History of Darlington Point
We have a strong connection with our first Australians who are Wiradjuri people. The town was home to the Warangesda Aboriginal Mission from 1880-1884. During that time it was the site of early political activism, including an Aboriginal community strike in 1883.
The town itself was 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 single bascule bridge was later built to accommodate both road and river traffic and remained in use until 1979. This 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, which provides outstanding produce for Australia and the world.
1829-30 Captain Charles Sturt travelled the area and Darlington Point was established as a river crossing town with pastoral and timber industries.
1850 – Paddle steamers transported produce along the Murrumbidgee River
1864 – The Darlington Inn, earliest recorded building of Darlington Point settlement, established on (modern-day) Whitton Road, then the main road from Narrandera to Hay. The Inn’s site was at the junction of that road and the track that led to the river crossing.
1869 – Riverine Hotel (later renamed the Punt Hotel) was established on the south side of the Murrumbidgee River
1881 – A public wharf was built (old wharf pylons can be seen 200 metres upstream from the caravan park)
1905 – The punt was replaced with a single bascule bridge
1924 – Closure of the Warangesda Aboriginal Mission
1978 – The new bridge over the Murrumbidgee River was opened, replacing the bascule bridge. The old bascule bridge was dismantled.
1989 – Locals, assisted by the Faculty of Engineering at the University of NSW, reassembled the old bascule bridge at the entrance to the caravan park.