Bowral facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsBowral
New South Wales
Aerial view of Bowral
|Population||12,949 (2016 census)|
|Elevation||690 m (2,264 ft)|
Bowral is the largest town in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, about ninety minutes southwest of Sydney. It is the main business and entertainment precinct of the Wingecarribee Shire and Highlands. At the 2016 census, the population of the Bowral area was 12,949.
In the past, Bowral served as a rural summer retreat for the gentry of Sydney, resulting in the establishment of a number of estates and manor houses in the district. Today, it is considered a "dormitory suburb" for commuter Sydneysiders, though it is 132 km away from the city centre. Bowral is often associated with the cricketer Sir Donald Bradman.
Bowral is close to several other historic towns, being 5 kilometres (3 mi) from Mittagong, 9 kilometres (6 mi) from both Moss Vale and Berrima. The suburb of East Bowral and the village of Burradoo are nearby.
Bowral's history extends back for approximately 200 years. During the pre-colonial era, the land was home to an Aboriginal tribe known as Tharawal. This was not a permanent setting for the Indigenous people, as the climate of the region was considered too cool. The name Bowral is believed to be derived from the Aboriginal word "Bowrel" which loosely translates into the word "high". Ex-convict John Wilson, whose search party was commissioned by Governor Hunter to explore south of the new colony of Sydney. Other people to traverse the area include John Warby and botanist George Caley (an associate of Joseph Banks), the Hume brothers and later famous pioneer explorers John Oxley and Charles Throsby. Governor Lachlan Macquarie of the New South Wales colony had appointed 2,400 acres (9.7 km2) to John Oxley in a land grant, which was later incorporated as Bowral.
The town grew rapidly between the 1860s and the 1890s, mainly due to the building of the railway line from Sydney to Melbourne. In 1863, a permanent stone building was built for the church. However, the building would be replaced by the first Anglican church of St Simon and St Jude. The church and chapel had been designed by Edmund Blacket and was built on the glebe in 1874. The churches would once again be subject to rebuilding in 1887 because the churches had been deemed too small for the growing town. Today, only Blackett's belltower remains on the current Church of St. Simon and St. Jude.
Gardens and European plants flourished from 1887, when citizens of Bowral started planting European and English deciduous trees to make the area look more British. This legacy still lives on throughout Bowral. Notably, the oaks at the start of Bong Bong St are a characteristic that makes Bowral distinct from other rural towns, giving it strong autumn colour. The town became somewhat affluent, as many wealthy Sydney-siders purchased property or land in the town and built grand Victorian weatherboard homes, giving it a distinctly New England (USA) feel.
Bowral and the former spelling Bowrall. may have been derived from an Aboriginal word meaning "high and large".
74.7% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 7.0% and New Zealand 1.6% and 88.4% of people spoke only English at home. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 0.9% of Bowral's population. The most common responses for religion in Bowral were Anglican 26.2%, No Religion 24.2% and Catholic 22.7%.
In the 21st century, Bowral has become a haven for retirees and empty nesters, commonly from Sydney: 13.3% of Bowral's population is aged 55–64 years (compared with the national average of 11.8%) and 35.5% is aged over 64 years (compared with the national average of 15.8%). Consequently, the town has a number of retirement villages, some located only minutes' walk from the central business district and hospitals. Also, as measured during the 2016 census, 38.7% of the town's population are under the age of 45, whereas for the nation the figure is 59.4%.
Bowral is about 5 kilometres (3 mi) from the Hume Highway, which goes north to Sydney and south to Canberra, the Snowy Mountains and Melbourne. In the past, Bowral served as an overnight stop-over for travellers.
It has public bus routes to Nowra, Albion Park and Wollongong. A private operator provides a service six days a week from Bowral to Greater Sydney (Campbelltown, Liverpool and Parramatta) and to the Shoalhaven and south coast of New South Wales.
