Tharwa, Australian Capital Territory

Tharwa (postcode 2620) is a township within the Australian Capital Territory, 35 kilometres (22 mi) south of Canberra, the capital city of Australia. At the 2016 census, Tharwa had a population of 81.[1]

The village is located on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River and at the junction of Tidbinbilla and Naas Roads, and Tharwa Drive. The main public buildings are a general store, a preschool and primary school (now closed), Saint Edmund's Anglican Church, a cemetery, a community hall and tennis courts. The annual Tharwa Fair was hosted by the school, and was held in May until 2006. The Tharwa Fair is now organised by Tharwa Preschool.

Australian Capital Territory
Looking south-east on North Street in Tharwa (1)
Looking south-east, towards the Murrumbidgee River, on North Street in Tharwa.
Tharwa is located in Australian Capital Territory
Coordinates35°30′49″S 149°04′10″E / 35.51361°S 149.06944°ECoordinates: 35°30′49″S 149°04′10″E / 35.51361°S 149.06944°E
Population81 (2016 census)[1]
Location35 km (22 mi) S of Canberra
Territory electorate(s)Brindabella
Federal Division(s)
Localities around Tharwa:
Murrumbidgee River corridor Tharwa Drive Bushland
Tidbinbilla Drive Tharwa Bushland
Bushland Nass Road Murrumbidgee River corridor
Tharwa Bridge construction O'Hanlon
Construction of Tharwa Bridge 1893. Note the size of river before Tantangara Dam (1962) commenced diverting almost 50% of the river's flow.


Tharwa is the oldest official settlement in the Australian Capital Territory, proclaimed a settlement in 1862. Tharwa was named after the Aboriginal word for Mount Tennent, a nearby mountain peak which is part of Namadgi National Park. Mount Tennent was named after John Tennant, who was one of the earliest and best-known bushrangers in the region. Tennant lived in a hideout on the mountain behind Tharwa from which he raided local homesteads 1827–1828, before being arrested and transported to Norfolk Island.

Tharwa Bridge, opened on 27 March 1895, crosses the Murrumbidgee River. Tharwa Primary School was opened soon after, in 1899. The Tharwa township narrowly avoided being burnt in the 2003 Canberra bushfires. More recently, the Tharwa community had two further challenges: closures and repairs to Tharwa Bridge due to extensive rot in its supporting timbers discovered in 2005, and the 2006-07 Australian Capital Territory budget announcement of its plans to close the Tharwa preschool and primary school. The primary school was closed in December 2006,[2] but the preschool remains.

Tharwa Bridge was reopened for light traffic (less than 5 tonnes) in August 2008.[3] Tharwa Bridge was reopened for public use on Friday 24 June 2011 following the completion of the restoration works. Restoration works took two years and involved removal of the old bridge deck and barrier railings as well as installation of new cross girders and sway braces to the permanent trusses.[4]


Tharwa is in a different geological structural unit than the rest of Canberra, being on the Cotter Horst. The village itself is built on Tharwa Adamellite. This adamellite is coarsely foliated and contains biotite mica. It has been dated at 423 ±6 million years old. This places it in the upper Silurian age.

The outcrop area is extended to the north north west to Freshford, and includes Castle Hill. It goes as far to the west as Sawyer's Gully. To the south it goes close to Angle Crossing, and on the east side is bounded by the Murrumbidgee Fault. The Tharwa Adamellite is part of the Murrumbidgee Batholith.[5]

The latitude and longitude of Tharwa is 35°31'00S 149°04'00E. The geoid is 19.356 meters above the theoretical ellipsoid shape of the earth at Tharwa. The astronomical measurement of the position on the Earth's surface is only very slightly distorted by a non vertical gravitational field 0.3" to north and 0.6" to the west.

Magnetic declination at Tharwa is 11.817 deg east, total field strength is 43108 nT and magnetic inclination is -66.031 degrees; as at 1 March 2006.

