"Murrimba May Not Exist" Murrimba by craic

Murrimba Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 7 photos

In spite of being on the map.
I was searching destinations in and around Wingello.
There was Murrimba supposedly only 7.19k away.
Google revealed nothing except a name on the map.
Its latitude is – 34.65 longitude 150.1166667.
Wingello – latitude – 34.7 longitude 150.1666667.
We do have a Murrimba Road which goes out to the Hume at Paddys River.
But I have never heard of any township called Murrimba.
None of the old-timers use it as a locality name.
“Head out to Murrimba and you’ll find the swimming hole at Paddys River.”
I will just go and check my really good atlas.
Nope. Checked both atlases and no Murrimba.
But then – they don’t list Wingello either.
Just had a sudden thought.
Maybe the little township of Murrimba – saw mill, general store, scatter of bark
huts – got razed to the ground in the big fire of 1939.

Email from a good mate with superior google skills
“Well, it seems it was there in 1821:
The Paddys River area was known as Murrimba. There were two Hotels, a
Blacksmith’s and Jane Murray’s General Store. The bushrangers Ben Hall,
John Gilbert and John Dunn held up the General Store and Jeffrey’s Inn in
1865. And there was a coalmine base named Murrimba. DOTARS Transport
Regulation Federal Interstate Registration Scheme has it …
So when did Murrimba disappear? I wonder if one can find the ruins …
Murrimba may well be a ghost town …”

Thoughts On Finding Out Something I Did Not Know
The Jeffreys are an established family in the district and there are still plenty of
them around. Next time I bump into Sylvia Jeffreys I will quiz her.

I did bump into Sylvia Jeffreys outside Penrose Country Supplies, and she told
me there should be a plaque about the place beside the highway.
So Alex and I went out for a look see.

Swimming Hole
Paddy’s River, right next to the Hume Highway, was the nicest swimming hole
in the district. All the local children used to flock there in the summer and jump
off the big old rock.
Then! A headless torso was found in the pool!
You can imagine the angst it caused.
Kids had been swimming there the day before it was found.
Poor little Dean, white as a ghost, asked me if I thought it had been there while
he was swimming.
I assured him there was no way it could have been there. But I was not
absolutely sure, you know.
No one would go into the water any more. They reckoned the head was still in
there. But it was found up in Sydney.
But you never see any one swimming there any more.
I think it is a rotten thing to do, to ruin the only decent swimming hole for
miles around.

Rest Area
You can’t see the highway, but it is just through the trees.
It is a rest area, no facilities at all, but that’s what it is.
So whoever had the headless body in the boot of their car, pulled off the
highway, and heaved it into the water.
What a disgusting thing to do.
There was a distinctive tattoo on the arm, which was photographed and put in
the paper. The body was never identified. But somebody knows who he was.
I sometimes think that years down the track new people will ask why no one
swims out at Paddy’s River. And no one will remember why no one does. Why
there is a taboo. But they will know there is one.

Heading Off
Alex parked her car very carefully, because the ground slopes down towards
the water, and we locked it up (bad people come to this place) and we set off
looking for the plaque. And for any signs that there once had been a town here.
A few chimney bricks scattered in the grass. Some of those old fruit trees,
quinces, persimmons, china pears, that they used to plant around houses.
Sometimes the houses vanish, but you can still see the fruit trees.

The Place Was Deserted
Just the hum of traffic as we walked under the two highway bridges.
It makes you realise just how stubborn and stupid the poor old dead wombats
are, to try to cross the highway and play squash with a truck, when they could
have just nipped under here, no sweat. There are always one or two swelling up
like zeppelins by the side of the road.
Because of the water there would be quite a bit of wildlife around. But we were
out in the heat of the day so they would have been resting somewhere.

We Searched Vigorously …

… cast our net wide, but all we found was a little bit of old road, being claimed
by young willow trees.
The settlement would have been built here because Paddy’s River is a reliable
source of water. You have to wade through a little stream which is refreshing
on a hot day. And the lagoon is a reserve of water if the stream dries up.
A blacksmith’s shop and inns make it sound like a place to stay for people
travelling from Sydney to Goulburn.
Goulburn is the oldest inland city in Australia. It would be about a day’s ride.
A blacksmith's shop could have come in very handy. Not to mention an inn.
But we found nothing else apart from this little stretch of old road.
The big fires that swept through here in ’39 and ’64 must have erased every
trace of the old place.
If you dug down you might find some stuff. Tools, broken china, coins and
buttons, old horse shoes etc etc.

Where Is This Plaque?
Couldn’t find it anywhere. Was on the hunt for info – in the mood for info –
but if it is still there (maybe someone stole it) we couldn’t find it.
I will have to quiz Sylvia Jeffreys more minutely next time I bump into her.
Anyway, it was a nice day out. An expedition.

Back To The Car
The car was still there. Hadn’t gone for a swim. Hadn't been nicked.
Our sneakers were sloshing, trousers rolled up from wading through the creek.
It is a very peaceful place. We didn't see one ghost. I could pick up no
emanations at all from the busy life that would have gone on around here once.
If I hadn’t known that this was once a bustling little town, I would never have
guessed it. It's just a dot on the map, and nothing more.

  • Intro Updated Feb 17, 2008
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Reviews (3)

Comments (7)

  • Manara's Profile Photo
    Sep 1, 2009 at 4:47 AM

    Now Murrimba exists, in your beautiful page.

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2009 at 9:14 PM

    This is great to have a page with photos of a ghost town and it is amazing that nothing at all remains of it!

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2008 at 10:39 AM

    Well, it appears you made a very thorough search for this ghost town. A short tromp in the bush is always fun regardless of the outcome!

  • Maxus's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2008 at 10:43 AM

    How do you make a place so interesting (I’ve been around and about this page 20 minutes) when there is so little there? Wonderful.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2008 at 10:06 AM

    Jennifer, we have some ghost villages here in UA...

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Feb 19, 2008 at 10:41 AM

    great left field page. picture duly painted

  • Feb 18, 2008 at 7:48 AM

    When I'm at home, feeling under the weather, these are the kind of stories I want to read - ghost towns and headless torsos in the pond! Off to find more! :)

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