A picturesque town on the NSW western slopes, 115 kilometres north-west of Canberra, the town and its attendant river take their name from the Aboriginal word for the plains turkey. Boorowa’s prosperity has been built on wheat and wool.
Boorowa is the commercial centre for many sheep, cattle, horse, dog and goat studs. The most famous is Merryville, the nation's primary fine wool stud founded just north of town by the late Sir Walter Merriman.
Newhaven is one of Australia's leading thoroughbred studs, which in recent years has stood such successful colonial and imported sires as Flying Spur, Zeditave, Al Hareb and Marauding.
The town has a reputation for the quality of its arts and crafts, and local galleries display locally-made woodwork, teddy bears, ceramics and jewellery, along with antiques and collectibles.
The native birds on show in Thompson’s Aviary include the endangered Superb Parrot, while trout enliven a day in Rye Park and its pristine bush surrounds which are a sanctuary for a wide range of wildlife.
Boorowa’s strong Irish influence stems largely from ticket-of-leave pioneer settlers and cousins, Roger Corcoran and Ned Ryan. Many relations trailed in their wake, and you can get an inkling of the depth of Boorowa’s Irish connection by following the Shamrock Heritage Trail.
The Irish heritage could also have something to do with the fact that Boorowa was chosen as the location of the first Catholic church built west of the Great Dividing Range. St Patricks and its superb stained glass windows and Italian marble altar were consecrated in 1875.
The architectural standout on the colonial streetscape is the 1884 courthouse, distinguished by its Roman arches. In contrast, the treasures of the local museum are to be found inside the building, where each room has been decorated in the style of a distinctive period, which is reflected in the display of clothes and gowns.
A few kilometres to the north of the town, the original mudbrick homestead on Narra Allen Station is clearly visible from the road. The road north leads on to Cowra, infamous for the World War II breakout by Japanese POWs, in which 231 prisoners and 4 Australian soldiers died.