Junee is located about 450 km south-west of Sydney and has a population of around 4,800. It is situated roughly halfway between Sydney and Melbourne, in the Riverina region of New South Wales. The Wiradjuri people are the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters of the area. The name Junee may mean ‘speak to me’ or ‘green frog’, and in the 1840s there was a pastoral run established in the district called ‘Jewnee’.
Junee is an important rail centre for southern New South Wales, and railways have formed an integral part of the town’s development from the opening of the railway line in 1878. The railway runs through the middle of the town’s business district, and the railway station (1883) is built in the Renaissance-style. It remains a landmark, and influenced several hotels in the town including the Loftus Hotel.
There are several heritage buildings of interest in the town, including the Junee Post Office. Designed by Colonial Architect James Barnet, it was constructed by the Railway Department as it was to be attached to the railway premises. It was completed by July 1888 and is still in use as a post office today.
The history of local pioneers as well as the railways can be seen at the Broadway Museum, located in the old Broadway Hotel. Displays are themed across various rooms, and if you walk out on the upstairs wooden verandah you can get a bird’s eye view of the western side of the town.
Just up the road from the Broadway Museum is the Junee Federation Parkway. This is part of a 15 km network of cycling paths that link sporting and school facilities in Junee, as well as providing walking tracks for recreation use.
Located in an old flour mill is the Junee Licorice & Chocolate Factory. There is a fascinating backstory as to how the mill came about – flour is one of the main ingredients of licorice – and the factory now employs over 60 locals and is a very popular tourist stop. There are lots of goodies for sale and you can watch chocolates being made, or make your own. And it smells amazing!
Another major tourist attraction in town is the Junee Roundhouse Museum. This incorporates the largest operational roundhouse in Australia, featuring a 32m turntable, locomotives, carriages and part of the original workshop, as well as exhibits on different aspects of railway life. There will be more on the Roundhouse Museum shortly.
You can see more of Junee on Two Minute Postcards, which includes a visit to the Monte Cristo homestead, believed to be one of the most haunted houses in Australia.
Have you had a jaunt around Junee?
Photo: Junee Railway Station platform
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