Wallarobba Crossing

These history notes are contributed to Valley Ventures by one of our members, Max Farley.

There are little bits of history all around us. The more of these one recognises, the more interest the Valley offers.

Have you noticed a 20 metre uncut strip of land on the northern side of Yarramalong Road stretching down to the River? It is opposite 184 Yarramalong Road.

Local poet Bruce Walker had this to say in his Wallarobba:

There’s a little grassy laneway runs off the road to Wyong Creek,
It’s the haven of green coolness on a hot day that we seek,
Made there by the Bullockys a hundred years ago,
A watering place for bullocks as they travelled to and fro.

Bullock Team at Yarramalong [photo source Gary Gavenlock]

Bullock Team at Yarramalong [Photo source: Gary Gavenlock]

Bruce Walker explained that three bullock teamsters bought the lane over 100 years ago to have access to water for their teams. Eventually it was given to Wyong Council and in 1990 Council decided to sell it. Locals objected. As a result it remains part of the Valley’s heritage.

The laneway led to a crossing place over Wyong River used by Aborigines for centuries. It is understood the area’s first grantee, William Cape, used it take his stock into Dooralong Valley. It was known as Wallarobba Crossing.

Rev. Alfred Glennie, the Church of England rector for Brisbane Water (1851–1863), mentioned it in his diary notes of 28 September 1859.

Why Wallarobba or “Wallarabba” as Rev Glennie had it? There is a Wallarobba in the Dungog Shire and there may be reason to link the two. But that is for discussion at another time.

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SOURCES: Max Farley; Wyong Museum & Historical Society Archives; Historic Wyong Shire DVD by Gary Gavenlock.

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