Wanaaring
Collage of Wanaaring.

The tiny primary school at Wanaaring is over 125 years old and has been operating continually the whole time. The school has a staff of eight, with probably as many students, and they proudly administer the education of these remote rural kids.

The Australian Town and Country Journal of 1887 introduced Wanaaring to the New South Wales community - Wanaaring is situated very nearly due west, 113 miles from Bourke. It is a rising town on the bank of the Paroo, and is a general depot for squatters to get their supplies from. Consequently it depends entirely on the pastoral interest.

By 1891 Wanaaring boasted "two hotels, two store, a saddler's shop, butcher, two blacksmiths, produce store, boarding-house, and one or two other business pieces, together with a number of private residences, some of which are tastefully built cottages."

Two police constables maintained law and order while two staff tied Wanaaring to the world via the telegraph office. Two stock inspectors rounded out the public service and they had their work cut out. Their district covered nearly 11,500,000 acres with grazing stock consisting of 1,250,000 million sheep, 3500 horses, 1000 cattle and 300 pigs.

The town water supply consisted of muddy pools in the Paroo River which were treated with epsom salts to make it fit to drink. Wanaaring was intersected by two main stock routes but when the Paroo, Cuttaburra and Warrego Rivers were up, stock had to be diverted to Silverton or even Adelaide in South Australia.

Once Wanaaring sorted out the water shortage by sinking a bore it became a wool scouring centre.

Never a bustling metropolis today Wanaaring consists of a couple of streets and a handful of houses. The 'Bourke - Hawker Gate South' road acts as the main street and is essentially just a loop from the town of Bourke which nearly doubles back on itself, to Nyngan. The town is promoted as the first stop on the outback 'Country Corner' tourist route of New South Wales with the 'Outback Inn' being the hub of the town.


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