Sunday History Photo / NSW

Submitted: Sunday, Dec 11, 2016 at 08:19
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Pooncarie is a village in south-western New South Wales, Australia in Wentworth Shire. It is on the eastern side of the Darling River between Wentworth and Menindee. The surrounding region of Pooncarie is semi-arid with an outback landscape rich in eucalypt woodlands.

The region was first settled by Europeans during the 1840s when they took up illegal grazing runs on crown land. During the 1860s the government formalised these illegal (and unfenced) claims in an attempt to gain control of the region. As more settlers followed the town became a service hub for outlying stations. In the mid-19th century, the town’s Darling River wharf was very active as paddle-steamers, carried wool from north-western NSW and south-western Queensland travelling through the port on its way to South Australia.

The Burke and Wills expedition passed through Pooncarie on their journey across Australia from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria. They reached the Darling River near Tarcoola Station to the south of town on Wednesday, 26 September 1860 and the next day made Camp XXX, (their thirtieth camp since leaving Melbourne) at what is now Bilbarka Park. The expedition stayed here until the morning of 11 October 1860 when they headed north to Menindee. In 1863 the town was originally gazetted as "Pooncaira".
The ‘Port of Pooncarie’ was a vital link with the outside world for the district’s grazing properties, its wharf facilities having the unique advantage of being unaffected by flooding.

Built on a series of sand hills, Pooncarie had a natural two-tier wharf, accommodating steamers when the Darling River was high or low.
Pooncarie is approximately 40 kilometres east of, and the closest centre to the burgeoning BEMAX Resources Ginkgo Mineral Sands mine on Malara Station. The mine commenced partial operations in December 2005.

Today the village has a postal centre and centrelink office (which is housed in the former Pooncarie police station), a hotel, a golf course, a tennis court, a general store, a cemetery, and a racecourse, where the Pooncarie Cup - held on Labour Day (NSW and SA) - attracts a crowd of over 1,500 enthusiasts.
The Department of Main Roads describes the bridge as being some 100 metres long, 7 metres wide and consisting of one 20 metre long calendar - Hamilton type span with three 15 metre composite steel and concrete approach spans on the eastern side and one similar span on the western side.

The bridge constructed over the Darling river, replaced a punt which began operation on 1941. Continued road improvements around Pooncarie at the time and subsequent additional road traffic between Broken Hill and the Murray towns instigated construction of the bridge. It is the only bridge crossing over the Darling River between Wentworth and Menindee. The bridge prevents the passage of riverboats due to its limiting height

Pooncarie is the closest centre to Mungo National Park which is 88 kilometres away, fuel is available at the store reopened July 2013.

When The Bitumen Reaches Pooncarie - Slim Dusty

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Reply By: boxing kangaroo - Sunday, Dec 11, 2016 at 09:20

Sunday, Dec 11, 2016 at 09:20
Thank you Doug. We went there few years back on our way to Mungo NP. Stayed in the van park along the river for few nights. Good memories.
Cheers GG
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Reply By: Member - Keith P (NSW) - Sunday, Dec 11, 2016 at 12:31

Sunday, Dec 11, 2016 at 12:31
There is no doubt about it hey. If there is a reason to rip the land apart for whatevere will be done "for the good of the country"....and sfuff the country.
A top write up Doug....and Mungo is on our bucket list in the near future.

Cheers Keith
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Reply By: Member - Robyn R4 - Monday, Dec 12, 2016 at 22:02

Monday, Dec 12, 2016 at 22:02
Thank you!
I teach with a former Pooncarie teacher and she loved the challenges of life in remote NSW.
My first school was a few hundred k's country terms, "just down the road".
It's funny-because she was the only teacher I had assumed Pooncarie was just a school for the farm kids and I didn't realise there was a "whole village"!
The students at my local high school used to go over to Mungo National Park but it's still on my own "to do" list
Must chat with her about it further tomorrow!

Very interesting.
Thanks, Doug.

:) Robyn
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