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Araluen, New South Wales facts for kids

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New South Wales
Population 293 (2011 census)
Postcode(s) 2622
Elevation 160 m (525 ft)
LGA(s) Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council
State electorate(s) Monaro
Federal Division(s) Eden-Monaro

Araluen (35°39′S 149°49′E / 35.650°S 149.817°E / -35.650; 149.817) is a small town near Braidwood in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia, in Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council. It lies in the valley of Araluen Creek, that joins the Deua River at roughly the midpoint in its course. On Census night 2011, Araluen had a population of 293 people.

The name 'Araluen' meant 'water lily' or 'place of the water lilies' in the local aboriginal language. At the time of European settlement Araluen was described as a broad alluvial valley with many natural billabongs covered with water lilies. Unfortunately, no such billabongs exist in the Araluen valley today. As with most river and creek valleys in south-eastern Australia, the natural landscape of Araluen Creek and its valley were destroyed by rampant and extremely destructive gold mining during the 'gold rush' in the latter half of the 19th century. The town experienced a decline after a flash flood in 1860 virtually destroyed the town, killing 24 people.

A second flash flood came in March, 2012 killing one person.

Araluen experienced a great population increase during the gold rush. Two rare plants growing in the area are the Araluen Gum and the Araluen Zieria.

Account of valley/lagoon destruction

On approaching Araluen affairs assume a more serious air. The change commences where the Sideling Gold Mining Company has erected its great waterwheel, and is at work reefing and ground sluicing. This is at a distance of seven miles from Araluen. The company consists of eight proprietors, who are sanguine. The particulars promised respecting this claim have not yet reached me. From this claim the indications of mining increase. The timber is more interfered with, races intersected the country everywhere, and patches of upturned country impart an air of desolation inseparable from mining industry. The Araluen Creek winds through an extensive valley 1200 feet above the sea level, and surrounded by ranges of mountains about two miles apart. The ranges attain an altitude of 1000 feet, are precipitous, and sparsely wooded to the summit. In this enclosure the shallow stream which now winds about, once swelled into a lagoon [i.e. the lagoon once covered in water lilies], and over the whole of the rocky bed formed a deposit which is now the object of search. This layer of "wash-dirt", which varies from four to thirty feet in depth, contains the gold. Near the creek it is easily reached, but away back it is covered with the tailings and debris of former diggers, that has to be removed. Further from the creek, therefore, the more stripping there is to deal with—16, 18, and 20 feet.

FROM MORUYA TO ARALUEN. [FROM AN OCCASIONAL TRAVELLER.] ARALUEN, NOVEMBER 20. The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, Saturday 28 November 1874, Page 683.

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