You are in: Lake CargelligoTo Places
Originally inhabited by the Wiradjuri, Ngyampaa and Barkindji Aboriginal people, the land surrounding Lake Cargelligo was part of area explored by John Oxley as he traced the Lachlan River through the Western Plains of New South Wales in 1817. Oxley made note of the fertile land surrounding the lake and named the area Lake Regent after England's Prince Regent who would became King in 1820. Following Major Thomas Mitchell surveying the area in the 1830s the lake and proposed town would be renamed Cudjallagong which would eventually become Cargelligo, words which are said to derive from the local Aboriginal word Kartjellakoo which means 'shallow water dish'.
Cattle farmers established pastoral runs in the region in the 1840s and despite a piece of land being reserved for the construction of a town centre in the 1850s, settlement in the town would not take off until gold was discovered by a cook at one of the lakeside properties in 1873. The area would experience a brief gold rush following this discovery resulting in a further survey of the land by the government, gazetting an area for a town which would service what they perceived would become a thriving mining town. however, with payable gold deposits in limited supply, efforts to create a bustling mining town were abandoned by the 1880s.
With further subdivisions of the land, cattle and sheep farming would continue to define the profile of the farming land and the town of Cargelligo was declared in 1885. To extend the possibilities of trade from within the region a railway lines was extended to Cargelligo in 1917 and two years later was renamed Lake Cargelligo along with the town itself. Although the railway line was closed in the 1970s, the town would continue to enjoy agricultural success and continues to operate as the primary service centre for all surrounding farming districts.
Today the area is perhaps best known as a tourist destination with its water sports and bird watching making the area a favoured spot for visitors. A number of bird sanctuaries around Lake Cargelligo are home to several protected species of birds rarely seen in the wild in Australia, including the Black Cockatoo and a rare type of bower bird.
SSC17785: Lake Cargelligo