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Located on the far south coast of New South Wales, the town of Eden was originally inhabited by the people of the Yuin nation.
During one of his many expeditions south to Van Diemen's Land, George Bass would note Twofold Bay and name Snug Cove due to deep water allowing the safe docking of ships in 1798. Yet it would be Australia's whaling station established by John Raine in 1818 which was followed by the Imlay Brothers in 1834 which proved the impetus for the formation of a town.
With the surrounding farming districts in need of a reliable means of transport for their sheep and cattle, Eden was established as a trading port town in 1842, named by New South Wales Governor Richard Bourke in honour of George Eden, the British Secretary for the Colonies at the time. The neighbouring town of Boydtown, named after Scottish entrepreneur and local landowner Benjamin Boyd, was proposed as the primary service centre for the surrounding districts, yet the gold rush saw Eden take this role away from Boydtown. Miners arriving at Eden port would stock with supplies before heading up the mountains towards the gold rush towns such as Kiandra. This saw Eden become a bustling city for a short period before gold reserves dried up and Eden was restored to a quiet whaling village once more.
Eden's whalers are perhaps best known for the unusual yet mutually beneficial relationship they had with a local pod of killer whales which were led by a whale they would name Tom. During the 1920s, these killer whales would hunt whales off the coast and herd them into the shallow waters of Twofold Bay where they were met by waiting whaling ships; the whaleres would keep the blubber and give the excess meat back to the killer whales to reward their efforts. Although whaling ships ceased operation in the 1930s, whales continue their journey along the coast near Eden every year, and today whale watching has proven a popular tourist attraction for the town.
Despite whaling no longer contributing to the town's economy, the town’s commercial fishing and timber getting industries survived. An export chip mill continues to operate out of Twofold Bay today, as do a fleet of fishing trawlers with Eden renowned for its excellent deep sea fish, yet is perhaps tourism which has proved the most lucrative for the local economy in recent years.