New South Wales
The city of Albury as seen from Monument Hill
|Elevation:||165.0 m (541 ft)|
• Summer (DST)
|LGA:||City of Albury|
Albury // is a major regional city in New South Wales, Australia, located on the Hume Highway on the northern side of the Murray River. It is the seat of local government for the council area which also bears the city's name the City of Albury.
Albury has an urban population of 51,082 and is separated from its twin city in Victoria, Wodonga by the Murray River Together, the two cities form an urban area with an estimated population of 89,213.< It is 554 kilometres (344 mi) from the state capital Sydney and 326 kilometres (203 mi) from the Victorian capital Melbourne.
Said to be named after a village in England, Albury developed as a major transport link between New South Wales and Victoria and was proclaimed a city in 1946.
The explorers Hume and Hovell arrived at what their maps called 'Crossing Point', but is now known as the Murray River at Albury, on 16 November 1824. They named the river the Hume River, after Hume's father, and the next day inscribed a tree by the river bank before continuing their journey south to Westernport in Victoria. In 1830, explorer Captain Charles Sturt discovered the Hume River downstream at its junction with the Murrumbidgee River. Not realising it was the same river, he named it the Murray River. Both names persisted for some time, Hume falling into disuse eventually in favour of Murray. The aboriginal name for the river was Millewa. A crossing place for the Murray became popular close to where Hovell inscribed the tree. In summer it was usually possible to cross the river by foot.
Among the first squatters to follow in the steps of the explorers and settle in the district were William Wyse and Charles Ebden.
The first European buildings erected at the crossing place were a provisions store and some small huts. A survey for a town was commissioned in 1838 by Assistant Surveyor Thomas Townsend who mapped out Wodonga Place (the present Wodonga Place) as the western boundary, Hume Street as the northern boundary, Kiewa Street to the east and Nurigong to the south, with Townsend Street being the only other north-south road, and Ebden and Hovell Streets being the other two east-west roads. Townsend proposed the settlement be named 'Bungambrewatha', the Aboriginal name for the area, but when his plan was eventually approved and published in the Government Gazette on 13 April 1839 the name had been changed to Albury.
Albury is said to be named after a village in Kent, England which it apparently resembled.
By 1847 the Albury settlement included two public houses and a handful of huts, a police barracks and a blacksmiths. A log punt established in 1844 serviced the crossing of the Murray River. Albury Post Office opened on 1 April 1843, closed in 1845, then reopened in the township on 1 February 1847.
In 1851, with the separation of Victoria from New South Wales, and the border falling on the Murray River, Albury found itself a frontier town. With an increase in commerce with Melbourne, the first bridge was built in 1860 to the design of surveyor William Snell Chauncy. Albury at this time became a Customs Post between the two colonies as New South Wales held a protectionist stance after gaining its constitution in 1856.
Albury was at this time starting to grow substantially with German speaking immigrants using the area to grow grapes for wine. By the 1870s a butter factory was established, a flour mill, wineries and locally brewed cider and soft drinks were available.
The railway line from Sydney arrived at Albury in 1881 (see Transport-Rail below). A temporary wooden railway bridge joined the line to the Victorian network in 1883. New South Wales and Victoria had different track gauges until 1962, when the first train ran direct from Sydney to Melbourne. The States could not initially agree which should be the transfer point so they had an expensive and attractive iron lattice bridge sent from Scotland which accommodated both gauges. The bridge is still standing astride the Murray and is in daily use.
In 1888, Albury built its first school house. The city's first mayor James Fallon was an innovator of the Public School, funding a demonstration High School to be built on Kiewa Street.
20th century city
The Royal Commission on Sites for the Seat of Government of the Commonwealth report of 1903 recommended Albury (along with Tumut) as the preferred candidate for the national capital, though the proposal met staunch opposition from residents. At a public meeting, just one member of parliament voted in favour of Albury – Isaac Isaacs, member for the Indi. The lack of support for other places ultimately led to the selection of Canberra as the preferred site.
In 1934, a Douglas DC-2 airliner of KLM (the "Uiver"), a competitor in the MacRobertson Air Race (also known as the London to Melbourne Air Race), made an emergency night landing at the town's racecourse after becoming lost during severe thunderstorms. After signalling by Morse code A-L-B-U-R-Y to the lost aircrew by using the entire town's public lighting system, the "Uiver" was guided in to land safely. The makeshift runway at the racecourse was illuminated by the headlights of cars belonging to local residents who had responded to a special news bulletin on ABC Radio 2CO. After refuelling the next day, many local volunteers helped pull the stranded aircraft out of the mud and the aircraft was able to take off and continue to Melbourne where it won first prize in the race's handicap category and became second overall.