Declination is increasing by 0.004 degrees per year. Inclination is increasing by 0.016 degrees per year (as in the rest of Canberra).

See also


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Tharwa (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 1 July 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Tharwa struggles to keep its souls". Canberra Times. 15 January 2012. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Tharwa Bridge to reopen today for light traffic". Canberra Times. 2008. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Henderson, G. A. M.; Matveev, G. (1980). Geology of Canberra, Queanbeyan and Environs (Map). 1:50000.

External links

Gibraltar Falls

The Gibraltar Falls are a cascade waterfall on the Gibraltar Creek, in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), approximately 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Canberra's city centre. The falls have a 50-metre (160-foot) drop.

Lambrigg, Tharwa

Lambrigg is an historical property close to Tharwa in the Australian Capital Territory which is listed by the ACT Heritage Council as a place of historical significance. It was the residence of William James Farrer who made a major contribution to the wheat industry by developing a strain of wheat that was resistant to wheat rust. Lambrigg was the site where Farrer conducted his work on genetic selection for his wheat varieties.

List of towns and cities in Australia by year of settlement

This is primarily a list of towns and cities in Australia by year of settlement.

The article also contains information on permanent settlements established in Australia before British settlement commenced in 1788.

Long-distance trail

A long-distance trail (or long-distance footpath, track, way, greenway) is a longer recreational trail mainly through rural areas used for hiking, backpacking, cycling, horse riding or cross-country skiing. They exist on all continents except Antartica.

Many trails are marked on maps. Typically, a long-distance route will be at least 50 km (30 mi) long, but many run for several hundred miles, or longer.

Many routes are waymarked and may cross public or private land and/or follow existing rights of way. Generally, the surface is not specially prepared, and there are often rough ground and uneven areas, except in places such as converted rail tracks or popular walking routes where stone-pitching and slabs have been laid to prevent erosion. In some places, official trails will have the surface specially prepared to make the going easier.

Outward Bound Australia

Outward Bound Australia (OBA) is the Australian chapter of the not-for-profit organisation Outward Bound International. Since its founding in 1956, Outward Bound Australia has made outdoor education courses available to the community with the aim of developing teamwork skills and raising environmental awareness Australia wide.

Outward Bound's focus on personal and leadership development through outdoor adventure activities has made it popular amongst a diverse array of groups and individuals within the community, over 250,000 Australians aged between 13 and 75 have completed a course. Notably, OBA maintains a number of longstanding relationships with partner schools such as the Cranbrook School in Sydney which has made OBA courses a mandatory part of their school curriculum.

Tharwa Primary School

Tharwa Primary School was a primary school in the small village of Tharwa, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. It was built in 1898 and opened in 1899. The school had two classrooms for the primary school, plus a preschool room. While the current school dates from 1912, the site of the school made it the oldest operating school in Canberra until its closure in 2006. The first Parents and Citizens committee was established in 1931.The first pupil enrolled on 9 August 1899 and the centenary of this event was celebrated by a town ball and the launching a book A Century of Learning: Tharwa Primary School by historian Matthew Higgins. At that time the school only operated on a part-time basis.In 2006 the government announced it would close Tharwa Primary School by the end of December 2006. An attempt was made to open a private school on the site, but the proposal was thwarted by new restrictions on private schools, enacted by the Legislative Assembly in December 2006. Community attempts to save or reopen the school continue.The Tharwa Preschool is still operating. The school and the surrounding community traditionally host an annual Tharwa Bush Fair.

Truss bridge

A truss bridge is a bridge whose load-bearing superstructure is composed of a truss, a structure of connected elements usually forming triangular units. The connected elements (typically straight) may be stressed from tension, compression, or sometimes both in response to dynamic loads. Truss bridges are one of the oldest types of modern bridges. The basic types of truss bridges shown in this article have simple designs which could be easily analyzed by 19th and early 20th-century engineers. A truss bridge is economical to construct because it uses materials efficiently.

Towns and localities in Australian Capital Territory

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.