Menindee - Gateway to the Menindee Lakes, Blue Heart of the Outback






Major Mitchell discovered the area around Menindee in 1835 calling the place Laidley's Ponds.
It was to become a major depot for later explorers, and was recognized as the "last outpost of civilization", a jumping off place for the interior.

Charles Sturt travelled up the Darling from the Murray and arrived at the site of Menindee in 1844, during his exploration of the interior.   Pastoralists, drovers and shepherds followed in the wake of the explorers.

The township of Perry (Menindee) is said to have been founded by Tom Pain and his family who arrived in 1852, determined to establish a home and business on the river. He opened a pub on the Wurtindley sandhill, the following year.

With the growth of the river trade in the 1850s, the arrival of a police force and Pain's presence, prospects for the settlement of the region improved. The runs (government grants of land) of the Central Darling were officially surveyed and opened for tender in 1855.

Captain Francis Cadell, who pioneered the operation of paddle steamers along the Murray, established a store near the hotel at Menindee in 1856. Settlers began to pour into the region with news that the Darling was navigable.

A post office opened Menindee in 1861 and the site was officially known as 'Perry' but locals protested and the township was gazetted as Menindie in 1863 (it was changed to Menindee in 1918 to stop confusion with Mendingie near the river Murray mouth).

By 1862 Menindee could boast a lock-up, a store, a post office, a Pub and a few rough shanties.

Some of the old buildings are still in existence or evidence today.  Take a tour to view our living history.






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