Wentworth Tourism

Dareton History

Dareton is the centre of the Coomealla Irrigation Area, best known for its superior dried fruit and wine grapes.

The irrigation area was once known as ‘Nine Mile’ and owes its existence, in part, to the visionary ‘The Million Farms’ scheme that flourished following World War One.

The cornerstone for Coomealla’s ambitious horticultural development was laid in 1922, when Murray Lands Advisory Committee members inspected the area and recommended an irrigation scheme be established.

The town is named for Water Conservation and Irrigation Commissioner Henry Harvey Dare, a staunch proponent of the proposal.
It was his report to the Cabinet Committee on Land Development and Settlement that is generally held to have prompted the advisory committee inspection, tipping the scales in favour of the initiative.

Pioneering families sowed the seeds of irrigated horticulture here in the mid-to-late 1920s, but it was the influx of soldier-settlers following World War Two, under the auspices of the War Services Land Settlement Scheme, that supplied the impetus for rapid growth and development.

They came and conquered, transforming the bush landscape into a neat cross hatch pattern of flourishing vineyards and orchards, literally carving out a prosperous future by hard work and sweat.

Today Dareton, and the surrounding Coomealla Irrigation District, are together a thriving horticultural showpiece renowned for quality products.

It is also home to the renowned Coomealla Memorial Sporting Club and a mecca for freshwater fishermen while boasting one of the most picturesque championship golf courses in the country.