Carrathool is now a sleepy village but was once a bustling country river port and then a railhead town of several hundred people, surrounded by large wool stations, and tending to the transport needs of huge wool clips and grain harvests from hundreds of miles around. Carrathool even looked after the freight of the gold bullion and other precious metal production from the Mt Hope goldmine to Melbourne by Cobb and Co coach.
The village of Carrathool was originally located on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. During the 1850’s Carrathool was one of the earliest river port towns established along the river to serve paddle steamer traffic on the river. In 1882, with the arrival of the railway, a new village was established two miles north of the river. Carrathool was proclaimed on 20 March 1885, and became the railhead for an extensive area. Enormous quantities of wool, wheat, timber and livestock were shipped by rail. Take a drive over the new Carrathool Bridge, opened in 2019 and built next to one of the last lifting bridges remaining in Australia. Built to replace the punt, the heritage-listed Bascule Lift Span bridge was completed in 1922 and the lift span last opened for river traffic in the 1930’s.