Lying 369 km north-west of Sydney and 304 m above sea-level, located in the
Wellington Valley at the junction of the Macquarie and Bell Rivers, and at the
foot of Mt Arthur is Wellington, the second-oldest town west of the Blue
The first European visitor to the country of the Wiradjuri people
was John Oxley, who appears to have climbed Mt Arthur and, from there gazed down
upon what he named the Wellington Valley, after the Duke of Wellington.
Descending the mountain, he came to a small river which he named the Bell after
Brevet Major Bell of the 48th Regiment.
Following Governor Brisbane’s military campaign against the Wiradjuri in the
early 1820s, he opened an agricultural station run by convicts and soldiers in
Wellington Valley in 1823. A failure because of drought, it was closed by
Governor Darling in 1830 after which time the buildings and 7,000 acres of land
were granted to the Church Missionary Society to establish a Wiradjuri Mission.
Wellington includes Montefiores, Arthurville, Geurie, Neurah, Lake Burrendong,
the Wellington Caves, phosphate mines and Bakers Swamp.
In 1831, J B Montefiore was granted 5,120 acres on the northern bank of the
Macquarie River. In 1840 he subdivided the western section of the estate and a
private village known as Montefiores was established. All westbound traffic
passed through the village’s main thoroughfare, Gipps St Cobb & Co used the
village as a coach stop. The horses were changed here after fording the river.
Only a few buildings remain, most notably an inn thought to have been the Lion
of Waterloo Hotel which was licensed in 1842, making it the oldest licensed
hotel west of the Blue Mountains that is still standing.
Montefiores greatest claim to fame is that the last known duel to have been
fought on Australian soil was waged with pistols outside the Lion of Waterloo in
1854. It was an alcohol-driven affair, with one hapless shot being fired before
the constabulary arrived and took the duellers off to the local lockup.
Wiradjuri people continue to live on their traditional lands in the Wellington
District. This was acknowledged in 1995 in the
Wellington Common Agreement, an agreement between state and local government
bodies, Aboriginal organisations and CRA Exploration Pty Ltd. This historic
document described Wellington as (part of) the traditional area of the
Annual events include the Wellington Boot race day and the Vintage Fair in
March, and the Festivale celebrations and activities week in late October-early
Descending down into the cave at Wellington.
Down in the Phosphate Mine.
Giant Steam Tractor - One of only 3 working giant stream tractors in New South
if not Australia.