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Ganmain, NSW

Quiet town in the Riverina known as the Sheaf Hay Centre of Australia

Ganmain is a typical, small and friendly, Riverina town. It has an historic museum, a excellent local park for picnics, and, most significantly, the remarkable Hall of Conciliation.


Ganmain is located 486 km south-west of Sydney via the Hume Highway and the towns of Cootamunda and Junee. It is 57 km north of Wagga Wagga and 251 metres above sea level.


Origin of Name

The Ganmain district was traditionally occupied by Wiradjuri Aborigines and it is believed that a word similar to "ganmain" in the Wiradjuri language meant "a man decorated with scars".


Things to See and Do

Ganmain Historical Museum
Located in Waterview Street and established by six local families in 1973 it is a typical rural museum with a large collection of farm implements, household items, sporting and war memorabilia, photographs and newspaper articles all relating to the local area. It is open on Sundays from 1.00 pm - 4.30 pm or by appointment. Admission is free. Check out http://www.coolamonshire.com.au/tourism/attractions/ganmain-historical-museum.aspx which provides a number of telephone numbers of people who will open the museum for visitors.

The Hall of Conciliation, Ganmain
This is a round, heart-shaped, load-bearing straw bale building in Moore Street. The Hall was built by the delegates to the International Straw Bale Building Conference 2002 which was held in Ganmain and at the Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. The practical side to that conference was the building of the Hall of Conciliation.  A half acre block of land was returned to the Wiradjuri Nation and accepted by Wiradjuri Elders the late Cec Grant and his sister Flo Grant.  The building went up in 5 days or around 15 hours (3 hours per day for the 110 delegates) in an impressive show of community building.  At the conclusion of the conference Archbishop Francis Carroll (who was born in Ganmain) and three other pastors dedicated the building and it is now known as the Ganmain Hall of Learning and Conciliation. The Hall of Conciliation is a timber & straw bale special purpose structure. It is a place for the Wiradjuri people to tell their story and to promote reconciliation throughout the country.

Hay Display Centre
Located in Pioneer Park on Ford Street near Boggy Creek this is a simple celebration of the town's commitment to hay production. Ganmain is one of the most hay and chaff productive towns in Australia. The exhibition is open and can be accessed 24 hours a day. More information can be had by tel: 0417 482 976.

Ganmain's Murumbang Interpretative Walk
Located off Lake Street and winding around the banks of Boggy Creek, Ganmain's Murumbang Interpretative Walk includes bird hides, interpretative signage and an Interpretative Centre as well as picnic facilities. The website explains that the visitor should see and experience: "Waterside vegetation habitat for reptilian and amphibian species, as well as nesting areas for wetland birds. Look for birds such as Herons, Ibis, Spoonbills and Ducks. Listen for frogs and insects in the overhanging grasses and reeds. The surrounding woodland provides important habitat for threatened species including the Superb Parrot, Swift Parrot and Red Capped Robin. Tiny Thornbills, Silvereyes, Honeyeaters and the Coolamon Shire's iconic bird, the White-Browed Babbler, share their home with southern marbled geckoes, brown snakes, red-bellied black snakes and several other reptilian species." For more detailed information and a downloadable map, check out http://www.coolamonshire.com.au/tourism/attractions/ganmain-s-murumbang-interpretive-walk.aspx.


Other Attractions in the Area

Up-To-Date Store Cultural and Learning Precinct
Located at 127-129 Cowabbie Street, Coolamon the Up-To-Date Store Cultural and Learning Precinct is a beautifully preserved General Store which was established in 1907. The building was completed in 1909. For most of its life it was a typical general store providing locals with every imaginable item. The Coolamon Shire Council has created a building which combines a library, two museums, a cafe and a visitor information service all built around a retail experience that no longer exists. It's a space of historical significance which includes a fully functioning Lamson Cash Railway Machine (the only known ball-style cash railway system in the world that is still in its original location), and the 'Mavis Furner Collection' (a collection of over 200 crocheted garments and accessories). Included in the museum experience is the collection of Garth Jones' farm machinery - a rare collection in pristine condition. The collection highlights the intimate link the region and the store had with the development of agriculture. Also in the collection is Reg Godde's Vintage Farm Machinery and Miniature Working Models, a labour of love which has been brought into town from the property where it was previously exhibited. Check out http://www.coolamonshire.com.au/experiences/arts-culture.aspx for more details. There is a downloadable brochure. Check out http://www.coolamonshire.com.au/f.ashx/The-Up-to-Date-Store.pdf. The store is open from 10.00 am - 4.00 pm Tuesday to Friday, 10.00 am - 1.00 pm Saturday and 11.00 am - 2.00 pm Sunday. Tel: 0428 273 450.

