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The town of Tocumwal is located on the Murray River on the Victoria border in the middle of southern Riverina region of New South Wales. Traditionally the land of the Ulupna and Bangarang Aboriginal people, Tocumwal takes its name from a local Aboriginal word meaning 'deep hole', a reference to the 25 metre deep waterhole in the Murray now known as 'The Blowhole' which is sacred to the local Aboriginal people.
First settled by squatters who established cattle runs in the region as early as the 1840s, the area would begin to attract sheep and grain farmers who would move into the region by the 1870s. Centrally located alongside one of the key river trading routes, the town soon developed into a river port and became the key trading centre for the Riverina region as well as one of the main customs depots along the Murray. A bridge was built across the River in 1895 to replace the punt which had until than been used to carry people between Tocumwal and Victoria on the opposite bank. With no competing town directly across the river, the town's stranglehold on the local agricultural trading routes increased. A railway line linking the town with greater Victoria was extended to Tocumwal in 1908 and, with a New South Wales connection added in 1914, the town maintained its position as a centre of trade despite the demise of river transport at the time.
During World War II In 1942 Tocumwal was chosen as the site for housing the United States Army Air Forces heavy bomber units and would become the Royal Australian Air Force Station Headquarters and training station. The aerodrome was the largest in the southern hemisphere at the time and as the threat against Australia by Japanese forces went into decline in the mid 1940s the American Forces would move north to airbases in Queensland. The Aerodrome continued to be used by the RAAF as an aircraft depot until the 1960s and although no longer in use by the RAAF, the airstrips are still in use from gliders and locally based light plane companies.
Surrounded by stunning red gum forests, a spectacular array of native birdlife, riverside beaches and the feted Murray codfish, tourism has today become an important part of the local economy. Agricultural crops and pastoral land uses continue to define the surrounding farm land yet these traditional industries have been replaced by the service and retail industries as the main employer in Tocumwal.