Community News

Iluka History Group officials inspecting the new interpretive sign. Image: Contributed

Iluka’s History – At a Glance

People who walk along the new pathway to Main Beach at Iluka will be delighted to see that there is a new addition to the interpretive signs that add to the enjoyment of such a walk.

This new sign, an initiative of the Iluka History Group and funded by the Clarence Valley Council, has been erected adjacent to the historic railway line and wheels from one of the many waggons that carried the rocks from the Iluka Bluff to the breakwater being built in the late 1800s. The sign includes pictures of the old locomotive as well as the rail infrastructure behind the second bluff quarry (Frasers Reef).

This latest sign is one in a series of four, depicting our early history. The first one is located near the slipway and the ‘Shifting Sands’ as it is called reflects on the movement of the town proper to its present location away from the invading sand dunes.

The second historical sign is adjacent to the concrete foundations for the large cranes that operated from 1950 to the early 1970s. Rocks came from Ilarwill by barge to be unloaded and used in construction of the Northern wall.

The third is found at the end of Moriarty Drive just before the Marine Rescue headquarters and tells the story of the river walls and particularly the work of colonial engineer Edward Moriarty.  In its day, that work was equivalent to what is going on today with our highway construction as shipping was the norm.

The next project for the history group is a sign down near the old ferry crossing. Once there was no roads leading to Iluka, and the village was isolated from other lower Clarence towns like Yamba and Maclean. You had to catch three separate ferries to arrive in town before a road and bridge was constructed in the mid-sixties.

The Iluka History Group is looking for financial support for this additional interpretive sign, as the costs are high, close to $1200 each. We will be approaching some local bodies but any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

The local walking group has constructed a walk from the railway interpretive sign to the back of the Main Beach car park. On this walk you can see remnants of the rail line and many of the boulders that fell off the carriages en route to the river.