It is said about the Walgett grey clay soil that “if you stick to it in the dry, it’ll stick to you in the wet”.
Nothing is truer at the moment. Walgett is the epicentre of this current drought. But our community remains strong and focused on the future. Resilience and working together, while being proud and friendly is in our veins.
Where else in Australia can you go to the Newsagent, have a great coffee with gourmet food in a Secret Garden, then buy fishing gear, a gun, the newspaper, kid’s toys and a birthday card all at the one spot? Where else does a drought-stricken community pull together and raise $200, 000 for a sick toddler? Where else does the Show Society and community put on its biggest and best show EVER after 7 years of drought, when neighbouring shows are being cancelled?
We are the gateway to the only black Opal in the world. The Freedom Rides started here. David Bowie made a music video in one of our pubs! We sit at the joining of the Barwon and Namoi Rivers as they make their way to the Great Australian Bight. We’ve arguably got some of the best fishing in the world, and the most picturesque ski holes in the country. All of this is overlooked by Scar Trees and other Aboriginal artefacts that are hundreds of years old. Did you know that Baiame the Aboriginal creator of God was born here, between Lightning Ridge and the Narran Lake?
Speaking of the lake, did you know when the Narran is dry, they grow wheat, chickpeas and sorghum on it? Or, that grain goes to the Walgett Silos which is the largest silo complex in the Southern Hemisphere?
We’re important too! The Northern International Flight beacon is located here.
We have a diverse community, almost 50% of us are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage. 60% of us are aged under 45! Having such a diverse community means we have access to a wide range of local and visiting medical specialists, helping us to avoid huge distances travelled and waiting times. Our population has dropped from 2300 to 1700 in the last 5 years, but we can guarantee every one of them is proud and pleased to live in Walgett.
Some people say it can’t be done, but it can be done in Walgett. And it will be done. After all, what other town has had to re-build their supermarket twice due to fire in 5 years?
We are proud of our town, but to the wider public Walgett is shadowed by a reputation it gained in the 1980’s. Walgett became a town which was dangerous, boarded up and to be driven through quickly. We want to change this perception. We want to highlight our long and diverse history. If we are able to showcase Walgett and ALL, it has to offer we can encourage people to stop and stay a while. To spend tourist dollars in our town. Tourism will support our economy and is not dependant on the weather. Tourism helps keep our resources both built and natural for future generations.
We want friends, family, visitors and newcomers to join us for Sunday Sippers at the Sporting Club after Barefoot Bowls for years to come!