Ariah Park



The Broken Dam Settlement

Ariah Park had its beginnings as a result of the settlement at the Narrandera, Wagga and Cootamundra Road junction on the Mirrool Creek, a spot known as Broken Dam. William Sanderson built the Beehive Hotel there in 1863 and a few years later a store was built by Jimmy Fong.

The Mirrool Creek rises in the low gravel ridge to the west of Temora. It takes its name from the Wiradjuri word ‘Merool’ which means ‘coloured clay’. The ‘Merool County’ comprises all of the vast area of land drained by the creek as its waters make their way westward towards the Lachlan River.

The first ‘sheep run’ was taken up on the ‘Merool’ in 1850 and it was aptly named ‘Ariah’ another Wiradjuri word that means “Hot and dry”.

The first bridge across Mirrool Creek at Broken Dam was built by Thomas Sanderson in the 1870’s.


Ariah Park is born

Railway access was needed to make wheat growing viable and after the railway was extended from Cootamundra to Temora in the early 1890’s, a push began to extend it further west, beyond Barellan. Finally the township of Ariah Park was surveyed as the railway seemed to be coming in that direction.

The line opened in November 1906 and triggered an explosion of rural development.

The village of Ariah Park was proclaimed on 13th November, 1907.

In the year 1914, a fire broke out on the western side of the main street, destroying a number of shops as well as the new Bank of New South Wales.

On 27 September 1916 Ariah Park took a special place in the development of the Australian Grain Industry when, for the first time anywhere in rural Australia, a shipment of wheat was loaded in bulk for rail transport to the seaboard.


Historic walks and trails Take a self-guided tour of the village following the free 30 page booklet which gives visitors the history and stories of buildings within the village and includes the story of the original settlement at Broken Dam and its people.

From the Broken Dam Rest Area Explore the historic trail along the Mirrool Creek and the site of early settlement. Interpretive signs mark a number of historic sites. The walk is 1.3 kms through natural bushland, home to native flora and fauna. The booklet,  Map and guide to historic sites is available from Second Glance