Kindra State Forest
The Kindra State Forest is located off the Temora Road east of Coolamon. It is served by an outstanding and detailed brochure which can be downloaded by accessing http://www.coolamonshire.com.au/tourism/attractions/kindra-forest.aspx. The main entrance to the Forest is on Lewis Street and it comprises 52 ha of remnant bushland which has a number of walking trails. The Forest is known for its rich birdlife. The Coolamon Shire website notes: "Over 100 bird species have been sighted in Coolamon Shire, many of which can be found or viewed from the Forest area. A colony of large and often noisy White Winged Choughs reside in this locality - their large mud nests can sometimes be observed. Red-capped Robins fly in close to investigate intruders. White-winged Trillers and Rufous Whistlers can often be heard and Red Wattle Birds as well as a variety of other Honeyeaters can be spotted. At the top of the rise there is an excellent view of the Travelling Stock Reserve dam constructed as a back-up water supply for the township of Coolamon. The dam provides a habitat for a wide variety of birdlife including the endangered Superb Parrot, Swans, Pelicans and Ducks." And the downloadable brochure has a list of 104 birds that have been reported in the local district.



* Prior to European occupation the local area was occupied by Wiradjuri Aborigines for at least 20,000 years. It is believed the Narrungdera clan lived in the area.

* First official record of the Ganmain Run dates from 1829.

* There were regular conflicts between Wiradjuri people and European settlers between 1839-1841.

* The first settler in the area was James Devlin who established the Ganmain Run station in 1838. The run was formally recognised in 1848.

* By the late 1850s wheat was being grown on the fertile plains around the town.

* In 1876 it was decided to build a railway through Ganmain to Narrandera.

* The first mention of wheat farming around Ganmain occurred in 1877.

* The railway line from Junee to Narrandera through Ganmain was opened on 28 February, 1881.

* In 1886 a post office at Boggy Creek was opened. It changed its name to Ganmain in 1894.

* 1887 saw the building of both the Royal Hotel and the Ganmain Hotel. Both were subsequently destroyed by fire and rebuilt.

* In 1900 a bridge across Boggy Creek was opened.

* The first official Post Office in Ganmain opened in 1906. That year a branch of the Bank of New South Wales was also opened.

* In 1914 a concrete bridge across Boggy Creek was completed at a cost of £900.

* Electricity reached Ganmain in 1938.

* In 1942 water was connected to the town.

* Ganmain got a new Post Office in 1954.

* In 1973 six local families combined and created the Ganmain Historical Society.

* In 2002 the Murumbang Interpretative Walking Track was completed.


Visitor Information

There is no Visitor Information Centre in the town. Check out Up-To-Date Store Cultural Precinct, 127-129 Cowabbie Street, Coolamon (02) 6927 2492.


Useful Websites

The local council has a useful website with a number of downloadable brochures. For more information check out http://www.coolamonshire.com.au/tourism/our-towns-villages/ganmain.aspx. It has an excellent downloadable map of the town. The most comprehensive source of information about the town is http://www.ganmain.net.au/uploads/files/workbooks/History_of_a_Town.pdf which covers all aspects of the town's history in great detail.

Got something to add?

Have we missed something or got a top tip for this town? Have your say below.

19 suggestions
  • Hi, I’m looking to find out the business hours of the local antique and collectables stores in your region ie Ganmain, Coolaman, Matong etc. Do you have this information or can you tell me how I could find out? Thanks.

    The best source is always the local Visitor Information Centre. Often staffed by volunteers you might need to ask “Do you know anyone in the local area who is an expert?” or ring a few times and get different people.

    Jenny Parish
  • Could I have more info about the railway, please?

