Koorawatha

Koorawatha Sunset

Koorawatha is located on the A41 Olympic Highway, 40 km north of Young and 25 km south of Cowra. 

The name Koorawatha is from a Wiradjuri dialect and means 'A place of pine trees'. Once a large thriving centre, the village of Koorawatha is gateway to the Koorawatha Falls and Koorowatha Nature Reserve located in the Illunie Range, favoured for bird watching and family picnics. 

The township is famous for a gun battle between police and the bush ranger Ben Hall.  On 20 May 1864 Hall, ably assisted by Tom Gordon and Jimmy Dunleavy attempted to hold up the Bang Bang Hotel (demolished in the 1940s) but found themselves involved in a desperate gun battle with two policemen. Hall and his accomplices were forced to retreat. After this they proceeded to the Bang Bang hotel, and held up all those on the front verandah, instructing them to stay where they were. 

Two constables Scott and McNamara were at the stables tending their horses and upon seeing this drew their pistols. John Gilbert, the notorious bushranger who was part of Hall's gang opened fire and fired three shots at the constables who returned fire, advancing towards the mounted bushrangers as they fired forcing Mount and Gilbert to retreat. While McNamara kept Mount and Gilbert at bay, Scott took careful aim at Hall as he galloped away - and fired. The bullet struck his hat knocking it from his head. Gilbert and Mount galloped after Hall abandoning the robbery. 

 At the site of the gun battle there is a sign where the old Bang Bang Hotel used to be. It is inconspicuously located by a peppercorn tree in the township, about half a kilometre west from the Olympic Highway.

Koorawatha Falls