Narrandera Water Tank Mural
2019 Winner: Best Mega Mural
One community + five professional artists + a committed local Council = one mighty mega mural + thousands of additional visitors + one new tourism precinct.
That's a very impressive equation and one that saw the Narrandera Water Tower Mural named as Australia's Best Mega Mural.
By September 2019, 40 percent of all visitors to this New South Wales’ Riverina town stated that their sole purpose of visiting was to see the 20-metre-high mural. Maybe a little ironically, what each of those tourists found was a collage that showcases all the other reasons to visit Narrandera.
There's six major mural elements that combine to create an aesthetically pleasing introduction to Narrandera:
1. The Eastern Bearded Dragon lizard representing the Wiradjuri word for the area, Narrungdera, which means "place of many lizards"
2. A koala (hundreds live in the area after the community established a reserve in 1972)
3. A Tiger Moth as tribute to Narrandera's No 8 Elementary Flight Training School where many Australian WWII pilots found their wings
4. A paddle steamer - the 75-tonne PS Wagga Wagga plied the Murrumbidgee River for 40 years
5. The riverside Oakbank Brewery Tower where Websters Soft Drinks were once made, and
6. The river itself, where visitors can enjoy an array of gentle water activities.
Apparition Media, a specialist mural advertising company, worked with the community to design the intricate, multi-faceted mural before their artists swarmed onto site to transform the water tower. The whole precinct is now an attraction, with the water tower hill being a beaut spot to enjoy sunset. It is also part of a shiny new outdoor art trail - the Riverina Outdoor Art Trail.
Linger longer to enjoy the other towns in the Narrandera Shire. Just 15 minutes east along the Murrumbidgee is Grong Grong, which has picturesque paths and trails that are perfect for a leisurely cycle. Forgot your bike? No hassle, as this friendly community has a couple of "borrow bikes" so you can see the whole town and its trails.
Or head north for half an hour to visit Barellan, where locals refused to take the possibility of a beer shortage lying down so they established the not-for-profit Barellan Beer brewery. Beer is not the only big thing in this tiny town - the Big Tennis Racket soars over Barellan paying tribute to Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, who grew up and learned to play tennis in the town. The hitting wall where she practised still remains!
Where? Off the appropriately named Watermain Street, on the high ground on the opposite side of the railway tracks to the town centre.
Best viewing times: This is a mural in the round with the main montages facing south and north-north-east, so while anytime is good, the lizard is best photographed in the morning.