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Why is Griffith specific?

Elvis Elvis

Griffith statistics:

Population: 19,000

Postcode: 2680

Annual rainfall: 424mm

Temperatures (summer): 16-33C; (winter): 3-14C

Griffith is an oasis in a dry country. Thanks to the waters of the Murrumbidgee River, the country has been transformed into a very productive agricultural area. What is produced here? Wine grapes, citrus fruit, rice, typical of the irrigated areas of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation scheme.

 With the wine grapes comes…. wineries, of which there are plenty. Beelgara, De Bortoli, McWilliams, Piromit, and West End Estate, just to name a few. There are, in fact, 14 cellar doors open for tastings daily. The wineries are so popular that tours have been established to cater for the interest in seeing these facilities, and of course tasting the local produce.

Surprisingly for a country town, there are a large number of nationalities. The dominant nationality is Italian, with some 60% of the population claiming some Italian heritage. In total, the residents boast 48 countries of birth. The multicultural atmosphere reflects the tolerant nature of the residents.

A visitor to the main shopping street, Banna Avenue, readily discerns the wealth of the town. Resembling a mall in a capital city, Banna Avenue has its upmarket specialty stores that large city residents will be used to. The street is clean and nicely landscaped. In fact, a visitor from a capital city will likely find the stores they are accustomed to purchase from are also available here, which is quite amazing for a community of this size, but does reflect how positive residents and businesses feel about the future.

Doesn’t Griffith sound like a great place to visit? But would you call it home? Let’s examine some more features.

Travellers’ warning: Griffith is in what is called the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone. This means that some foods are not allowed to be brought into the zone. Please see the NSW DPI site for further details.

Why is Griffith specific?

CLIMATE

Typical of the Riverina, summers are warm to hot and winters cool. Although the rainfall is not high, being fed by the Murrumbidgee Irrigation scheme, residents have few water concerns.

Do make a point of being in town around May to see the changing of the colour in leaves. It really is quite spectacular out here.

ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS

Annual events include:

  • La Festa – Internation Street Festival
  • unWINEd in the Riverina
  • Murrumbidgee Farm Fair
  • Festival of Gardens
  • Scalabrini Village Spring Festival
  • Annual Show
  • The Festa Delle Salsicce (Festival of the Sausage)

Why is Griffith specific?

 

Having a rich cultural heritage makes Griffith an interesting place for those appreciating the arts. As an example, the Italian Museum recognises the significant contribution of Italians in the development of the area. The Regional Theatre is not only a place for entertainment but houses a historic collection of photos dating back to the settlement of the town.

Other cultural features include the Regional Art Gallery and the Uptown Cultural Walk, a self-guided walk through the CBD, designed to build appreciation for the cultural features of the town.

TOWN SERVICES

Schools. Griffith has 2 public high schools and one Catholic high School. 13 primary schools and preschool facilities are within the city (shire) precinct. A large campus of TAFE will cater many of those wanting further education or technical training. The council hopes to have a new campus of the Charles Sturt University built in the area.

Why is Griffith specific?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shops. As noted in the introduction, the main street for shopping is Banna Avenue. Many shops can also be found in Yambil Street, just behind Banna Avenue. The large retail and food chains expected in large cities can also be found here. Several shopping centres are in town, as well as a new one being developed as we write. Due to the range of shopping available, the town pulls shoppers in from a large area totalling over 60,000 people.

GRIFFITH AREA

There are so many things to do around Griffith. Let’s discuss a few.

Cocoparra National Park is located 30km to the east near Binya. These mountains are a welcome sight in flat country, and really come to life after rain when numerous waterfalls can be seen.

Why is Griffith specific?

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Wyangan caters for water sports enthusiasts, such as sailing and fishing. But don’t go there just for water sports, it’s just a good day out for the family, with BBQ facilities available.The scenic lookout (known as Sir Dudley de Chair’s Lookout) has nearby what is known as Hermit’s Caves. The story goes that Valerio Ricetti, for nearly a decade, lived as a hermit in caves below the lookout, between the two world wars. He terraced the hill to grow crops and even built for himself a chapel in the caves. The remnants of his home can still be seen.In the town of Darlington Point to the south, is the Altina Wildlife Park. unlike other small wildlife parks, we see the animals from a horse drawn cart. So animals are everywhere, even acting as transport.Nearby towns and villages include Hillston, Leeton, and Yenda.

ECONOMICS

Employment.

The unemployment rate is around the national average. Griffith is a wealthy town with new businesses reflecting anticipated growth of 2.5%. The retail sector is large for the town size. Agriculture is obviously big business, and year round work can be found picking fruit. A lot of work can be picked up from the many wineries. Bartters Enterprises is located just to the south, and is the second largest producer of chicken meat in Australia, and a very large local employer.