Albury and Wodonga played a military role in World War II with the establishment of ordinance bases at Bandiana and Bonegilla. Proclaimed a city in 1946, Albury and played a role in the post-war immigration to Australia with the establishment nearby of Australia's first migrant centre, the Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre in 1947.
Albury's proximity to Wodonga has spurred several efforts to achieve some kind of municipal governmental union (see Albury-Wodonga). In 1973, Albury-Wodonga was selected as the primary focus of the Whitlam federal government's scheme to redirect the uncontrolled growth of Australia's large coastal cities (Sydney and Melbourne in particular) by encouraging decentralisation. Grand plans were made to turn Albury-Wodonga into a major inland city and large areas of the surrounding farmland was compulsorily purchased by the government. Some industries were enticed to move there, and a certain amount of population movement resulted. However, the current urban population is approximately 88,949.
Albury has a large number of heritage buildings. The following are listed on the Register of the National Estate.
- Public School, designed by W. E. Kemp, c. 1881
- Soden's Hotel Australia, c. 1855
- Court House, designed by Alexander Dawson, c. 1860
- Post Office, circa 1875
- Town Hall, circa 1907
- Burrows House, circa 1860
- Technical College (formerly Telegraph Office), circa 1885
- CML Building, circa 1930
- ANZ Bank, designed by Walter Butler, circa 1915
- T&G Building, circa 1935
- Turk's Head Museum (formerly Turk's Head Hotel), circa 1860–70
- Bellevue Home, circa 1860
- Headmaster's Cottage, Kiewa Street
- Railway Station, circa 1881
- Railway Stationmaster's Residence, circa 1881
- S M Abichair Haberdashery Store, circa 1917
- Albury Public School, circa 1861
Albury is situated above the river flats of the Murray River, in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. At the airport, Albury is 164 metres (538 ft) above sea level.
In summer, the mean daily maximum temperature is 30 °C (86 °F) with low humidity; however, this is subject to substantial daily variation. An average of 17 days with a maximum above 35 °C (95 °F) occur in this summer period. Mean winter maximums are 14 °C (57 °F) with many crisp, sunny days. Frosts are commonplace in winter, with approximately 20 days per year featuring minimums of below freezing.
Albury's mean annual rainfall is 701.3 millimetres (27.61 in), which is more than Melbourne but less than Sydney. Rain can occur all year round, but most of it falls in the winter months with July's high mean of 82.3 mm (3.24 in) comparing with the March low of 37.9 mm (1.49 in). Albury has quite a high evaporation rate, giving the environment a more arid look compared to drier cities like Melbourne, with the city enjoying a high amount of sunshine annually. Albury gets around 108 days of clear skies annually.
|Climate data for Albury Airport|
|Record high °C (°F)||44.6
|Average high °C (°F)||31.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||23.3
|Average low °C (°F)||15.5
|Record low °C (°F)||5.8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||50.1
|Avg. rainy days||6.3||5.7||5.7||6.5||9.8||13.5||15.7||14.9||11.6||9.4||8.3||7.2||114.6|
City and suburbs
- See also: Category:Suburbs of Albury, New South Wales
The city comprises a number of suburbs.
Central Albury comprises the central business district (CBD) and lies between the railway line, the Murray River and Monument Hill. Much commercial activity is concentrated here, with Dean Street forming the axis of the main shopping and office district. A cultural precinct is centred on QE2 Square, including the Albury Library Museum, Albury Regional Art Gallery, Albury Performing Arts Centre and Convention Centre, and the Murray Conservatorium. In the same block are the Post Office, Police Station and Courthouse, and St Matthew's Anglican Church (which was rebuilt after being destroyed by fire in 1990). The Albury City Council offices are located on Kiewa Street.
Forrest Hill lies directly north west and covers the saddle between Monument Hill and Nail Can Hill. West over the ridge lies West Albury. West Albury is primarily a residential area, but it is home to the First World War Memorial (locally known as the Monument), Riverwood Retirement Village, Albury Wodonga Private Hospital (which lies on the corner of Pemberton Street and the Riverina Highway), and the Albury sewage treatment plant. All of West Albury was once wetland and bush. The only remnant of this is Horseshoe Lagoon to the south-west of the suburb, which has been declared a Wildlife Refuge by NSW Parks & Wildlife and incorporated into the Wonga Wetlands. To the north-west of West Albury is Pemberton Park.
