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Narrabri
New South Wales
2005 12 21 1369 Narrabri Post Office.jpg
Post Office
Population 5,890 (2011 census)
Established 1860
Postcode(s) 2390
Elevation 212 m (696 ft)
Location
LGA(s) Narrabri Shire
County Nandewar
State electorate(s) Barwon
Federal Division(s) Parkes
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
26.5 °C
80 °F
11.7 °C
53 °F
661.9 mm
26.1 in

Narrabri /ˈnærəbr/ is a town and seat of Narrabri Shire local government area in the North West Slopes, New South Wales, Australia on the Namoi River, 521 kilometres (324 mi) northwest of Sydney. It sits on the junction of the Kamilaroi Highway and the Newell Highway. At the 2011 census, Narrabri had a population of 5,890.

As a result of the geography of Narrabri and the surrounding areas, Narrabri township is quite prone to flooding and fire.

It is the centre of a major cotton-growing industry. Other agricultural industries in the area include wheat, beef and lamb. Nearby attractions are Mount Kaputar National Park, the Australia Telescope Compact Array at the Paul Wild Observatory (administered by the CSIRO) and a number of agricultural centres. Just to the south of town is the Pilliga Forest, the largest remnant temperate forest in Eastern Australia. This will be where the Narrabri Coal Seam Gas Project is going to be located and west along from Narrabri to Yarrie Lake, which will be surrounded by 450 gas well pads with 850 gas wells over the next 20 years if the project goes ahead. Narrabri also has The Crossing Theatre, a 1,000-seat auditorium and cinema complex.

History

Before the arrival of the Europeans in the early 19th century, Narrabri was the home of the Kamilaroi people, who still constitute a significant part of the local population. Narrabri derives its name from an early property in the district called the Narrabry Run. The name Narrabri is aboriginal in origin and has several possible meanings which include 'snake place', 'big creek' or 'Forked Sticks'.

In 1860, Narrabri was proclaimed a town and a year later, on 1 June 1861, Narrabri Post Office opened. Other buildings followed, with the hospital and the first courthouse (1864–65), the school (1868), the police station (1878–79) and post office (1879). During the 1880s the gaol and the second courthouse were built.

Climate

Climate data for Narrabri West Post Office
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 49.8
(121.6)
47.6
(117.7)
40.6
(105.1)
37.9
(100.2)
31.3
(88.3)
26.9
(80.4)
26.7
(80.1)
32.1
(89.8)
36.6
(97.9)
40.7
(105.3)
43.0
(109.4)
43.3
(109.9)
48.9
(120)
Average high °C (°F) 33.8
(92.8)
33.2
(91.8)
31.2
(88.2)
27.3
(81.1)
22.5
(72.5)
18.7
(65.7)
18.0
(64.4)
19.8
(67.6)
23.4
(74.1)
27.1
(80.8)
30.1
(86.2)
33.0
(91.4)
26.5
(79.7)
Average low °C (°F) 19.3
(66.7)
19.1
(66.4)
16.4
(61.5)
11.9
(53.4)
8.3
(46.9)
5.2
(41.4)
3.7
(38.7)
4.6
(40.3)
7.6
(45.7)
11.7
(53.1)
14.8
(58.6)
17.7
(63.9)
11.7
(53.1)
Record low °C (°F) 10.6
(51.1)
7.8
(46)
5.6
(42.1)
0.7
(33.3)
-2.2
(28)
-5.6
(21.9)
-4.4
(24.1)
-3.9
(25)
-1.7
(28.9)
-0.6
(30.9)
3.9
(39)
6.0
(42.8)
-5.6
(21.9)
Rainfall mm (inches) 84.2
(3.315)
63.6
(2.504)
57.0
(2.244)
39.1
(1.539)
48.0
(1.89)
48.1
(1.894)
46.8
(1.843)
40.7
(1.602)
42.1
(1.657)
52.5
(2.067)
61.2
(2.409)
77.8
(3.063)
661.9
(26.059)
Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Over the years, Narrabri has had a number of weather stations run by the Bureau of Meteorology or other government agencies. Narrabri West Post Office made rainfall observations from the late 1800s. From June 1960 until August 2002, it observed and reported other weather elements such as temperature and wind speed. Since then it only reports rainfall. The current weather station for Narrabri is Narrabri Airport Automatic Weather Station (AWS), which began observations in 2001.

Significant weather events

On 4 January 1902 a severe thunderstorm, with large hail and destructive winds, struck the town, with many buildings either damaged or destroyed. The storm, which lasted only five minutes, was described as a 'cyclone'. One man died after being struck by lightning and another two people were injured by the storm. Damage caused by the storm was estimated to be around £3,000.

Transport

Regional airline Fly Corporate operates a regular scheduled air service to and from Brisbane. The town is also served by charter flights. It is almost equidistant from Brisbane and Sydney.

Railway station

Narrabri railway station is on the Mungindi line, 569 kilometres (354 mi) from Sydney. The station opened in 1897 and is served by a single daily Xplorer diesel railmotor between Sydney and Moree.

Narrabri is an important centre for rail freight, with considerable infrastructure improvements since the mid-1990s.

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