Location: Where is Wallacia?
Wallacia, New South Wales Australia, is located at the most southerly region of the City of Penrith. Wallacia is a small village surrounded by rurual countryside. The Nepean River takes a severe turn westward at Wallacia, gradually turning northerly again at Mulgoa. At Wallacia, the river rises to a height of 300m above sea level. Wallacia was a renowned holiday resort area from the late 1800s to the 1940s. It is also well known for its quiet village lifestyle. The Wallacia Hotel and Wallacia Golf Course reflect the recreational qualities of the area.
33 51′ S 150 38′ E
|Postcode: 2745||Population: 1,627 (2016 Census)||Distance from Sydney: 67.5 km W|
|Area: 7.38 km 2 or 738 ha||Density: 2.2 people per ha||Wallacia NSW on Google Maps|
The Mulgoa Valley marked an important boundary between two major clans – the Dharug from the plains and the Gundungurra from the mountains. These clans were separated, not only by the valley, but also linguistically. The Mulgoa Valley was used by both clans. Groups travelled along it to attend ceremonies, to barter foodstuffs, and, especially during periods of drought, as a source of food and water. As the Nepean River was a permanent water supply the lands in close proximity to the river could always be relied upon to provide food reserves. The Mulgoa area saw numerous bloody encounters between the European and Aboriginal inhabitants of the area, especially during periods of drought, when food supplies were scarce. However, it appears that the clashes were between the Gundungarra clans and the Europeans, rather than the Mulgoa band of the Dharug clan, which remained peaceful.
For more general information on the Dharug people please see The Dharug Story by Chris Tobin (Penrith City Library collection 994.004 DHA).
Origin of the place name – Wallacia
The area known as Wallacia has seen several name changes over the years. Originally the region was called Riverview, but became known locally as Wallace after Robert Wallace who grazed cattle on the 2000 acres he rented from Sir Charles Nicholson. Because of its central location in the area – between the Nepean River and Bringelly Road – his house became the unofficial Post Office from November 1885. It was situated at the rear of what is now the Wallacia Store and Newsagents. By 1897, a school built in the area was known as Wallace School.
When the Post Office became official in November 1905, the G.P.O. named the area Boondah as the name Wallace was already in use elsewhere in NSW. Local people objected however, as they wished to retain the link with Wallace. To overcome the problem, they suggested that the area be called Wallacia. This name was officially approved on 1 June, 1906.
The region was chiefly one of dairying and grazing during the nineteenth century, but in the early twentieth century – because of its rural atmosphere and proximity to Sydney – tourism developed as people opened their homes as guest houses. After the Second World War however, the increase in car ownership and the availability of air travel saw a decline in the local tourist trade. Today Wallacia’s tourism is centred on the day-tripper trade with the Wallacia Hotel and the Wallacia Golf Course the chief attractions. Growth in the area in the past few years has mainly occurred with the development of hobby farms by people seeking a retreat from city life.
|1801||October||George Caley with 2 convicts explored the Nepean River between Cobbitty and Wallacia|
|1802||September||Lt Francis Barrallier explored the Nepean River at Wallacia|
|1804||September||Surveyor George Evans discovered the Warragamba River|
|1810||November||Governor Macquarie and his party explored the area Evans discovered|
|1813||30 November||John Blaxland granted 6170 acres, which he named “Luddenham”|
|1816||8 October||Dennis McDonald granted 30 acres|
|1831||Blaxland granted a further 777 acres between the Nepean River and the Warragamba River, which included Grove Farm|
|1851||Sir Charles Nicholson (benefactor to the (University of Sydney) purchased Blaxland’s land|
|1883||Nicholson’s land gradually sold and sub-divided|
|1885||November||Official Post Office opened with the area named Boondah|
|1896||11 December||Unsuccessful application for a provisional school|
|1897||19 April||New half-time school building completed|
|1906||1 June||Riverview, Wallace and Boondah renamed Wallacia|
|1910||December||Land purchased by the Crown for a School|
|1912||Wallacia Weir built|
|1920s||Guesthouses boomed in the Wallacia area|
|1923||Thistledome Guesthouse built on Greendale Road|
|1923||Roselea Guesthouse on Greendale Road built by the Downes family|
|1927||December||Land gazetted as a public school|
|1937||December||Wallacia Hotel opened|
|1958||3 October||Corner Water Street and Mulgoa Road dedicated for a War Memoria|
|1984||Local Environmental Study of Mulgoa and Wallacia (Penrith
|1999||June||Release of the Mulgoa & Wallacia Study and Strategy by Penrith City Council|
|2019||July||Plans to turn Wallacia Golf and Country Club into an 80,000 plot cemetery are knocked back|
Historic buildings & places
The Wallacia Hotel was officially opened on December 3rd 1937. During the Second World War the hotel was used as the Army headquarters for radiophysics. The hotel, which was built in the mock tudor style, is heritage listed under Penrith City Council’s Local Environmental Plan.
For photos and more information on Wallacia, search Penrith City Library’s catalogue using an All Resources search.
Penrith City Council, Local Environmental Study – Mulgoa and Wallacia Villages, Penrith, 1984.
Penrith City Council, Mulgoa & Wallacia Rural Villages Study, Penrith, 1999.
Penrith City Council, Draft Mulgoa & Wallacia Rural Villages Strategy, Penrith, 1999.
Bannerman, S.M. & Hazelton, P.A. Soil Landscapes of the Penrith 1:100000 Sheet.
Mulgoa! Mulgoa! Where is that? – A General History of Mulgoa, Mulgoa Progress Association, 1988.
Murray, Robert and White, Kate Dharug & Dungaree: The History of Penrith and St Marys to 1860 , Hargreen Publishing, 1988.
Nepean District Historical Society, From Castlereagh to Claremont Meadows: Historical Places of Penrith City Council, Penrith, 1997.
Parr, Lorna, A History of the Nepean and District Street Names, Nepean District Historical Society, Penrith, 1990.
Parr, Lorna, Penrith Calendar, Nepean District Historical Society, 1987.
Penrith City Library LCVF – Wallacia.
Stacker, Lorraine Pictorial history: Penrith & St Marys, Kingsclear Books, 2002.
Stevenson, Colin R., Place Names and their Origins within the City of Penrith, Penrith City Council, Penrith, 1985.
Stickley, Christine, The Old Charm of Penrith, 2nd ed., the author, St. Marys, 1984.