Hay, on the Murrumbidgee River in the Riverina region of New South Wales, is at the junction of the Sturt, Cobb and Mid Western Highways. The district was settled in 1850 and the township surveyed in 1859 and named Lang's Crossing. It was later re-named in honour of Sir John Hay, the local member of parliament.
The town is serene and well laid out, with broad streets and a population nearing 3000. Surrounding saltbush plains are sparsely timbered and very flat, taken up by sheep and cattle stations.
St Paul's Anglican Church, built in 1885, is the procathedral for the diocese of the Riverina. It is opposite Hay Park, which has a children's playground, aviary, duck pond, barbecue and picnic facilities and beautiful, shady Morton Bay fig trees.
Hay Gaol Museum was built in 1879 and despite some architecturally inappropriate additions and alterations, is a good example of a Victorian building with an interesting history. There are many local volunteers who are happy to talk about the history.
Shear Outback showcases stories, artefacts, technology and the culture of the Australian shearing industry. It is a purpose-built facility in an old woolshed which was relocated from the banks of the Murray River. There is a Hall of Fame honouring the achievements of shearers. Visitors can meet shearers, shed hands, cooks, classers, cockies, sheep and dogs. There are several shearing demonstrations every day.
770 kilometres west of Sydney.
Shear Outback is open every day between 9am and 5pm, except Christmas Day. Entry is $15 for adults and $8 for children.
For local farm tours and farm stays contact Hay Visitor Information Centre.
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.
Sturt and Cobb Highways
Hay NSW 2711
Ph: (02) 6993 4000
Fax: 02 6993 4915
Hay Visitor Information Centre
Hay NSW 2711
Ph: (02) 6993 4045
Fax: (02) 6993 2069
Tourism NSW: www.visitnsw.com.au