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Wagga Wagga

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Australia : New South Wales : Riverina : Wagga Wagga
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Baylis Street

Wagga Wagga [1] is the largest inland city in New South Wales, with a population of around 60,000 people, is located on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. Wagga Wagga, in local Aboriginal dialect means Place of many crows. Its very rare for anyone to say the second Wagga, and the town is universally pronunced as Wogga.

History

Discovery

The early colonists first sighted the land in December 1829, which the flourishing City of Wagga Wagga now stands. The persons present at first sighting consisted of Captain Charles Sturt, 39th Regiment, stationed in Sydney, Mr George Macleay and six others. This party passed over the site of future Wagga Wagga on its expedition of discovery down the Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers. Settlement swiftly followed.

Wagga Wagga was proclaimed a town in 1849 and in the same year surveyor Thomas Townshend marked out the town. In the 1860s the population totaled approximately 700, but by 1881 it had increased to 3,975. In 1879 the railway line was extended south of the river.

The Name

The name of the City is derived from the language of the Wiradjuri tribe, which was the biggest aboriginal tribe in New South Wales, embracing the Riverina area.

"Wagga", "Wahga" or Wahgam" in aboriginal dialect means "crow". The repetition of a word was the method of expressing the plural or emphasis, thus Wagga Wagga means "crows" or "the place where crows assemble in large numbers". The Murrumbidgee River which runs through the City also derived its name from the aboriginal language and means "plenty water" or "big water".

Get in

By plane

Regional Express (REX) and Qantaslink fly daily from Sydney and Melbourne domestic airports. Flights start at approximately $79 on special one way, although $120 is about the standard price, with prices rising to several times that if not booked well in advance. The airport is 15 minutes out of town, both Taxi's and Hire Cars are available at the airport. Approximate cost for a taxi to the centre of the city is $30.

  • Wagga Shuttle Bus, 0458350100. 7 days. Services available to and from Wagga Airport, and to and from the Army recruit training ground at Kapooka.
  • Wagga Wagga Radio Cabs, 131008.
  • Avis, 136333, [2].
  • Budget, 132727, [3].
  • Hertz, 133039, [4].
  • Thrifty, 1300 367 227, [5].

By train

CountryLink [6] offer a daily train service, with the city on the line between Sydney and Melbourne, providing two services a day in each direction.

  • From Sydney: 7 hours, departing at 6:50am or 8:40pm. Concession price: $42.80 one way

By bus

  • Firefly Express operates a day and night service from Sydney to Melbourne via Wagga Wagga.[7]
  • Greyhound Australia operates a day and night service from Sydney to Melbourne via Wagga Wagga.[8]

Getting around

Route 965 serviced by Busabout
  • Wagga Radio Cabs operate 24/7 throughout the city.
  • Busabout services most suburbs in Wagga Wagga from Monday to Saturday (No services on Sundays and public holidays).[9]

See

  • Wagga Wagga Regional Gallery, Wagga Wagga Civic Centre, Cnr Baylis & Morrow Streets, (02) 6926 9660, [10]. houses the Australian Print Collection and the Print Australia Archive. The gallery is home to the National Art Glass Collection. Free entry.
  • Visit the Museum of The Riverina which is located in the historic council chambers at the Wagga Wagga Civic Centre (Cnr Baylis & Morrow Streets) and the Botanic Gardens (Lord Baden Powell Drive).
  • Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens is home to the Wagga Zoo and the Willans Hill Miniature Railway (Operates the the first and third Sunday of each month)
  • Visit the Charles Sturt University winery and cheese factory, which makes cheeses with bush food flavourings. You can also buy samples at the Visitor's Centre.
  • Miniature Railway, Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens on Willans Hill., [11]. 1st and 3rd of every month. A railway station and working controls are features along the extensive track. If you aren't the train type a pedestrians bridge over the train gives an expansive view of the train as it leaves the station. $2 per ride.
  • RAAF Wagga Heritage Centre, Sturt Highway, Forest Hill (Located in the old guard house at the main entrance of the RAAF Base.), (02) 69375402. 10AM - 4PM Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday (excluding public holidays). RAAF Wagga Heritage Centre showcases the RAAF's history and its significant involvement in the Riverina region. Free entry. (-35.14912,147.46772)
  • Wagga Wagga Rail Heritage Museum, Station Place (Located in the Porter's Room at the Railway Station), (02) 69223393. Monday 10AM - 2PM. Show casing the heritage of the railway in the Riverina Gold coin ($1 or $2).