East Albury lies east of the railway line/freeway from the CBD and houses now cover the eastern hill alongside the Albury Base Hospital, while the flat land directly north of it is covered by parkland, housing and light industry, and a retail park including Harvey Norman and Spotlight franchises, as well as the city airport. The Mungabareena Reserve lies on the Murray south of the airport, and is considered an Aboriginal cultural site of some significance. Mungabareena means "place of plenty talk" in the Wiradjuri language.
South Albury is a mix of residential and industrial areas, with the floodplains south of the railway line and freeway still used for farming and grazing. Flood mitigation works in the 1990s have dramatically reduced the risk of flooding in this area.
North Albury was once covered by orchards and vineyards in the first half of the 20th century, as was a swamp where the James Fallon High School now stands; after the Second World War housing development in the area increased and Waugh Road was extended from David Street to the "Five Ways" intersection at Union Road, which ascribes the border between North Albury and Lavington. The locality of Glenroy is adjacent to North Albury, west of the Bungambrawartha Creek, and housing was developed here in the 1970s, including a significant Housing Commission public housing estate.
Lavington is the largest suburb of Albury, and the only suburb which has its own postcode (2641, as opposed to 2640 for the balance of Albury). The suburb was originally named Black Range in the 1850s and 1860s, before being renamed Lavington in 1910. Originally within the boundaries of Hume Shire, it was absorbed into the City of Albury Local Government Area in the 1950s. Housing and commercial development has continued from that point until this day. Prior to 2007, the Hume Highway – passed north-east through the suburb, with Urana Road passing north-west though the suburb from the "Five Ways" road junction. In 2007, an internal bypass of the Hume Freeway was opened, with the former name of the Hume Highway section officially reverting to the commonly used "Wagga Road". The suburb of Lavington also includes the localities of Springdale Heights, Hamilton Valley and Norris Park. Albury's lawn cemetery and crematorium lies at the western end of Union Road.
Thurgoona, to the east of Lavington, was established as a new residential suburb by the Albury Wodonga Development Corporation in the 1970s. In the 1990s a new campus of the Charles Sturt University was established here, as was an office of the Murray Darling Freshwater Research Centre. A major golf club (Thurgoona Country Club Resort) is also situated in this suburb.
Further outlying localities include Splitters Creek – a small residential/farming community to the west, Ettamogah (home of the Ettamogah Pub), Bowna and Table Top to the north, and Wirlinga and Lake Hume village to the east. Howlong (20 km west) and Jindera (16 km north) are the closest towns outside the Albury city area, and act as commuter dormitories as well as service centres for the local rural industries.
Albury's houses and buildings are numbered using a special system introduced in 1920. The centre of the city, which is defined as the intersection of Dean and Olive Streets, is numbered 500, and all other houses are numbered depending on whether they are north, south, east or west of the centre.
Lake Hume is situated on the Murray River 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) upstream of Albury. The Hume Dam (colloquially termed the Weir locally) wall construction took 17 years, from 1919 to 1936. A hydro-electric power plant supplies 60 megawatts (80,000 hp) of power to the state grid. When full, the lake covers 80 square kilometres (31 sq mi).
The lake was created for irrigation purposes and has caused significant changes to the flow patterns and ecology of the Murray River. Before the construction of the Hume Weir, flows in normal (non-drought) years were low in summer and autumn (though still significant overall), rising in winter due to seasonal rainfall and reaching a flood-peak in late spring due to snow-melt in the Murray and its tributaries' alpine headwaters. The flow is now effectively reversed, with low flows in winter and sustained, relatively high flows in late spring, summer and early autumn to meet irrigation demands, although the spring flood peak has been virtually eliminated. The water released from the base of the Hume Weir is unnaturally cold. This flow reversal, temperature depression, and removal of the spring flood peak, has led to the drying out and loss of many billabongs and has harmed the populations of native fish of the Murray River such as the iconic Murray Cod. The Hume Dam recently was extended by State Water.
