CENTRAL TILBA & TILBA TILBA
NATIONAL TRUST VILLAGES
The South Coast of New South Wales was settled by Europeans after Mount Dromedary was sighted and named by Captain James Cook on Saturday 21 April 1770. Cook observed its likeness to a camel’s dromedary hump.
The small settlements of Central Tilba and Tilba Tilba are beautiful, quaint villages featuring interesting gift shops and celebrating local and regional craftspeople & artisans.
In 1975 Central Tilba was placed on the classified list in the National Trust register for its outstanding townscape quality. Visitors can easily pass a day exploring the town’s endearing tea rooms, stores and galleries.
A local market takes place in the Small Hall and the Big Hall every Saturday morning, where visitors and locals mingle to buy fresh, locally grown and sourced seasonal produce. Wherever possible The Drom and our chef source fruit, vegetables, flowers and other produce for the pub from the weekly markets.
GOLD RUSH COLONY
It could be said that Tilba’s existence can be attributed to a ‘gold rush’.
After Reverend W B Clarke first found traces of Alluvium gold in nearby Dignams Creek in 1852, a significant amount of gold was found in deposits along streams coming from Mount Gulaga's slopes. Near the crest of Mount Gulaga, reefs were discovered in 1877 that allowed for gold mineralization. Between 1878 and 1920 approximately 603 kilograms (1,329 lb) of gold was found in its slopes. These Pyrite-rich veins ranged in size from 15 to 45 centimetres (5.9 to 17.7 in) and were mined by the Mount Dromedary Gold Mining Company.
Industries appeared to support the influx of people and businesses during this period. One of these was the ABC Cheese Factory which still makes cheese to this day. It was owned by Samuel Bate who later subdivided his privately owned land and sold smaller lots, leading to the creation of Central Tilba. The main street in Central Tilba is named Bate Street in his honour.
To support the local workers at the nearby Dromedary Gold Mines, the two-storey Dromedary Hotel was built by the Livingstones as a coffee palace.
The building was one of the first to be erected in the newly formed town.
In 1969 Tilba found short-lived fame when Dame Zara Holt, the widow of Harold Holt, a former Prime Minister of Australia, who died under mysterious circumstances in 1967, re-married in the town. The Drom briefly became the main drinking hole of the national media.
From 2013-2016 Tilba was once again on the map when the ABC selected a smallholding on the outskirts of Tilba as the base for the Australian adaptation of successful British TV show River Cottage. This incredibly successful show followed the day to day life of former chef, Tasmanian Paul West. The programme showcased local produce and farming while Paul attempted to live in a self-sufficient manner. Paul has publicly stated he plans to return to the area with his young family in future.
MOUNT DROMEDARY / GULAGA
Gulaga is the place of ancestral origin of the Yuin, the Indigenous people of the area. Gulaga itself symbolises the mother and provides a basis for Aboriginal spiritual identity; the mountain as well as the surrounding area holds particular significance for Aboriginal women. For the Yuin people it is seen as a place of cultural origin, a symbolic mother-figure that provides the basis for the people's spiritual identity.
Mount Gulaga is within the Gulaga National Park. At its highest point, it measures 806 metres (2,644 ft) above sea level.
In May 2006 the Gulaga National Park, incorporating the former Wallaga Lake National Park, was handed back to its traditional Aboriginal owners, the Yuin people, in an historic agreement signed by the NSW Environment Minister and the Yuin people.