Do

  • Walk, the Wollundry Track or the Wiradjuri Walking track with maps available at the Wagga Wagga Visitor Information Centre.
  • Forum 6 Cinemas, 77 Trail Street, Wagga Wagga, (02) 6921 6863, [12]. (-35.109861,147.370515)
  • Swim in the Murrumbidgee River, at Wagga Beach (which is a sand beach).
  • The local newspaper, The Daily Advertiser, is a good guide to what's on around town.
  • Oasis Regional Aquatic Centre, Morgan Street, Wagga Wagga, (02) 69373737. Monday to Friday: 6:30am - 9:00pm Saturday & Sunday: 8.30am - 6:00pm. Home to Australia's only wave-ball, 2 outdoor pools (including diving pool) and four indoor heated pools (including whirlpool, baby pool and wave ball). Adult swim - $5.00 Child/student swim - $3.50 Pensioner/soncession swim - $3.50 Family swim - $14.00 Spectator entry - $1.00 Children under 2 Free.
  • Walk the track to the top of The Rock, a short drive away from Wagga.
  • See the botanical gardens and zoo.

Eat

  • The Blessed Bean in Best Street is open Monday to Saturday and offers breakfast and lunches, such as sandwiches on fresh sourdough with a taste of the regions finest ingredients. They also offer the best coffee in town, with NSW's best latte artist.
  • The Quinty Bakehouse at Uranquinty is a 10 minute drive from Wagga and well worth the trip. Offers a range of products made using organic flour, such as sourdough melts and pies with real meat. They are famous for their tarts, which come in three sizes and more than 10 flavours.
  • The best pub food in town can be found at the Riverina Hotel, also known as The Bridge, with a schnitzel, veg and gravy costing about $10. The special of the day is about $6 to $7.
  • Il Corso dishes out large tasty Italian dishes for reasonable prices. Baylis Street nr Edward Street.
  • Nemos Fish and Chips, 110 Fitzmaurice St Wagga Wagga, 6971 0668. Open 12pm Daily. Offers a variety of seafood; snapper, barramundi, whiting, flathead, blue grenadier and flake.

Buy

  • Sunday Markets, Myer Carpark (Located on Oreilly Street), [13]. every Sunday morning. Gold coin donation. (-35.11124,147.371944)


  • Farmers Market, (next to the lagoon at the Civic Centre and Civic Theatre). second Saturday of every month. A range of local produce is on offer, including flowers, cheese, meat and even pistachios
  • Markets by the Lake, Apex Park, Lake Albert. Last Saturday of the month. Stalls selling fresh produce, arts and crafts, hand made gifts, clothes, plants, bric-a-brac and more. Free entry. (-35.172212,147.378438)


Drink

  • The Bridge - Wednesday night trivia sessions. Popular with local agricultural students.
  • The Capital - The only nightclub in Wagga Wagga. Cover charge on weekends. Capital saloon open Sunday nights 8pm till 12 am Baylis Street.
  • The Vic - Most popular drinking hole for the younger crowd.
  • Kooringal Hotel located in the Wagga Wagga suburb of Kooringal.
  • Wagga Wagga Winery, Oura Road, Wagga Wagga (15 minutes from Wagga on the Oura Road), (02) 6922 1221, [14]. Seven days from 11.00am. Wagga Wagga Winery offers cellar door sales and a fully licensed restaurant set amongst 17 acres of established grape vines a stone's throw from the Murrumbidgee River.

Sleep

  • Allonville Motel [15] is on the Sturt Highway about 5km on the Gundagai side of Wagga. Has stables, kennels and yards availlable. Small pool. Restaurant and room service dinners available by prior arrangement.
  • Len MASSON (MA Sujie), 59 Gurwood Street, Wagga Wagga (Close to city centre), 02 6971 7600. Bed and Breakfast $30 per night per person $30 pp.


Get out

If you are driving, Wagga is at the crossroads, head to Adelaide, to Sydney or Melbourne.

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