The Australian Shearers Hall of Fame, fine heritage buildings and fascinating World War II history are just three of the many attractions in Hay, a charming country town in beautiful western Riverina. Discover intriguing museums and enjoy outback sunsets, lovely parks, cycle ways and thrilling rodeo.
On the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, Hay is one of Australia’s major wool growing areas. At Shear Outback is the Australian Shearers Hall of Fame. Explore the story of Australian sheep shearing and see live sheep-shearing demonstrations. There is a gift shop, cafe and maze at the museum.
Hire free bicycles from the Hay Outback Information Centre and explore various attractions. Stop at the elaborate Witcombe Fountain and the Bishop’s Lodge Historic House, an 1888 iron house designed to withstand summer heat. Pedal along the Bidgee Riverside Trail for the Warakirri Murals.
Military history is an important part of Hay’s heritage, too. The Light Horse Memorial is a striking bronze sculpture to commemorate World War I. In the Hay Gaol Museum and the Dunera Museum, explore the history of the World War II civilian internment camps and prisoner of war camps in Hay.
In the heritage-listed railway station, Dunera Museum is the home of the POW and Internment Camp Interpretative Centre. You can also make an appointment to visit the Hay War Memorial High School Museum. The school was described as the ‘finest war memorial’ when it opened in 1923.
With the meandering river, vast plains, wetlands and abundant birdlife, the natural beauty of the area is captivating. Watch glorious sunsets at the Hay Sunset Viewing Area, a short drive north of the town. Walk along the riverbank on the Hay Nature Walk, where there are delightful picnic spots.
In addition to the natural beauty and extraordinary heritage, enjoy special events such as the Hay Rodeo in March and the Booligal Sheep Races in Booligal, north of Hay, in April. Places to stay include cottages, motels, country pubs as well as riverside caravan and camping sites.
The Sturt, Cobb and Mid Western highways converge on Hay, which is halfway between Sydney and Adelaide and five hours’ drive north of Melbourne. You can fly into Griffith City Airport and rent a car for the 90 minutes’ drive to Hay. From Wagga Wagga, the drive is three hours.