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