Society), Wellington Times, 16 October 1950, page 3.
- "John Oxley discovers Wellington Valley". Oxley Museum, Wellington NSW. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
- The Discovery and Occupation of Wellington Valley (part two) by James Jervis (Senior Research Officer of the Royal Historical Society), Wellington Times, 23 October 1950, page 8.
- "Wellington". Sydney Morning Herald. 8 February 2004. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
- Wellington as a Missionary Settlement (part one), Wellington Times, 4 December 1952, page 3.
- Wellington as a Missionary Settlement (part two), Wellington Times, 11 December 1952, page 7.
- "Wellington Valley and Wellington". Wellington Times (3162). New South Wales, Australia. 8 September 1921. p. 2. Retrieved 13 March 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Village of Wellington". New South Wales Government Gazette (33). New South Wales, Australia. 24 April 1846. p. 503. Retrieved 13 March 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Wellington". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- "Wellington History". Wellington NSW. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
- Osborne, Idle 1975 Annual Report Compilation, Wellington Division – Dubbo Sheet 1875-1974, Department of Mines NSW, ARC080.
- "Wellington Railway Precinct". Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
- "Opening of the Railway from Orange to Wellington". Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate. VIII (1855). New South Wales, Australia. 2 June 1880. p. 2. Retrieved 13 March 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
- "John Fowler 7nhp Steam Road Locomotive". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01867. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "Wellington Convict and Mission Site - Maynggu Ganai". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01859. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "Wellington". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01415. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- "Blacks Camp". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01865. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "Wellington Times". Fairfax Regional Media. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
- "Western timetable". NSW Trainlink. 7 September 2019.
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