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Wollombi Valley Online
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Wollombi History

Yango Creek Shed
By Peter Firminger

Mt Yengo
By Peter Firminger

Rock Art
© Caroline Maul

Wollombi General Store
© Sally Sullivan

Finchley Aboriginal Area
By Peter Firminger

Finchley Aboriginal Area
By Peter Firminger

Finchley Aboriginal Area
By Peter Firminger

Swamp Hen
By Peter Firminger

Swamp Hen
By Peter Firminger

Koala
© Simon Wakeman

Turtle Party
By Peter Firminger

Saint Michael's
By Peter Firminger

Wall
By Peter Firminger

Shed
By Peter Firminger

St John's Rainbow
© Peter Firminger

Wollombi New South Wales is a very small but picturesque and historic rural village in Australia's lower Hunter Valley - 29 km south-west of Cessnock and 142 km north of Sydney. To the south is the village of Laguna, to the east, the village of Millfield and to the north, the village of Broke.

The valley is bordered to the west by the World Heritage Listed Yengo National Park (and Yengo State Forest) and the main road, the convict-built Great North Road forms one of the major legs of the Greater Blue Mountains Drive.  To the east lie Watagans National Park along with Corrabare and Olney State Forests.

Wollombi's modest modern size is offset by its 19th-century sandstone buildings and an abundance of timber slab constructed cottages and sheds in an idyllic location within a narrow valley junction containing Wollombi Brook and Congewai Creek. Narone and Yango Creeks also join these waterways near the village.

The area is home to an abundance of native birds, reptiles and other animals including kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos and wombats and is surrounded by imposing tree-lined mountains.

The original inhabitants of the locality are believed to be the Darkinjung people, though the Awabakal and Wanaruah nations are also mentioned.

The town's name is an Aboriginal term said to mean 'meeting place of the waters' or simply 'meeting place'. It was apparently pronounced  'Wu-lum-bee', though today it is pronounced Wo (as in wok) - lum (as in thumb) - bi (as in buy).

There are a vast number of historic Aboriginal sites in the surrounding countryside which is thought to have been used as a ceremonial meeting place as people from hundreds of kilometres visited the area and made their way to Mount Yengo - a place of great significance throughout the ancient nations of eastern Australia.

There are rock engravings, sharpening grooves, hand stencils, tribal markings and other images in caves and outcrops, frequent evidence of camping sites along the Brook and it's tributary creeks, and two major mapping sites containing many engravings.

The establishment, development and significance of the township of Wollombi was directly connected with the construction and importance of the Great Northern Road in the early 19th century. The Howes Valley Rd (Putty Road) was completed in 1823, but travel along it was thought to be too difficult to be a success commercially.

Major Thomas Mitchell - Surveyor-General - formulated the idea of an inland route to open up transport to regions in northern NSW. Heneage Finch, who later settled in Laguna, surveyed the route for the Great Northern Road via Castle Hill, Wiseman's Ferry, St Albans, Laguna and Wollombi.

At Wollombi, the road diverged toward Singleton and Muswellbrook to the north, and Cessnock and Maitland to the north east.

Road construction commenced in 1826 carried out by nine chain gangs - up to 700 convicts -and was completed in 1831. Remnants such as stone culverts, bridges and retaining walls remain, particularly in the area between Wollombi and Wisemans Ferry, and are catalogued and cared for by the Convict Trail project.

During the years before the GNR was commenced, only a few large land grants (1,000 or 2,000 acres) were allocated along Cockfighter's Creek or the lower Wollombi Brook, to John Blaxland and - Rodd at Fordwich, Heneage Finch at Laguna and Thomas Crawford at Congewai. Richard Wiseman received 640 acres near Wollombi. After 1830 the holdings in the

Federal Heritage Links

NSW Heritage Links

Cemeteries

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