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Joadja is an historic town in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales in Wingecarribee Shire and It was a thriving mining town between 1870–1911. It was home for approximately 1100 people, many of whom were skilled immigrants from Scotland, and was connected to the nearby town of Mittagong by a narrow gauge railway that terminated adjacent to the main Southern Railway line in Mittagong.


The town existed to mine shale from which kerosene was extracted by the Australian Kerosene Oil and Mineral Co. The process was superseded by conventional kerosene production from oil and the shale mining technique became uneconomical. By 1911, the town had become deserted as inhabitants relocated in search of work.


The fruit orchard, which included 6700 trees continued to operate until 1924, exporting fruit for local and interstate consumption. Situated in a deep valley, the town had limited access by road, instead exporting shale via a steep railway out of the valley. The passage into Joadja has improved greatly since then, with the gravel access road maintained annually.


The township is still recognisable, despite the state of its ruins. The sandstone school, the mine, houses, refinery and even the cemetery remain as a testament to the community that lived in the valley more than a century ago.


Local lore is that the old town is haunted by at least two ghosts.


The property has recently been resold, with the new owners are setting up a boutique whisky distillery as well as continuing conservation work of the township. The ruins of the retorts, refinery and houses are being stabilised to ensure future generations the opportunity to view the site and appreciate its part in Australia's national heritage.


Destinations to explore near Joadja Creek

Photos Courtesy Scott Westlake Photography

Distance & direction from Sydney: 143 Klms W SW

1760 Joadja Road, Joadja

 Tel: (02) 4878 5129  Website  E-Mail

Joadja Creek

Historic Town, New South Wales

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