Nearby Yass - Australian colonial heritage and rural splendour

Hume and Hovell discover Yass PlainsThe early explorer Hamilton Hume 'discovered' the plains district around the Yass River back in 1821.

Prior to European occupation there was a large Aboriginal population supported by the rich environment in the area. These were mostly Ngunnawal people. According to a dubious anecdotal local legend, the area was named after an incident on Hume’s visit when he supposedly asked an Aboriginal boy who was with him, to climb a tree to see what was ahead. Asked if he could see anything, the boy replied “Yass, plains”.

Another speculation about the mysterious origins of the name of the river and the beautiful old town through which it runs, is that it is derived from the Aboriginal word yharr, meaning ' running water'.

Hume traversed the Yass District again in 1824 on his famous expedition to Geelong with William Hovell. After his epic and arduous journey the Government granted him land as a reward for his pioneering trek and he took up an election on the Yass River in 1829. By then settlers were populating the district and shopkeepers and tradesmen were setting up in business along the Yass River.

The first government survey was made in 1834 and a regional gaol and court house were built in 1836, the same year the post office was erected.

Hume_Hovell_Walking_trackBy 1830 the Yass district had already seen the influx of several pastoral settlers and the land was being carved up into squatters runs, although only a few managed to secure official freehold title. Inevitably more settlers began to trickle into the rich landsacpe, bringing flocks of sheep which represented the start of the local wool industry.

A bush track joined the Goulburn and Yass Plains by 1825. In 1836 the village site was surveyed and shortly after the first doctor arrived, together with the first police magistrate.

By 1841 mail was being dispatched daily from Sydney and in 1858 the Commercial Bank was built and a thriving local economy and rural society was now well established.

Yass today retains many of the buildings built prior to the 1900s making it one of the significant and interesting heritage sites in NSW.

Currently Yass has a population of over 5,300. The town has continued it's natural role as the gateway between Sydney and Melbourne and its proximity to Canberra has led to it being one of the fastest developing regions in Australia – offering both residents and tourists excellent rural lifestyle attractions married with world class facilities and services on offer in the nation's capital.

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