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About Heritage

Wagga Wagga City Council Heritage

The City of Wagga Wagga is rich in both European and Aboriginal cultural heritage.

The Wagga Wagga Local Government Area has traditionally been inhabited by the Aboriginal Wiradjuri tribe (also: Wiradhuri, Waradgery, Waradjery, Wuradjeri).  The Wiradjuri tribe were nomads inhabiting the area bounded by the Lachlan and Murray Rivers, and from Goulburn to Hillston. Wagga Wagga City Council therefore acknowledges the traditional owners of the land - the Wiradjuri. The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) is responsible for managing places of Aboriginal significance. Further information can be sourced from their website.

European settlement

In 1829, European exploration of the future site of Wagga Wagga began with the arrival of Captain Charles Sturt during his expedition along the Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers. Settlement soon followed. In 1849, Wagga Wagga was gazetted as a village and was marked out by surveyor Thomas Scott Townsend (Town Plan below). Shortly after that, a number of establishments opened including hotels, stores, banks, schools and hospitals. On the 15th of March 1870, Wagga Wagga was incorporated as a Municipal Borough, with George Forsyth elected as the first mayor. Following much urban expansion and social development, Wagga Wagga was proclaimed a city on 17 April 1946.