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Goulburn travel guide — Goulburn tourism and travel information

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about Goulburn

Goulburn (New South Wales, Australia) is a quiet, unassuming provincial city characterised by a particularly long main street. Located 190 km south west of Sydney via the Hume Highway and 690 metres above sea-level it has some 25,000 residents.

The town was originally situated on a well-used route across flat, southern New South Wales between Mittagong and both Yass and Canberra.

George Johnson purchased the first land in the area between 1839 and 1842 and became a central figure in the town's development. He established a branch store with a liquor license in 1848. At that stage the store and a bark hut constituted the town. The Royal Victorian Hotel came into existence by 1851 and a Post Office opened in 1853.

The town's name probably came from Johnson who named it after Sir Walter Stevenson's novel Goulburn. Johnson was Irish and there were a number of Irish in the area. They looked to their country of origin (and its most famous novelist) for other local place names – Towrang, Collector, Taralga (another novel by Stevenson) and Crookwell (Stevenson's birthplace).

Alternatively, the town was named after Henry Goulburn, a prominent British politician at the time the area was settled by Europeans, and whose brother Frederick was the Colonial Secretary of New South Wales at the time.

A telegraph station opened in 1862, by which time there were about 500 residents, a blacksmith's shop, two hotels, two stores, the telegraph office and a few cottages. The town was a change station (where coach horses were changed) for Cobb & Co. by 1865. A police station opened the following year and a school in 1868. Goulburn was proclaimed a town in 1872. The arrival of the railway in 1886, and the completion of the line from Sydney to Albury in 1893, was a definite boost to the town.

There is little information available on the local Aborigines. However it is clear that there was, in general, intense and violent conflict over European settlement of the south of NSW until the 1840s and 1850s. On the shore of Lake George, to the south, a group of whites shot a entire tribe and left the skeletons to bleach in the sun.

The Tawonga Billabong Aboriginal Settlement was later established under the supervision of the Tarago police and a local resident recalls no conflict from this period. In the 1930s the billabong dried up and the Aborigines moved away although some have, over time, made their way back.

Today Goulburn is a railhead and service centre for the surrounding pastoral industry and a stopover for those travelling on the Hume Highway.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Goulburn".

This city is also known as: Goulburn.

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