- Berridale, New South Wales
Infobox Australian Place | type = town
name = Berridale
state = nsw
lga = Snowy River Shire
postcode = 2628
est = 1863
pop = 800
dist1 = 435
Berridale is a small town of 800 people in
New South Wales, and is the administrative centre of the Snowy River Shire, one of Australia's major inland tourism destinations. Berridale lies at 860 metres above sea level between the towns of Cooma and Jindabyne and 435 kilometres south of Sydney.
Climate and geography
Berridale has a definite four seasons: with potential snow during winter despite being below the snowline and temperatures reaching sweltering 40 degrees celsius in the summer months of December to February. During summer, the average temperature ranges from a minimum 9° celsius to a maximum of 28°. During the wintertime, the minimum temperature can go below -5° while the maximum temperature can rise as high as 16°. Berridale's climate is relatively dry as the town is located in a rainshadow on the Monaro between the
Snowy Mountainsand the coastal zone.
The land surrounding the town is a combination of cleared farmland and lightly wooded bush. There are granite boulders located south through west of the town on the roads to both Jindabyne and Dalgety. This granite was crystallised as a large mass from magma 400 million years ago miles from the earth's surface and was gradually eroded and uplifted to its current position. The hills immediately to the north of the town have less granite. There are, however, a few small areas of shale.
Aborigines long occupied the area but in small numbers. The European settlement was founded in the 1860s, when Scotsman William Oliver built his house there in 1863 and opened a roadside store, naming the location as a variation on his home town in Scotland
Beresdale. The dry climate later proved the town ideal for growing fine merino wool. Oliver's store became a wayside inn in 1870, which still exists as the Berridale Inn, and a granite store was built. A post office opened in the town in 1869 with a telegraph office opening in 1870.
The town nicknamed itself the 'Crossroads of the Snowy' during the period when gold miners would pass through on their way to the Adaminaby and Kiandra goldfields. Berridale was also nicknamed the 'Town of the Poplars' in the 1990's due to the main road through it from Cooma to Jindabyne (Jindabyne Road/Kosciusko Road ) being lined by an avenue of poplars. The town grew slowly with the pastoral industry forming the mainstay of the local economy. The town hosted a work camp for the Snowy Mountains Authority although its population did not grow as much as Jindabyne or Cooma during the
Snowy Mountains Scheme.Berridale is also home to one of the largest collections of heavy machinery and associated equipment salvaged from construction of the Snowy Mountains Scheme. The items include dozers, graders, scrapers, dumpers, loaders, tournapulls, trucks, snow equipment and numerous other pieces, from well known makers such as International, Euclid, LeTourneau Westinghouse, Allis Chalmers, Caterpillar, Thornycroft, Leyland, and others and numbers in excess of 100 pieces. A museum is planned for future construction to display the items.
In recent decades, Berridale has developed a tourism industry based on its location on route to the NSW snow fields.
John Howardwas staying in Berridale in September 1985 on a family ski holiday when Andrew Peacockannounced that he would call a Party Room meeting to replace him as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party. When Howard was re-elected as Deputy Leader on September 5, Peacock was in an untenable position and resigned with Howard becoming leader of the Liberal Party and the Leader of the Opposition.
Berridale Public School is a primary school with around 100 pupils, serving the town and the outlying areas, with pupils going on to the Snowy Mountains Grammar School in Jindabyne or Monaro High School in Cooma.
* [http://snowyriver.local-e.nsw.gov.au/ Snowy River Shire information]
* [http://www.cooma.nsw.gov.au/monaropioneers/towns.htm Monaro Pioneers timeline]
* [http://www.cooma.nsw.gov.au/monaropioneers/berridale/history.htm Monaro Pioneers Berridale page]
* [http://www.walkabout.com.au/locations/NSWBerridale.shtml Fairfax Walkabout page]
* [http://berridale.visitnsw.com/HolidayLocation/TNSW600709CT.htm NSW tourism Berridale page]
* [http://www.snowymountains.com.au/Berridale.html Snowy Mountains Berridale page]
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