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Menindee Novelty Number plate - Aluminium with embossed border
MENINDEE – frequently but erroneously spelled “Menindie”, is a small town in the far west of NSW in Central Darling Shire, on the banks of the Darling River, with a sign-posted population of 980. Menindee is the oldest European settlement in western NSW and the first town to be established on the Darling River. The first European to visit the area was the surveyor and explorer Major Thomas Mitchell in 1835. He was followed by Charles Sturt in 1844 and the town was the advance base for the Burke and Wills expedition in 1860.
The Burke and Wills expedition camped at Menindee on their journey to cross Australia from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria. They arrived here on 14 October 1860, crossed the Darling River at Kinchega Station and made Camp XXXIV (their thirty-fourth camp since leaving Melbourne). There was dissent within the party and the deputy-leader George Landells resigned. Robert O’Hara Burke split the party, heading north to Cooper Creek with half the men, stores and animals. The remaining men, stores and animals made a depot camp at Pamamaroo Creek and a sign and cairn mark the site of the camp. This camp was used for the remainder of 1860 and for most of 1861. While in Menindee, Burke stayed at the Maiden’s Hotel, which was then owned by Thomas Pain and was known as Pain’s Hotel.