Elevation 620 metres
First and Last Village in the Southern
Population approximately 550
Snippet of History
Previously known as
Barber's Creek, the first land grant in the Tallong area was to
William Blue (the chap Blue's Point on Sydney Harbour was named after)
in the 1820's.
early settlers of the district used convict labour to clear the land
and construct buildings. The early industries were cedar getting and
town of Barber's Creek established and grew in the 1850's due to the
railway being driven south toward Goulburn. Woodcutters, rail-workers
and their families made up most of the town's population at that
The school was formerly established in 1865 by the government of the
day, but had already been educating students in the area for decades.
The original school in the town, now known as Tallong Public School, survives to
this day as the oldest single teacher school in Australia.
district's early development owes a lot to the hard labour of convicts,
with some of their constructions still surviving
main industries in the Tallong area through much of the 20th century
were apple and pear orchards (with many first places being
awarded to the town at the Royal Sydney Show) along with grazing and
1965, the Chatsbury Bush Fire devastated the area and most of
its orchards. The fire not only destroyed most of the Tallong area and
the livelihoods of many its residents, but also swept through Wingello,
our nearest neighbours to the north. It was eventually stopped (or
burnt out) four days later near Nowra on the South
services in Tallong are mainly limited to home based small businesses
and a General Store where you can find basic supplies. A
nursery, fresh local produce and local tradesmen, as well as art
classes, beauty and massage therapists (to name a few) are all
available in our local area!
The only church in Tallong is St Stephen's
of the Anglican Diocese. It was lucky enough to be the only church
spared by the fire of 1965, and celebrated its centenary in 1996.
Services are held on the first and third Sundays of each month at 10am,
and are followed by a social "cuppa".
Tallong is able to boast its Memorial Hall earned the
reputation over many past decades as the "best dancefloor in the
Highlands" and is the largest hall from Goulburn to Moss
Opened in 1920 The Memorial Hall has seen many agricultural and travelling
picture shows, school events and dances. These days our hall is
available for hire (enquiries at the shop) for very reasonable rates,
and is currently undergoing a repairs and maintenance program to
upgrade its facilities. The hall adjoins the town park which has swings
etc for the kids, and a new public conveniences.
The Rural Bush Fire Brigade's
new shed is next door to the hall (alas, some of the vehicles aren't as
new!) with a very active Bush Fire Brigade Unit. The major fund raising
event run by our merry band of fire fighters is the Tallong Trail Ride, ie a
horse event. Usually held in April, this event is growing each year and
run over two days. The trail takes in some of our awesome scenery along
some very challenging trails bordering Morton National Park. A
not-to-be missed event if you're into Trail Riding with
Rail services run a few times a day from the Tallong Railway
Station, and the only buses to Goulburn and Moss Vale are the school buses (ie to the best of our
knowledge since we're "drivers"!)
Our area has abundant native wildlife. The more common kangaroos and
wombats are everywhere (watch for them especially at dawn, dusk and at
night), as well as an enormous variety of birds and plants, including
rare and endangered species.
Sights to See
on a leisurely drive around Tallong
Tallong is a huge
area but most of it lies on a peninsula. The name is an aboriginal word
meaning either "tongue" or "peninsula", depending on the teller! It
overlooks and is bordered by the Morton National Park and
Shoalhaven Gorge on one side and takes in Tallawa Creek and
Gorge and a large area of Wingello State Forest on the other. A few
farms still exist inside the National Park and Wingello State Forest,
with envious views of Kangaroo Valley.
Caoura Road (turn at the General Store) is a 21km drive and heads
in a south easterly before turning a dog-leg and travelling in a north
easterly direction. The road winds its way in behind Wingello and
Penrose to the end of the Tallong peninsula and finishes adjacent to
Bundanoon, three villages to the north.
the end of Caoura Road (on a clear day) you can see the Pacific Ocean!
On Boxing Day, some of the locals get together to watch the Sydney
to Hobart Yacht Race from a property near the end of Caoura Road!
The climate is also milder than the village area of Tallong, with less
frosts, higher rainfall and areas of rainforest. The road becomes
unsealed 8kms from the village and can be treacherous in fog and wet
weather. Drivers should have their wits about them, as deer, wallabies,
wombats, kangaroos and stray livestock are also frequent users of the
road, which ends at the gates to private
12kms along Caoura Road, Caoura Station
(pronounced cowra)becomes visible. A renowned sheep/cattle
station in its time with history dating from the days of the convicts
(now subdivided into 100 acre blocks with views, views, views!) The original homestead was lost in a fire many
years ago....due to a rogue cigarette, so the story goes! Its
historic barn was built by convicts in the mid 1820's using stone
quarried from the property. The walls are two and a half feet thick,
sturdy enough to support a chained convict for a good flogging! The
double "B" brands of the Burkitt Brothers who owned the property later
in the 19th Century are still hanging on its outer walls. The barn is
easily seen from the road, but, Caoura Station is private
property, so you can only take in views of the property and
historic barn....from the road!
Tallong has two world class lookouts high above the Shoalhaven
River. The lookouts oversee the Shoalhaven Gorge which is a 1500ft drop
to the river...absolutely awesome!
Badgery's Lookout and Longpoint Lookout are a good starting
point for walks in to the gorge, and well
BTW...Physical fitness is an advantage climbing out again! Average
times from Badgery's Lookout to the Shoalhaven River are an hour to
walk down and two hours thigh-killing climb to
lookouts sit on the edge of the escarpment and have superb views over
the Shoalhaven and Morton National Park. All
information about the park, including guidelines about camping, are
available from the National Parks and Wildlife
The Dungeons, formerly
known as the "Cheese Caves", were cut into the rock under Tallawa
Waterfall by convicts in the 19th Century, and can be found on
Badgery's Lookout Road. They were used to store fresh produce due to
almost icy year round temperature. Not a lot is recorded about them,
but some say that cheese was moved up the Shoalhaven River and stored
in the Dungeons over one hundred years ago. There's a fairly fat wombat
living there at the moment...be warned if you want to walk in and
2002... Mulwaree Shire Council has closed our
Dungeons, until further notice, because they are unsafe...
because there are no walkways or handrails. The Council is worried they
might be landed with a big insurance claim if someone sustains an
injury. The Council hasn't kept on top of maintaining the site for many
years, but has stated that they will upgrade the site with footpaths,
handrailing and a safe viewing platform when funds become available.
We're looking forward to seeing the proposed upgrading in the near
reserve above the Dungeons is an area of terracing known as the
Chinese Gardens. History about them is sketchy, but we hope (after
a little more research) to fill you in!
forth, and enjoy your discovery tour of Tallong!