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Just 56 Kilometres From Sydney

Feb 1, 2008
Menangle (sometimes referred to as Menangle Park) is a beautiful town in southwest Sydney, New South Wales. In fact, Menangle is only about 56 kilometres from Sydney, not that far at all considering it's rural atmosphere and outlook.

Menangle is the traditional home of the Tharawal people, a group of Aborigines who lived in the area from Botany Bay and Port Hacking to the Shoalhaven and Illawarra, and inland to Camden and Campbelltown - including the Menangle area itself. It is after a small lagoon in the area, on the west bank of the Nepean River, that the local tribe called Manangle. The history of the area dates back almost 40 000 years, with Tharawal artwork located in and around Menangle (cave paintings and rock engravings). Other evidence to supports its lengthy Aboriginal history can be seen in shell middens (ancient 'tips' for dumping rubbish) and groves that were used to grind axes.

Menangle was settled by white Europeans in 1805, by Walter Davidson, who called the area Manangle Lagoon. On the other side of the river, it was known as North Menangle. However, the Racecourse was built in 1914, and North Menangle became known as Menangle Park.

With a population of just over 200, further attempts to develop Menangle have been put on hold, as there are concerns about the impact the development could have on the water in the nearby Nepean River. This has meant that the town remains a quiet, peaceful area, surrounded by rolling hills and tranquillity. The drive from Campbelltown is as beautiful as Menangle itself, and you can feel the city aggravations draining away from you as you get closer and closer.

There is a quaint old restaurant and pub to be found, also known as the Horse and Jockey (which is really the tavern located at Menangle House), which is highly recommended if you want somewhere to wile away a lazy Sunday afternoon. The country setting is relaxing, and the food is just fantastic. If you don't go anywhere else in Menangle, you should at least call into Menangle House for a drink, or book yourself a lunch. Eat inside, or out in the courtyard under the trees; the entire establishment has a great atmosphere. And don't forget, if you're going to be dining, then check out the entertainment - you'll be pleasantly surprised with the talent they can have.

Menangle House was built in 1834 by Henry Taber and his convicts, with the downstairs area (apart from the library) being for the lower class, and the upstairs area (and downstairs library) being for the upper class. The Inn (the Horse and Jockey Tavern) at Menangle House has been restored to its original purpose as a tavern, and contains the only working servery hatch in Australia. If drinking away an afternoon is not your thing, then take a stroll around the beautiful four acres of gardens.
About the Author
Donna Mathews
www.menangle.com
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