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Woolgoolga

3.6
Woolgoolga is a town on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia. It is on the Pacific Highway, approximately 550 km north of Sydney and 365 km south of Brisbane. The closest city to Woolgoolga is Coffs Harbour, which lies 25.8 km to the south. Woolgoolga has two beaches on the Pacific Ocean. The area has long been a centre of banana growing in New South Wales, but this industry has declined in the face of competition from Queensland and overseas. Recent times have seen many banana plantations replaced by blueberries after banana sales slumped in the late 1990s. Timbergetting and sawmilling was established in 1883. A government jetty was constructed in 1892 upon which tramways were laid. These led to sawmills in the town which in turn were connected by light railway to the Jesse Simpson Range forest areas. The jetty was demolished over a prolonged period from 1952 to 1956.DemographicsWoolgoolga had a population of 5,050 people in 2011, including 207 indigenous persons and 3,897 Australian-born persons. The median age of all persons is 45 years. Notably, from the Census data, 653 persons (12.9%) speak Punjabi at home, 661 persons practice Sikhism, and 409 persons (8.1%) were born in India.HistoryPermanent European settlement occurred in the 1870s. Prior to this, the area was inhabited by the Gumbaingirr Aboriginal tribe. It is believed that the name of the town derives from the word "Weelgoolga", which was used by the local Aborigines to describe the area, and the lilly-pilly trees that grew there. The name "Woogoolga" was gazetted in 1888, and changed to the current name of Woolgoolga in 1966.
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