is a town in the Southern Highlands
of New South Wales
, in Wingecarribee Shire
. It has a population of 7,338 and is sited on the Illawarra Highway
, which connects to Wollongong
and the Illawarra coast
via Macquarie Pass
There are several CityRail and CountryLink services a day on the Southern Highlands railway line serving Moss Vale station. Moss Vale is the junction of the Unanderra - Moss Vale railway line to Wollongong, opened in 1932, but now only used by freight trains.
Moss Vale has several heritage buildings and Leighton Gardens, in the centre of the main street, is a pleasant park. It is best during spring when its flowers are in blossom or in autumn when the leaves of its plane trees are changing colour.
It has good soil and reliable rainfall, by Australian standards, and as a result has a fairly English appearance, including lush pastures surrounding the town. Rural holdings in the area specialise in dairy herds, mainly Holstein Frisian, and there are an assortment of beef studs and sheep properties. The town has a wide variety of retailers and commercial services and a golf course.
The Wingecarribee Shire Council Chambers is located here.
Moss Vale area was once occupied by the Tharawal people
, though they had disappeared by the 1870s, partly due to the loss of their hunting land to European settlers. Governor Hunter
sent a party led by ex-convict John Wilson to investigate the area in 1798. Various others explored the area up to 1815, including John Warby, George Caley, Hamilton Hume
and John Oxley
. Hume, Charles Throsby
and Joseph Wild
explored the area west of Sutton Forest
in 1817 and in 1818, together with James Meehan
, they explored the area between Moss Vale and Jervis Bay
. Governor Macquarie
granted Throsby , known as Throsby Park, at Bong Bong
, on the northeastern outskirts of Moss Vale and put him in charge of building the Old Argyle Road from Sydney to Goulburn
in 1819. This road was replaced in the 1830s by a more direct road via Berrima
surveyed by Thomas Mitchell
and most of the population of Bong Bong moved to Berrima. The heritage-listed property of Throsby Park house was built about 1834, six years after Throsby's suicide.
The area, which was considered to be part of Sutton Forest, remained rural until the coming of the railway. Subdivision of part of Throsby Park for the town of Moss Vale, named after Jemmy Moss, a herdsman at Throsby Park, commenced in 1864, in anticipation of the opening of Sutton Forest railway station in 1867 at the intersection with Old Argyle Road. Governor Belmore rented Throsby Park from 1870 to 1872 to escape the summer heat of Sydney. The railway and the Robertson Land Acts encouraged denser settlement by selectors in the Southern Highlands and led to the growth of Moss Vale as a town. In 1877 Sutton Forest railway station was renamed Moss Vale.
Moss Vale holds a large part of the Southern highlands
Industry - as well as being a minor centre for agriculture, many light and medium industries are found in and around Moss Vale, including a James Hardie
plant, a Harper Collins
book distribution centre, and other Blue Collar
Despite Moss Vale's prowess as an industrial centre, nearby Bowral
is the commercial heart of the Southern highlands