A complete guide to Temora, NSW

By Bruce Elder 17 February 2024
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Located almost halfway between Sydney and Melbourne, this 19th-century gold-rush settlement continues today as a vital rural service centre.

Temora developed during the gold-rush era following the 1869 discovery of the precious metal there.
By 1881 the local goldfield was producing half the state’s gold, and the town’s population had passed 20,000, most of whom were miners.

With the railway arriving in 1893, the town grew into an important rail centre, being in a prosperous wheat and sheep district. It has one of the state’s largest inland grain storage terminals and a major agricultural research station. It’s well known as a centre for harness racing with numerous trotting studs in the district.

Today it’s also famous for its outstanding Temora Aviation Museum and popular air shows, which occur regularly and provide an opportunity to see the museum’s historic planes in flight.


Temora is 280m above sea level and located 423km south-west of Sydney via
the Hume Motorway and Burley Griffin Way.

Origin of Name:

In 1880 a town site was proclaimed as Watsonforde, after the Colonial Treasurer, James Watson. However, the settlement was already known as Temora and, at the request of the locals and Watson,
it was officially changed.

Useful Websites:


Places of interest

1. Temora Aviation Museum

This facility was created and financed in 1999 by aviator and musician David Lowy, who aimed to create “an aviation museum dedicated to aircraft and pilots who had defended Australia”. Temora’s rich aviation history, enthusiastic local council, flat terrain and uncontrolled air space below 20,000 feet made it ideal. It’s located at Temora Aerodrome, which was the base of Australia’s largest RAAF Elementary Flying Training School, during World War II.

Image credit: Destination NSW

2. Temora Air Shows

Up to eight times a year the Aviation Museum has a flying weekend when many of its aircraft take to the sky. The shows are well organised and designed for both experts and novices. The demonstration flights program includes great commentary and pilot interviews. At the end of each flying day, barriers are taken down and spectators can walk onto the tarmac, talk to pilots and inspect planes.

Image credit: Peter Morris/Destination NSW

3. Statue of Paleface Adios

In Paleface Park on the corner of Hoskins and Loftus streets, a statue commemorates legendary harness racehorse Paleface Adios (aka The Temora Tornado). Born in 1969, he died in 1989 and won 108 races, helping to make Temora and the surrounding district a centre for Australian harness racing.

Image credit: Destination NSW

4. Canola Trail

An initiative shared between the shires of Coolamon, Junee and Temora, the Canola Trail is designed to offer a circular route between the three towns to highlight their local produce, unique railway history and natural attractions. You can find a useful downloadable map here. This map resource includes suggested itineraries on the 151km route, which can be spread across one, two or three days.

Image credit: Destination NSW

5. Railway Museum

Located in Camp Street, the Temora Railway Museum is at the town’s historic, and still operating, railway station. There is a Railyard Walk with signage explaining the railyard’s history, and volunteers provide visitors with official tours.

A highlight is the story of Boofhead, a black-and-white fox terrier (depicted in a statue at the museum) who, in the 1960s, rode the trains as far as Goulburn and Lake Cargelligo. The signage explains: “Boofhead had a likeable personality and it didn’t take long for railway workers and the people of Temora to develop a strong affection for him… It was soon clear that he had a real passion for train travel and quickly became known as ‘Temora’s railway dog’.”


The area is the traditional home
of the Wiradjuri people

The ‘Temora pastoral run’
was established in 1847 by
John Donald McCansh.

Gold was first found in the
Temora area in 1869.

The main Temora gold rush commenced in 1879.

In 1880 a town site was chosen, laid out and proclaimed.

By 1881 the Temora goldfield
was producing half of NSW’s gold.

The town’s population reached 20,000 in the early 1880s. Mostly miners, they extracted a total of 4000kg from the district.

The railway arrived in 1893 making Temora a vital wheat terminal.

By the early 1900s, German farmers who had trekked from South Australia were settling in the surrounding area.

Cattle saleyards and a butter factory opened in 1912.

Temora Aerodrome was established in 1941 as an RAAF training school.

In 1969 Paleface Adios, one of the greatest harness-racing horses ever bred in Australia, was born.

The Temora Aviation Museum was opened in 2000.

In 2016 the railway station was revitalised as a museum.

Image credit: State Library of New South Wales

Related: A complete guide to Aussie towns