Explorer Captain Charles Sturt arrived in the area in the 1830s in the search for an inland sea. He entered the headwaters of a wide river, which he named the Darling. On a subsequent expedition he entered a mighty river, which he named the Murray. In 1830, while navigating the Murray, he came across a river junction, which he was convinced was the confluence with the Darling.
Settlers and drovers began arriving in the area, bringing cattle and sheep to graze the natural pastures. The river junction spot became an established campsite known as Hawdon's Ford. The actual junction at the time was called "The Rinty". The settlement was later referred to as the "Darling Junction".
In the mid 1840s the settlement was known as "McLeod's Crossing", named for the first white residents of the settlement.
With the arrival of paddleboats in 1853, the small settlement of Wentworth found itself ideally situated as an administrative and commercial centre for the untapped wealth of the vast outback. For many years Sydney was the only port in New South Wales to handle more cargo than Wentworth.
In 1857, Surveyor General Barney considered it time to establish a proper township. The town site was approved in 1859 and was named after the New South Wales explorer and politician William Charles Wentworth. The area was proclaimed a municipality on January 23, 1879, and is the region's oldest settlement.
P.S. Ruby turns 100 in 2007. Find out about this historic riverboat, its recent renovation and visit it at its home in Wentworth.
Explore the first of the Australia-designed gaols. Visit the Old Wentworth Gaol and see how colonial-era prisoners and their guards lived.
Visit the Fergie Tractor monument in Wentworth and find out about its part in saving the town from disaster in 1956.
Discover Wentworth on foot. This 4-kilometre self-guided walking tour will take you to monuments and memorials, introduce you to colourful characters, pass historic buildings, and reveal stories of the once-busy wharf, the rivers, the 1956 flood and 100-year old paddleboats.
Discover Wentworth's heritage at this museum that has a collection of more than 30,000 artifacts and relics covering all aspects on the history of Wentworth. It houses one of Australia's biggest photographic collection on river boats and of Australia's megafauna.