Towns & Villages - BURRAWANG


Population: 1634
(inc. Wildes Meadow rural area; 2000 census)

Brief History
The village of Burrawang lies on a ridge between the Wingecarribee valley, and the edge of the plateau of the Highlands towards Fitzroy Falls, just a few kilometers west of Robertson.

A romantic story has it that the first inhabitants were a young couple who trekked across the countryside and settled there. In fact, the first settlers moved into the area with the opening up of the Yarrawa Brush, and the Robertson Land Acts of the 1860s.

Burrawang was a private village, established in 1865. The first community buildings were in Church Street, near Dale Street (where the first local agricultural shows were also staged.)

The surrounding land was originally covered with dense scrub and forest which, when cleared, provided rich pasture and horticultural land. (The visitor today can see the rich red volcanic soil in ploughed fields.)

By the 1870s there were hundreds of new landholders, and the town grew rapidly to provide for them.

Catholic Church
Catholic Church (1875)

There were several inns (one, now a private house, can be seen on the corner of Hoddle and Church Streets); a general store (still existing); bank (today in bad repair, a house); schoolhouse (now beautifully restored); and several churches (in Church Street near Range Street, and down the hill towards Wilde's Meadow.)

Although Burrawang was very isolated, the early townspeople seem to have made an extra effort to be sociable and community minded.

The first agricultural "shows" were held in Burrawang, as were horse races, cricket matches, and a well-supported 'School of Arts' - still active and supported by the community today.

They were also industrious, with sawmills, a butter factory, flour mill, bacon curing, and the first printing works in the Highlands.

At the end of the nineteenth century, Burrawang had a reputation as a vibrant and progressive community.

For the next half century Burrawang, like many rural areas, was the centre of farming activity and a local shopping centre for basic supplies, drifting off into the quiet backwaters of the Highlands as the larger towns prospered.

School of Arts
School of Arts (1890)

Burrawang still gives the impression of being a sleepy backwater. Indeed, there seems little apart from the hotel and the store in the main street.

The actual population of the town was about 160 at the last census.

However, in the surrounding area there are many farms - on one of these coloured sheep provide fine knitting yarn for Burrawool. There are also hobby farms for the urban refugee, where most people reside.

Burrawang today is in fact something of an exclusive getaway for people from the city - an artists' colony, weekend retreat for executives, retirement haven.

Land prices (for even modest weatherboard houses) are regularly amongst the highest in the region.

What attracts these modern settlers? The peace and quiet and beauty of the village and its surrounding countryside for a start.

And perhaps its sense of isolation - only 15 minutes from Bowral or Moss Vale - or a few hours from the city - but a real sense of being miles from anywhere.

For further details see our Past and Present pages.

General Store
General Store (1867)

Burrawang Quick Guide

Accommodation - LIST ALL
Fairway Farm
Glenayr - self cont.
Lucindale - self cont.
Burrawang Village - community website
Weddings LIST ALL
June Rose Make Up and hair

Major Events & Festivals

March/April: Easter Markets

October - Brushfest

What to See and Do
For Visitors.

Burrawang is one of those picturesque and secluded country villages which is worthwhile visiting just to get away from the city.

Except for a few examples, the C19th architecture is not particularly memorable. But peek between the hedgerows, look out from the top of Region Street - or more comfortably, from the terrace at the Burrawang Village Hotel, and the view of the magnificent countryside will be enough reward for your visit.

Old Schoolhouse
The Old Schoolhouse (1876)

The Old Village Store in the main street is a must to see. Built in 1867 its amazingly preserved interior was a delighful reminder of slower times long past. It has now reopened after renovation and is a popular place on weekends to breakfast or have coffee.

One of Burrawang's most popular attractions - the old sandstone C19th schoolhouse - has been magnificently restored. In the past this building was one of Burrawang's most famous attractions.

If you feel you need to totally 'max out', Burrawang has some first class accommodation which will allow you to escape from the aggravations of everyday life, and immerse yourself in the total relaxation of country living. A country dance is held in the nearby Avoca Hall each month.

Burrawang is a good place to start some scenic drives - east along the main street and on to Robertson, or south through winding roads and scenic farmland towards Fitzroy Falls.

For Kids.

There is a park, playground and playing fields on the way into town (about a km or so from the main street.)

If you happen to find yourself in the Hotel, ask your parents for a game of Boules (old fashioned bowls) on the court in the terrace.

Go for a drive along some winding country roads and look at the farm animals.

Better still, ask them to book a holiday weekend at Fairway Farm and help in milking the cows!

Dairy cattle
Dairy cattle, Wildes Meadow

Last updated 11/9/14