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New South Wales


Community, Business and Visitor City Information

Shoalhaven Local History

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The Shoalhaven City Council, located on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia, was created on the 1st of July 1948, and covers an area of 4,660 square kilometers, and is home to over 102,000 people. The city is situated on the Shoalhaven River, which as part of the Jervis Bay Territory, empties into the Tasman Sea, making the area home to numerous pristine beaches. The city has a long history that dates back to well before the arrival of European settlers, with the area first inhabited by the Yuin people for more than 20,000 years. The Yuin people were known for their art, which was characterized by intricate designs and bold colors. They were made using many different materials such as grass, feathers, leaves, and bark. The first European to discover the area was Captain James Cook, who arrived in 1770. However, it wasn't until 1802 when the British explorer Matthew Flinders entered Jervis Bay that the area was properly explored and named. The name Shoalhaven is believed to have been derived from the Aboriginal word "jervis," which means "a place where fish are caught using nets." During the mid-1800s, the area was primarily used for timber and farming. It was also known for its shipbuilding industry, with many coastal vessels being constructed here. The town of Nowra, which is now the largest town in the region, was established in 1852 and named after a local Aboriginal word meaning "black cockatoo." In 1861, gold was discovered in the nearby town of Araluen, which saw a massive influx of new settlers to the area. During this time, the Shoalhaven region began to flourish and grow, with many new towns and villages being established, including Berry, Milton, and Kiama. In the early 1900s, the area saw the construction of the first hydroelectric power plant, which was established on the Shoalhaven River. This helped to bring electricity to the area, which fueled the growth of the region's manufacturing and agriculture industries. During the Second World War, the Shoalhaven region played a vital role in the Allied war effort. Several military bases were established in the area, including the HMAS Albatross and the RAAF Base Nowra, which remain active today. In recent years, the Shoalhaven City Council has worked hard to promote the area's cultural heritage and tourism industry. The city is now home to a range of museums, galleries, and cultural centers, which showcase the area's rich history and art. It also has a thriving wine industry, with several vineyards and wineries in the region, which produce award-winning wines. Overall, the Shoalhaven region has a long and fascinating history, which is still very much alive today. Its stunning natural beauty and vibrant cultural scene make it a popular destination for both visitors and locals alike. Whether you are interested in history, art, or just looking for a beautiful place to relax and unwind, the Shoalhaven region is definitely worth a visit.

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