In 1863 Thomas Murray selected land that would later become the site of Portland and he established the first lime kiln on the corner of Lime and Villiers Streets.
Both Portland and Wallerawang are blessed with two historic public houses, schools, fascinating historic buildings, lakes and fishing streams, delightful little stores and friendly people.
Portland is famous as the Town that built Sydney due to its Cement works and Wallerawang is famous for its Black Gold (coal) associations with Delta electricity. Portland’s Crystal Theatre hosts cinema as well as art shows and is famous for its street fairs. Portland’s big swimming pool has celebrated 50 years and Wallerawang’s historic old station’s heritage redevelopment has led to a florist, lolly shop, café and art gallery.
With the art, lakes, history, fine dining and comfortable accommodation, it’s worth taking your time to explore these two villages.
Wallerawang was first surveyed 1823. In 1824 James Walker was granted a large tract of land that was called “Wallerowang” by the local aboriginal people. Charles Darwin stayed at “Wallerowang House” (later to become Barton Park) in 1836, and in the book “Voyage of the Beagle” he describes the area at the time and the wildlife that included a number of platypus. There was a huge increase in population in 1851 after gold was discovered in the area. The National School opened 1860. Shale oil mining began in 1867 and the railway arrived in 1870 with coal hot on its heels in 1873. St John the Evangelist Church opened in 1881 as a memorial to the Walker/Barton family.
What to see & Do
- The Visitor Information Centres have heaps of information on the range of local activities.
- Enjoy refreshments or a meal while you are here – plenty to choose from.
- Visit Portland’s Bottle Kilns.
- Marvel at the size of the old Cement Works of Portland.
- Picnic by Lake Wallace which submerged where Darwin stayed. Go sailing or rowing as no power boats are allowed.
- Bird & Wildlife watching at Lake Wallace and around Portland.
- The Portland area is now well known to riders wanting to experience numerous exciting trails in State Forest areas within close proximity to Portland.
- Explore Wallerawang’s historic old church and school Collect antiques, art or local produce.
- Wallerawang & Portland are RV Friendly!
- Tour Portland’s Signs of Yesteryear.