Situated on the old Hume Highway, Albury is a major transit point for interstate commerce. From March 2007, Albury was bypassed by the new Hume Freeway. The new freeway includes the new Spirit of Progress Bridge over the Murray River and cost $518 million, the most expensive road project ever built in regional Australia at that time.
The other minor highways which connect to Albury are the Riverina Highway, which continues west through Berrigan to Deniliquin and east to Lake Hume; and the Olympic Highway (renamed from the Olympic Way) which diverges left from the Hume 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) north of Albury, into the centre of NSW, passing through Wagga Wagga and terminating with the Mid-Western Highway at Cowra.
In 1888, the Smollett Street wrought iron arch bridge was constructed over Bungambrawatha Creek. Smollet Street was extended westward through the botanical gardens to give direct access from the Albury Railway Station to Howlong Road by a straight street. The bridge is near the botanic gardens and the local swimming pool. The bridge is a rare example of a metal arch bridge in New South Wales, and is the oldest of only two such bridges in New South Wales, the other being the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Albury railway station is on the main Sydney-Melbourne railway line. Originally, New South Wales and Victoria had different track gauges, which meant that all travellers in either direction had to change trains at Albury. To accommodate this, a very long railway platform was needed; the 450-metre (1,480 ft) long covered platform is one of the longest in Australia. The broad gauge section of track between Seymour and Albury has now been converted to standard gauge; there is no longer a break-of-gauge at Albury station. The station is served by a three daily V/Line train services from Melbourne (terminating at Albury) and the NSW TrainLink Melbourne-Sydney XPT service, which runs twice daily in each direction.
In 1873, the 5-foot-3-inch (1.60 m) broad gauge railway line from Melbourne reached the township of Belvoir/Wodonga. In 1881, the New South Wales 4-foot-8.5-inch (1.435 m) standard gauge railway line reached Albury, with a railway bridge joining the two colonies in 1883. Albury became the stop over, where passengers on the Melbourne-Sydney journey changed trains until 1962, when a standard gauge track was opened between the two capitals. After World War II, in an attempt to overcome the difference in gauges and speed up traffic, a bogie exchange device lifted freight wagons and carriages allowing workers to refit rolling stock with different gauged wheel-sets.
The break of railway gauge at Albury was a major impediment to Australia's war effort and infrastructure during both World Wars, as every soldier, every item of equipment, and all supplies had to be off-loaded from the broad gauge and reloaded onto a standard gauge railway wagon on the opposite side of the platform. In his book Tramps Abroad, writer Mark Twain spoke of the break of gauge at Albury and changing trains: "Now comes a singular thing, the oddest thing, the strangest thing, the unaccountable marvel that Australia can show, namely the break of gauge at Albury. Think of the paralysis of intellect that gave that idea birth" (cited by Fischer below).
The conversion of the broad gauge track to a second standard gauge track, between Seymour and Albury, was substantially completed in 2011.
Albury Airport, owned and operated by the City of Albury, is the second busiest regional airport in New South Wales with around 280,000 passenger movements per year. The airport, 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) east of the city centre, has scheduled daily flights to Sydney and Melbourne through commercial carriers. The road leading from Albury Airport to the city was renamed Borella Road in 1979, in honour of Victoria Cross recipient Albert Chalmers Borella, who was buried at Albury.
Public transport and cycling
Local public transport is provided exclusively by private bus operators, Martin's Albury and the Dyson Group who run day time bus services. The overwhelming majority of local transport is by private car, however traffic is generally moderate. The opening of the Hume Freeway bypass on 4 March 2007, has greatly eased previous traffic congestion on the Lincoln Causeway, allowing vastly better flow between Albury and Wodonga.
There is a good network of bicycle paths in the city, including one to the outlying suburb of Thurgoona and across the state border to Wodonga. A new program has built many more bike tracks, including one from the riverside parks to Wonga Wetlands.
The Murray River Performing Group (MRPG) is Albury's main theatre company. It spawned The Flying Fruit Fly Circus in 1979, and these days conducts many productions through the Hothouse Theatre located on Gateway Island between Albury and Wodonga, though still in Victoria rather than New South Wales.
Jazz Albury Wodonga also regularly hosts national and international artists at the Jazz Basement which is located on Gateway Island.
Touring productions often pass through the Albury Entertainment Centre.
In 2015 Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) was opened, formerly known as Albury Regional Art Gallery. The Gallery has 10 galleries with double the space. The Canvas Eatery is also attached facing onto QEII Square.
Images for kids
Albury Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.