Carrathool is a friendly farming village situated on the Riverina plain approx. 5 km north of the Murrumbidgee River and is approx. 5 hours north of Melbourne, 1 hour from Griffith and 40 minutes south of Hay.
Once a bustling country town of several hundred people, Carrathool was surrounded by large merino properties with a railhead that serviced an enormous area.
The village of Carrathool was originally located on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. During the 1850’s, Carrathool was known to be one of the earliest river port towns that was established to serve paddle steamer traffic along the river.
With the arrival of the railway in 1882, a new village was established two miles north of the river, this new village of Carrathool was proclaimed on 20 March 1885 and became the railhead for an extensive area where enormous quantities of wool, wheat, timber and livestock were shipped by rail.
The Merrylees (Carrathool) Bridge crossing the Murrumbidgee River was opened in 2019, built next to one of the last lifting bridges in Australia. Built to replace the punt, the heritage-listed bascule lift span bridge was completed in 1922 and the lift span was last opened for river traffic in the 1930s.
Learn more of Carrathool’s pastoral history by following the heritage markers around the village.
Visitors and travellers to Carrathool can make use of the local park across the road from the family hotel featuring a BBQ area and toilet block or stop for a cold drink at the Family Hotel, rebuilt in 2012 after the original hotel burnt down in 2010.
On your way out of town, stop and enjoy the views at Pinker’s Beach on the Murrumbidgee River, perfect for picnics or to throw a line in for a spot of fishing. Pinkers rest stop also has a Council maintained public toilet.
The highlight of the district calendar is the Carrathool Races, held annually in February. This race meet, also known as “The Best of the Bough Shed Tracks”, attracts up to 2,000 plus racegoers annually, and has been running for over one hundred and twenty five years.
Carrathool is home to the historic sheep grazing property Uardry, whose ram once featured on the one shilling piece.