Elevation 680 metres
Once home to Bill O'Reilly Australia's famous
Population approximately 400
Snippet of History
The first land grants in the Wingello area were in
the early 1830's, and were are a reasonable distance from the where the
village now stands.
original landholdings near Uringalla Creek were noteable because
they were in the vicinity of a convict stockade, not far from
where the creek and the Hume Highway meet today. The stockade was
destroyed many years ago, and now only a few ruins remain as a reminder
of the area's convict past.
site for the village was determined by the development of the
railway. The village developed in the 1880's and the railway station
and post office were established in the year 1885. Wingello
School was a provisional school prior to 1884 when it was upgraded
to a public school in 1884. The school has moved site several times
since its establishment, but has been at its current site in Murrimba
Road since 1901.
early settlers of the district were farmers. Mining followed which led
to the beginnings of the timber industry. With the establishment of the
railway, the timber industry was continually supported particularly
since the area had an ample supply of the valued stringybark tree.
Orchards have also been a part of the local economy for more than a
Ben Hall the legendary Bush
Ranger, held up his first stage coach in the Wingello area on a
site very near where Murrimba Road and the Hume Highway meet today.
It's a little difficult to know exactly where the site is since the
signpost that marked the spot no longer exists!
Wingello, which is the Aboriginal word for "fire", has had its fair
share of devastating fires since settlement. In 1939, 1965 and as
recently as 1998, major blazes swept through the area leaving their
mark on property and the lives of the Wingello community.
The Famous Bill O'Reilly
Wingello was the home to Australia's greatest bowler, Bill
O'Reilly. Donald Bradman and Bill O'Reilly had one of their early
battles on the cricket pitch on the local oval, now known as Bill
O'Reilly Oval. Many matches were played between Bowral and Wingello in
the 1930's, but a falling out occurred between the two teams which
ended in a "feud" and finished the inter-village matches.
The current Wingello Cricket Club is researching the early years of the
club's history, and are hoping to shed some light on what happened
between the teams, so we hope to be able to update this site with some
facts in the near future!
Cricket is once again thriving in Wingello. The revival of the club
occurred about three years ago, and is already producing some talented
young players, and many wins for the club.
Bill O'Reilly Oval is located on
the opposite side of the railway line to the General Store, and
commemorates Wingello's famous cricketer...famous as a bowler... Bill
O'Reilly. Bill's father was a past Principal of Wingello Public School.
He was a man who is remembered as an excellent teacher, and encouraged
the students to play sports. He had to his credit the coaching of many
skilled cricketers, including his son!
Sights to See
Wingello is a quiet village with its General Store and Post
Office as its focal point. Art, craft and dance groups are held
regularly in and around the village. Many professionals run their
home-based businesses from properties in the area.
The Mechanics Institute Memorial Hall stands in the centre of
the village, between the General Store and Rural Fire Brigade shed.
Amazingly, there are no records available for researching the history
of the Hall. Currently, local researchers are trying to patch the
hall's past together from senior residents of the village, and to
record it, before it's lost forever. The hall was recently threatened
Town Halls like Wingello's Mechanics Institute Memorial Hall seem to
have had their hey-day, but for Wingello's Hall, the future may be
secure. A recent public meeting has renewed public interest its future.
The dynamic new committee are initiating lots of new projects which
should ensure the Hall is used and enjoyed by the community.
The Wingello Rural Fire Brigade shed is next door to the hall
with a very active Bush Fire Brigade Unit. A recently erected memorial
dedicated to Wingello Fire Fighters who lost their lives, stands in a
garden at the front of the Fire Shed. The Wingello Rural Fire Brigade's
web site can be viewed by following the link on our links page.
Rail services run a few times a day from the Wingello Railway
Station. It's a very popular station with elderly Tallong residents
who cannot manage to jump the huge distance between platform level and
the train when boarding from their Sydney bound platform!
Wingello also 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, including the "Wingello Grevillea", which
has a very interesting history.
There are still large land holdings in the Wingello area,
mostly grazing beef cattle. The smaller "life style" land holdings
appearing throughout the district tend to be grazing deer and alpaca or
using their acres to keep horses. Production of olives, as well as
grapes for high altitude wines has recently seen a boom in the
Throughout the year in the Wingello State Forest plays host to many
Sled Dog Trials, which are great fun to watch! The competitors come
from clubs far and wide...and the "trials" are usually news-worthy
enough to feature on the local Evening News! The Wingello State
Forest covers a huge number of hectares, and has some interesting
walks and vantage points for spectacular views.