Narrandera is a River Town with a rich heritage. Captain Charles Sturt, the famous explorer, is credited with being the first white man to observe the area that later was to become known as Narrandera. However Sturt, who passed through the district on December 12 1829, was not the first explorer to cast eyes on the Murrumbidgee River. The upper Murrumbidgee, the "Big Water", was first discovered in April 1821, by Charles Throsby. The name Narrandera is probably derived from Wiradjuri nharrang, meaning "frill-necked lizard".
The Narrungderra were the local indigenous people. They were all but destroyed by settlement, disease brought by European settlers, and clashes with the settlers. The last major battle between the indigenous people and European settlers took place near Massacre Island, and is said to have left only one survivor.
Narrandera had its first recorded mention as a pastoral station or "run" (Narrandera Run) in 1848, at which time the property held by Mr Edward Flood comprised approximately 76,800 acres. The Borough of Narrandera was constituted by proclamation dated March 17 1885, and gazetted the following day. The centenary of Local Government in Narrandera was celebrated in 1985.
Narrandera now marks the transition between an extensive dry-land area devoted to cereal crops and sheep and wool production to the east, and, to the west, the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) fed by water from the Burrinjuck Dam. The MIA is a region where irrigation has opened the way to a diversity of enterprise, from the growing of rice and other cereals under irrigation to the production of citrus, wine grapes and potatoes.
The town also has number of historic attractions, such as the aforementioned Royal Doulton Fountain, located in the Memorial Gardens; a fig tree on the corner of King and Cadell Streets, which is thought to be 150 years old; and the Mon Repos, a residence built in a Queen Anne-style, which was built in the 1890's.
|Notes: Temperatures are in degrees Celsius. Precipitation is in millimetres. Narrandera Golf Club Latitude: -34.73°S Longitude: 148.56°E Elevation: 173 m ASL|
Notable people from Narrandera include Her Excellency the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir; Prima ballerina Kathleen Gorham; and Fr. Patrick Hartigan (poet and author who used the pen name, "John O'Brien"): the bush ethos celebrated by Hartigan in his writings is commemorated in the annual John O'Brien Bush Festival held in the town.