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T.J. Finn's Building (1874) in the main street
 

Canowindra (including Cargo)
Attractive and historic town which has become the centre of hot air ballooning in New South Wales.
Canowindra describes itself as 'The Balloon Capital of Australia' as more flights are said to take place here annually than anywhere else in Australia. It is testimony to the strength of the association that Balloon Aloft have made the town its headquarters due to the gentle winds and the open and attractive countryside crisscrossed by roadways for balloon recovery.

In spite of this apparent modernity Canowindra is, in fact, a genuine old-style Australian country town. The main thoroughfare, Gaskill St, stills follows the crooked route of the old bullock track, reflecting the informal and piecemeal early development of the town. The many verandahs and old buildings contribute to the antiquated air. Indeed the entire commercial section of Gaskill St has been classified by as a Heritage Preservation Area by the National Trust.

The town is located in a natural basin on the Belubula River, 330 km west of Sydney via Bathurst, 32 km north of Cowra and 300 m above sea-level. Built on rich river flats it functions as a service centre to the surrounding district which produces lucerne, wheat, wool and fat lambs. The current population is around 1700.

The term 'Canowindra' derives from the language of the Wiradjuri People who occupied the area prior to white settlement. It is said to mean 'home' or 'camping place'.

One of the first white settlers was James Collits who was recorded as occupying land at 'Canoundra' in 1831, though he may have arrived as early as 1829. Governor Fitzroy crossed the river here in 1836 or 1846 depending on which source you believe. The Canowindra Inn was established in 1849 and a settlement developed in a piecemeal fashion around this nucleus. The town was surveyed in 1860.

In 1863 Canowindra was twice raided by Ben Hall's bushranging gang, which then included the notorious Johnny Gilbert. They robbed two nearby station homesteads then moved on to the town where they forced the residents, and the local policeman, into Robinson's Hotel, holding an impromptu and compulsory party. They returned two weeks later, after raiding Bathurst, this time holding the townsfolk at Robinson's for three days of merriment, reputedly at their own expense. The site is now occupied by the Royal Hotel. A plaque on the side of the Royal notes the historical associations.

Lucerne, which became a vital crop in the 1950s, was first grown in 1863. The first road bridge was built in 1874. The railway arrived in 1888.

Distinguished Australian novelist Kylie Tennant stayed at the Canowindra Hotel in Gaskill St in the 1930s, writing her novel Tiburon while her husband taught at the local school.

360-million-year-old fish fossils of world importance were found 9 km to the south-west of town in 1956. Another major dig occurred in 1993.

There is a model aircraft championship at Easter and the Canowindra Country Show on the fourth weekend in September. Marti's Balloon Fiesta, usually in April, attracts enthusiasts from around the world.

 

Broadwalk Business Brokers

Broadwalk Business Brokers specialise in General Businesses for Sale, Caravan Parks for Sale, Motels for Sale, Management Rights & Resorts for Sale, Farms for Sale, Hotels for sale, Commercial & Industrial Properties for Sale.

 

Phone: 1300 136 559

Email: enquiries@broadwalkbusinessbrokers.com

 

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Canowindra