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Bega Valley

New South Wales

BEGAVALLEY.NSW.GUIDE

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Bega Valley Local History

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The Bega Valley is a region located in the south-eastern corner of New South Wales, Australia. It is best known for its picturesque scenery, pristine beaches, and rich history. The area has been home to Indigenous Australians for thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers.

The Yuin people were the traditional owners of the land that is now the Bega Valley. They lived off the land and sea, hunting and gathering food from the rivers and forests of the region. Their culture and history are still visible today in the many Aboriginal sites and artefacts scattered throughout the valley.

The first European settlers arrived in the Bega Valley in the 1820s. They were mainly farmers, who cleared the land for agriculture and built homesteads. The most famous of these early settlers was William Chaffey, who founded the town of Cobargo in 1874.

The Bega Valley became famous for its dairy industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The rich pastures, abundant water, and mild climate made it perfect for farming. Dairy farmers in the region produced some of the highest-quality milk in the country, which was in great demand in Sydney and other major cities.

One of the most famous dairy products to come out of the Bega Valley is Bega Cheese. The company was founded in 1899 by Edward Coon, who used his wife's money to start a small cheese-making operation. Today, Bega Cheese is one of Australia's largest dairy companies, and its products are sold all over the world.

The Bega Valley has also been the site of several significant events in Australian history. During the 1850s, gold was discovered in nearby towns, such as Nerrigundah and Bermagui. The gold rush attracted thousands of people to the area, who came in search of their fortune.

In the early 1920s, the Bega Valley was the site of a bitter industrial dispute between dairy farmers and milk processors. The dispute centred on the price of milk, and it lasted for several months. Eventually, the farmers won a significant victory, and the price of milk was increased. The dispute has since become known as the "Bega Milk Strike."

Another significant event in the region's history was the arrival of the railway in the early 1900s. The railway connected the Bega Valley to Sydney and other major cities, making it easier for farmers to transport their products to market. The railway also brought new industries and businesses to the region.

Today, the Bega Valley is a thriving community with a rich history and a bright future. The region is home to many small businesses, agricultural enterprises, and cultural institutions. It is also a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world who come to enjoy its natural beauty and learn about its rich past.


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Tathra on the Bega Valley thanks to Cimexus