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Griffith - Cities, Towns and Localities
In 1817, the region was described by explorer John Oxley as “being uninhabitable and useless to civilised man”, but that same region was turned into an “oasis in the desert” through the miracle of irrigation, with the region and Griffith providing much of the country’s horticultural and agricultural produce.

Sir Samuel McCaughey (1835-1919), the Irish born Australian grazier demonstrated the viability of irrigation on his ‘North Yanko’ property in 1889. In 1906, he stated in evidence before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works

“In my opinion, the waters of this nation, if placed on the the surface of the ground so that they could be used for irrigation, would be of more value than gold, for gold will eventually become exhausted, while water will continue as long as the world lasts.”

The rivers forming the wide alluvial plain, that rise in the Snowy Mountains to stream into the valley, were called ‘Murrumbidgee’ meaning ‘never failing’ water supply. It is this water supply that produced one of the world’s greatest engineering feats, bringing water all the way from the Snowy Mountains. Making the area and Griffith, the hub of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, or the ‘MIA’.


View over Griffith

It was Walter Burley Griffin who designed Griffith, which was proclaimed a town in 1916, just after he won the rights to design Canberra, Australia’s capital. With the introduction of irrigation in 1912, the region evolved into one of Australia’s largest producers of wine, rice, poultry, eggs, citrus, stone fruits and vegetables.

Prior to white settlement of the region, it was the territory of the Wiradjuri tribe, who mainly lived along the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. The first settlers were enticed to the area by promises of established orchards, lush green fields of lucerne, and well fed cattle, but the reality was a harsh lifestyle, dust storms or oppressive mud, depending on the the season. It was only the most determined, that made a go of this existence, many of who were returning soldiers from World War I and migrants, mainly from Europe. In fact people of Italian origin formed a special part of the heritage of the city of Griffith, as do the many other nationalities, who were drawn to the area. It is these people, their descendants and many others, who give the city a cosmopolitan and international flavour.

Griffith is well known for its festivals and celebrations with something happening almost every month. The Festival of Griffin is held over the Easter break every second year, beginning 2003. There is the annual Festival of Gardens with its unique Citrus Sculptures, the Flickers Film Festival and Griffith Global Gathering. There are sporting events throughout the year, as well as cultural, wine and food activities. On Australia Day, historical Pioneer Park opens it s gates to celebrate the national day with working displays, entertainment and food from around the globe. September sees the final round of the Australian Cross Country Rally Series for cars and motorbikes and the annual October long weekend plays host to the Griffith Agricultural Show.

Check out our listing of Griffith accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre

Griffith OrchardGriffith Visitor Information Centre
Cnr Banna & Jondaryan Aves
PO Box 126
Ph: 02 6962 4145
Freecall: 1800 681 141
Fax: 02 6962 7319
Email / Email
Monday to Sunday(7 days) 9 am - 5 pm
Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day
Hours may vary, contact visitor centre
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Griffith Distance

Distance to Griffith
• Following are some approximate distances by road to Griffith:
Albury 272
• Cocoparra National Park 28
Coleambally 66
Cootamundra 207
Darlington Point 38
Gundagai 272
Hay 153
Leeton 58
• Murrumbidgee State Forest 64
Narrandera 97
Sydney 622
Temora 151
Wagga Wagga 190
West Wyalong 156
• Willandra National Park 176
Yenda 16
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate maps.
The Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.
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