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New South Wales
Culcairn Balfour Street 001.JPG
Balfour St, the main street of Culcairn
Population 1,120 (2006 census)
Postcode(s) 2660
LGA(s) Greater Hume Shire Council
County Hume
State electorate(s) Albury
Federal Division(s) Farrer

Culcairn is a town in the south-east Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia. Culcairn is located in the Greater Hume Shire Council local government area on the Olympic Highway between Albury and Wagga Wagga. The town is 514 kilometres (319 mi) south-west of the state capital, Sydney and at the 2006 census had a population of 1,120.

The town is an important supply centre for nearby towns and villages including, Morven, Gerogery, Henty, Walla Walla and Pleasant Hills. Billabong Creek runs along the southern edge of town, lending its name to the local high school.


Culcairn courthouse
Police station and former courthouse, Balfour St, Culcairn

European settlement of Culcairn began in 1834, following favourable reports on grazing potential and grass cover by the explorers Hume and Hovell when travelling overland to the Port Phillip district in 1824. A number of stations were gazetted and between 1862 and 1865 the district was terrorised by the bushranger, Dan "Mad Dog" Morgan. The reward for Morgan would reach £1,000. He was ambushed and killed in Victoria after his final holdup in 1865.

The town itself was laid out in 1880 by James Balfour, a local landowner, who named it after a property in the parish of Kiltearn, his mother's birthplace. Culcairn Post Office opened on 1 September 1880.

Early industries included chaff mills, a cereal grain company and a quarry. The extension of the Main Southern railway line to Albury to meet the broad gauge line from Melbourne saw Culcairn prosper. The Culcairn Hotel, constructed in 1891, was the largest on the line between Melbourne and Sydney.

Notable residents

  • Triple Olympic equestrian Gold medallist Andrew Hoy was born and raised in Culcairn.


Culcairn Railway Station Sign

Culcairn sits on the main railway line between Sydney and Melbourne and is serviced by the NSW TrainLink XPT service which runs twice daily and stops at the local railway station. The station was once the junction for the Corowa and Holbrook branch lines.

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