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Tallong is a village in the Southern Highlands [1] of New South Wales, Australia. It is located about 1½ hours’ drive (approximately 170 km) from Sydney, the capital of NSW, and just over an hour (about 125 km) from Canberra, the nation’s capital. In the 19th century the village was known as Barber's Creek. The area of which Tallong is a part was first charted by explorers Hume, Throsby and Smith in their 1818 and 1820 expeditions. [2]Tallong was part of Mulwaree Shire prior to the forced council amalgamations of 2004; it is now in Goulburn Mulwaree Council.


(CC) Photo: Aleta Curry
The Shoalhaven Gorge, viewed from Badgery's Lookout in March 2003. The Shoalhaven River is low due to drought.

Tallong was once a thriving agricultural community, known particularly for its pome fruit and its wool. The Tallong Public School was begun by railway workers and was for a time the only school in the vicinity. Several large stations were in operation, Caoura, Tea Tree, Glenrock and Bosworth were among the best-known.

The village sent an annual exhibit of a tall pyramid of fruit to the Sydney Royal Easter Show; Tallong's apples and pears took top honours several times through mid-century; in 1940 the village won first place for both apples and pears. [3]

Tallong was destroyed in the Chatsbury bushfires of 1965. Its economy did not recover and the award-winning fruit industry folded. Many residents moved; the Post Office and small businesses closed. [4] [5] [6]

An area near Barber's Creek was identified as an ideal site for a "sanitary depot" as early as 1959, despite it being adjacent to the Tallong Recreation Park. Among the reasons sited for its suitability were its sandy soil and its proximity to a waterway! [7] The community opposed on the basis that it was too close to residences and "the water is used for household purposes and for swimming during the summer months" and the village trustees supported the community in its opposition to the Shire's plans and pointed out how necessary a recreational area was for the youngsters of the village.[8] [9] [10]Despite the fierce opposition, the matter was gazetted in 1967, the cricket pitch was gazetted "for future public use" and became unusable, presumably after the community was weakened following the bushfires.

Tallong continued to stagnate through the end of the 20th Century. The former sanitary deposit area became a refuse dump. Land prices were much lower than some neighbouring villages and the heritage sites "The Dungeons" aka the "Cheese Caves", food storage sites built by convict labour, were closed due to hazardous conditions.

Tallong today

The 21st Century boom in the real estate market in Sydney brought the affordable land in the Southern Villages to the attention of home buyers, investors and speculators. Property value has almost tripled in some areas. According to the postal service, postal drops have increased by 100 households over the last two years, more than a 33% increase. [11]

In 2004, Mulwaree Shire was profitable and was the fastest-growing shire outside of Sydney. The city of Goulburn operated with considerable debt. [12] Following the forced council takeover, Tallong's resources were no longer managed by locals. As of the 2006 assessment, land rates (taxes based on the estimated value of the land) more than doubled. The population is growing; as at the 2006 Census (held on 8th August 2006), there were 704 persons usually resident in Tallong. [13] Tallong has an active Community Focus Group concerned with local issues. The annual Tallong Apple Day 2007, was awarded the best Community Event in the Goulburn Mulwaree Area for 2007.

Modern Tallong - subjects of interest

Local organisations

  • Marulan and districts Lions Club
  • Tallong Community Focus Group
  • Tallong Rural Fire Brigade
  • St Stephen's Church
(CC) Photo: Aleta Curry
Saint Stephen's Church (Anglican) - Tallong, NSW.

Main businesses

  • The Tallong General Store
  • The Big Apple (fruit)

Tallong today is a hamlet of agrarian and trade workers, cottage industries, and a surprisingly eclectic array of single proprietor businesses including stud farms, telecoummuters and commuters who work in the neighbouring towns of Goulburn, Moss Vale and Mittagong, or who make the commute to Sydney or Canberra. It has a significant population of weekend residents who use the Southern Highlands as a retreat from the fast pace of city life.


  1. Whether or not Tallong is actually located in the Southern Highlands, as opposed to the Southern Tablelands, has been a subject of debate for at least half a century. See the Debate Guide
  2. These dates are quoted in a fact sheet distributed at the Marulan tourism information centre, n.a., n.p., n.d., but evidently printed circa 2001. The dates are contradicted in Marulan, a unique heritage: compiled for "Marulan 150" by Maureen Eddy.
  3. There are photographs of the winning exhibits on display in the Tallong Memorial Hall.
  4. These changes are within living memory
  5. Typed memoirs were exhibited as part of Tallong Apple Day, 2006 and 2007
  6. Fact sheet, op.cit.
  7. Letter from Shire Clerk to the District Surveyor, Parks Branch, Department of Lands, date 9th September 1959
  8. Lettter from R. Kettle, Secretary of the Tallong Park Trust, to the District Surveyor dated 29-4-1960.
  9. Minutes of protest meetings, Tallong Memorial Hall, September 16 1960 and 19 June 1961
  10. Letter to the Member of Parliament from R Kettle dated 20-6-1961
  11. Information received from the postal delivery person, Mrs Jennifer McNulty
  12. Local Councilwoman Inda Evans; Marulan and Districts Magazine articles, 2004
  13. Sourced at: http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au on 17 February 2008.


  • Eddy, Maureen. Marulan, a unique heritage: compiled for "Marulan 150" by Maureen Eddy. Marulan, N.S.W. : Marulan 150, 1985.
  • Leighton-Daly, Phillip. A reflective history of the Goulburn district. Goulburn: 2010.
  • The Tallong Public School, Peter Westren, ed., privately published, Tallong: 1990.
  • Marulan & Districts Review, Official Journal of the Marulan Business & Tourism Association Inc.
  • The Marulan and Districts Magazine.
  • Southern Village View Magazine, Published Quarterly by the Southern Village View Association Inc. Wingello, NSW.
  • Tallong: A Heritage. Tallong, NSW: Tallong Community Focus Group Inc., 2010. ISBN: 9780646545547 (pbk.)

External links

  • Santa Sabina College: [1]
  • The Tallong Midge Orchid: [2] and [3]