  • What is the employment market like in the area?

  • Can you get accommodation in Ganmain?

    The answer: Check out Trip Advisor. We don’t provide information about Accommodation.

    lorraine kohn
  • Does anyone have any information about the McPherson family? Roy McPherson was one of the sons.

    Susan Sutton
  • My mother, Elsie May Burkitt was born in or around Ganmain. I am the only living member of her 8 children and would like to locate relations up there. Her maiden name was Firman. Other names related were Rutland and Batty. How could I check on them?

    Alan Burkitt.
  • Hi, my name is Alan Burkitt. My mother was Elsie Firman. Her sister Edith married (I think) a George Rutland. Another family name was Hattie. I would like to know if any members of those families are still in the area. I am the only living member of the Burkitt family and would like to locate some family members. Thank you.

    Alan Burkitt.
  • Hi there, nice to find your website. I would like to know if you have any record of my aunt Jean Muriel Stevenson who was a schoolteacher there in the 1930s and possibly into the 40s. I believe she taught Home Economics to girls and later perhaps Science probably in the senior grades. She mentioned Ganmain as her first assignment and I think she finished the Teachers College in Sydney about 1932 or 1933. She went on to an illustrious career and eventually was Principal of Hornsby Girls High in Sydney. I recall her as a strong Feminist before such was acceptable and also very involved In the Teachers Federation. She said young single female teachers with no seniority were sent to the bush and could not marry local fellows or they would lose their jobs. What was the schooling situation in Ganmain in those days? Perhaps there were school staff photos? Thanks, and feel free to publish my email address. Geoffrey Stevenson, USA.

    Geoffrey A Stevenson
  • Is it worth to buy land in Ganmain ?
    And will the town redevelop in the future and more population

  • Hello, I’m looking for information on my fathers brother who is believed to be John Phillip McKiernan who was born in Medindie SA 14/10/ 1921. Thanks

  • Thankyou for such an informative site. I am researching my family history and wonder if there is any information available about my great grandfather Arthur Charles Wemyss who was, according to my information, Overseer at Ganmain Station from 1884 to about 1889. He arrived from near St Arnaud, central Victoria with his wife Mary Jane and two very young sons, James Melville and Oswald Stewart who may have attended school, probably on Ganmain, around 1887 to 1888. I would love copies of any records, or any other information, and would be happy to pay any fees associated with research etc. Regards.

    Gail Remnant
  • Does anyone remember any of the Menzies family who lived there, I believe Aub Menzies was the last?

    Allan Menzies
  • Hi,
    My Nanna used to run the local post office in the 60s-70s.
    Can anyone tell me the address of the old post office the one that was built in 1954?
    I was a young child when we used to visit here and I remember the telephone exchange was also in the post office and there was a residence adjacent to the PO where my grandparents lived. I’ve googled the post office and it doesn’t appear to be the same location.
    Is the current post office new? I’m trying to trackdown their old house and see if it’s still standing.

    Many thanks

    Julie Griffiths
  • I used to go to Ganmain nearly every year in the 1960 /early 70’s .we would pitch a tent in the camp grounds behind the bowling club and tennis courts.My dad would go and work stooking hay. It would be so hot. Dad would drive me to Coolamon so I could go for a swim.

  • Hi my name is Terry Mitchell and my father’s family was one of the first settlers. There is a book out call the Settlers and Settlement of Ganmain. It is by Lorana H Gilmore. My grandparents lived on Waterview Street and on one side was the Kelly’s and on the other side was the Carrols .There where 3 children in the Mitchell family. Thomas, Mary and Jack. Grandad was a butcher and his shop was across the the road from the Ganmain Hotel. My Dad passed away at 99 and 8 months. He was born in 1914. My brother and I would go to my grandparents every Christmas holiday in the 50s and into the early 60s. Grandma was a Cosgrove born in Beechworth in 1884. Historical Society was made up of S.Dow. Y Dow. A Plane. W Kember. G Jones. R Hamblin. G Hamblin . R Cox. S Winrow. B Winrow . A Winrow. V McPherson. M Buchanan. Hope this helps and sorry for the first email that did not make any sense.

    Terry Mitchell