From its elevated position atop the Great Dividing Range, the historic town of Crookwell governs green rolling hills and features pretty tree-lined streets, beautiful gardens and plenty of streams for trout fishing. Explore architectural remnants of early-settler life in buildings dating back to the mid-19th century and visit the Wind Farm observation bay to see Crookwell’s contribution to the 21st century.
Crookwell is a picturesque country town situated amid farmland on the Southern Tablelands. From its elevated position atop the Great Dividing Range, Crookwell governs green rolling hills and features pretty tree-lined streets, beautiful gardens and plenty of streams for trout fishing.
As you meander the streets of this historic Country NSW town, with its goldmining and bushranging history, you will find architectural remnants of early-settler life still in existence in the the buildings dating back to the mid-19th century.
Indulge in specialty shopping, experience a working alpaca farm, travel to the picturesque Grabine Lakeside State Park or explore Gunning and Taralga.
The first grid-connected wind farm in Australia, capable of supplying electricity to 3500 homes, was opened at Crookwell in 1998.
The poet Dame Mary Gilmore was born at Roslyn, 16 km south-east of Crookwell, in 1865. The settlement was, at that time, known as Cotta Walla. Her father, a property manager and building contractor, is said, by his daughter, to have translated the legends and songs of the Wiradjuri people into Gaelic and English.
Two of the world’s longest cattle treks departed from Crookwell in the 19th century and the first branch of the CWA (Country Women’s Association) was formed here in 1922. The Crookwell Show is held in February, the Crookwell Country Weekend in autumn and the Crookwell Open Gardens Scheme in spring and autumn.
By 1828 settlers were in the district and the Crookwell River had been named (it is thought to be a corruption of Crookhall, the family home of early English settler William Stephenson).
A number of bushrangers were active in the area from the 1830s to the 1860s, notably Ben Hall’s gang.
Crookwell, originally known as ‘Kiama’, was surveyed in 1860 and renamed after the river. The Royal Hotel was built in 1862 and the first school opened in 1864, by which time the population was 130.
By 1878 there were also at least two hotels, a bank, a tannery, a police station, a cordial factory, a flour mill, saddlery, blacksmith’s, butcher and five stores. The first town show took place in 1879 and the telegraph was connected in 1881.
Oats and wheat declined in the 1890s but sheep and dairy cattle became important. A butter factory was built at Crookwell in 1890. The railway arrived in 1901. The local shire was established in 1906.
Two of the world’s longest cattle treks departed from Crookwell in the 19th century and the first branch of the CWA (Country Women’s Association) was formed here in 1922.