Bowral has an oceanic climate (Cfb), enjoying warm summers and quite cool to cold winters. Frost is common during winter although temperatures rarely fall below −5 degrees Celsius. Snow falls occasionally, although falls in excess of 15 cm have been recorded. Historic maxima and minima have ranged from 40.0 °C (104.0 °F) on 30 January 2003 to −11.2 °C (11.8 °F) on 11 July 1971.
|Climate data for Bowral|
|Record high °C (°F)||40.0
|Average high °C (°F)||25.5
|Average low °C (°F)||13.4
|Record low °C (°F)||2.1
|Precipitation mm (inches)||81.9
|Avg. precipitation days||13.5||13.4||13.4||11.1||11.2||11.3||10.0||9.4||10.2||11.8||13.6||12.5||141.4|
Bowral is the setting for Tulip Time at the famed Corbett Gardens, a springtime celebration with a profusion of tulips and other flowers planted in the town centre. Held each year in September and October, Tulip Time has become one of Australia's leading floral festivals, alongside which gardening enthusiasts may view some of the nation's most beautiful formal gardens. A comprehensive private not-for-profit botanic garden is being established to include a mix of exotic, native, and endemic species including a shale woodland, the endangered ecological community endemic to the site.
The town has a Vietnam War Memorial and Cherry Tree Walk, constructed along the Mittagong Rivulet that flows through the town. Along a walking/cycle track beside the stream are planted 526 cherry trees, each dedicated to a soldier who died in the service of his country.
Bowral and surrounding region was proclaimed a Booktown in 2000 having numerous bookshops and associations with many literary figures including P. L. Travers, the author of the Mary Poppins novels, Arthur Upfield, and many others.
The Bong Bong Picnic Races, commenced in 1886, attracted crowds of up to 35,000 but were suspended in 1985 and resumed in 1992 as a members-only event. The event still attracts around 5,000 people and is held annually in November, as well as other events during the year.
Bowral is also home to a few vineyards and cellar doors and is close to Mittagong, the winery centre of the Southern Highlands. There are 60 vineyards in the Southern Highlands, which is a recognised cool-climate wine district. Wineries around Bowral are listed in the Southern Highlands Wineries Index.
- Sir Edmund Barton: First Prime Minister of Australia
- Billy Birmingham: comedian, aka "The 12th Man"
- Sir Donald Bradman: Australian cricketer, the town's welcoming sign features a likeness of him getting ready to hit.
- Ita Buttrose: journalist, businesswoman, and Australian of the year 2013
- Jennifer Byrne: journalist and former book publisher
- Richard Carleton: former 60 Minutes reporter. Born in Bowral
- Bryce Courtenay: South African novelist
- G. F. J. Dart: headmaster of Ballarat Grammar School 1942–1970
- Andrew Denton: television producer, comedian, television presenter and former radio host
- Frank Debenham: Antarctic scientist and geographer
- Roy De Maistre: painter, born Bowral 1894
- Lorrae Desmond: actress (A Country Practice). Born in Mittagong
- John Fahey: former NSW Premier, federal parliamentarian, president of the (sports) World Anti-Doping Agency
- Peter Garrett: former Gillard Government minister and band member of Midnight Oil
- Scott Geddes: rugby league player
- Merv Hicks: Rugby league international
- Nathan Hindmarsh: Parramatta Eels captain NRL
- Geoff Jansz: television chef
- James Kemsley: cartoonist (Ginger Meggs)
- Graham Kennedy: "The King" of Australian television
- Peter Khan: former member of the Universal House of Justice, the supreme governing institution of the Baháʼí Faith.
- Elspeth McLachlan: neuroscientist, born in Bowral
- Geoff Morrell: artist, actor Blue Heelers
- John Olsen (Australian artist)
- Paul Ramsay: businessman and philanthropist
- Craig Reucassel: television satirist, attended Bowral High School
- Leo Sayer: singer-songwriter
- Clement Semmler: author, reviewer and deputy general manager of the ABC
- Tim Storrier: artist, winner of the 2012 Archibald Prize
- P. L. Travers: author of Mary Poppins
- Arthur Upfield: author of the Boney detective novels
- Paul White: "The Jungle Doctor" medical missionary to Tanganyika, author
- Geordie Williamson: Mathematician specialising in representation theory
- Tim the Yowie Man, lived his formative years in Bowral from 1982–1990. Cryptonaturalist, author, tour guide, motivational speaker, tv personality, radio broadcaster.
- Lauren Cheatle: Lives in Bowral. Fast Bowler for Australia women's cricket team, NSW Breakers and Sydney Sixers.
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Bowral Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.