Tarro is a north-western suburb of the Newcastle City Council local government area in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia.
- Area:5.788 km2
- Elevation:5 m
- Local Government Area:Newcastle City Council
Tarrois a north-western suburb of the Newcastle City Council local government area in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. It, and parts of nearby Beresfield, was originally known as Upper Hexham, "lower" Hexham being an older settlement located about 5 kilometres (3 mi) to the east on the Hunter River. The name "Tarro" reportedly means "stone" in an Aboriginal language.At the 2006 census, Tarro had a population of 1,558, almost all of which is concentrated in the south-western corner of the suburb.
## Indigenous past
The area where Tarro is located originally was part of the territory of the Pambalong clan of the Awabakal people. The land of the Pambalong stretched from Newcastle West, extended along the southern bank of the Hunter River, west through Hexham (Tarro) to Buttai and across to the foothills of Keeba-Keeba (Mount Sugarloaf) to the northern tip of Lake Macquarie and back to Newcastle West. The country of the Pambalong was known as Barrahineban.
In 1841 Edward Sparke Snr, original settler and owner of "Woodlands" conveyed 2.43 hectares (6 acres) of land on the High Road to the Church of England and the Bishop of Australia. During the same year he donated 0.4 ha (1 acre) to the Lord Bishop of Australia, William Grant Broughton, for a burial ground. In 1842 Sparke and his wife Mary, with the approval of Robert Scott the mortgagee, sold Bishop Broughton 1.6 ha (4 acres) four acres "on which a Parsonage House is now built", commencing at the north east corner of the Township of Upper Hexham, for £100, "for erection and completion of Parsonage".A church, named St Stephens, was opened in Tarro around 1849. This rustic structure, was replaced by a more elegant wooden building in 1905. There was also a parsonage. This church was later joined by Sunday school hall in the 1960s. Next door was tennis court, which was later replaced by a youth centre in the early 1970s. Around 1980 St Stephens was sold and removed. The site of the church is now the site of the Tarro Interchange with the New England Highway.
Tarro's old pioneer cemetery is on Quarter Sessions Road with burials dating from the mid nineteenth century.The foundation stone for Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church at 42 Anderson Drive was laid on 4 December 1922.
## Post office
Tarro's first post office was named Upper Hexham and was located at the railway station. Around 1918 the post office moved to Woodberry Road, and later to 13 Maitland Road (now Anderson Drive). The post office housed the manual telephone switchboard until automatic switching was introduced in 1957. The post office closed on 30 July 1993 and Tarro is now served by Beresfield Post Office.
Tarro has a railway station, which opened in 1857 with the Newcastle-Maitland railway - the first section of the Main North line from Sydney to the New England region. The station is one of the oldest in Australia, being the original eastern terminus for the Hunter Valley Railway before it was extended to Newcastle. It was originally known as Hexham when it opened in 1857. In 1871 the name was changed to Hexham Township and then Tarro. The station is now served by NSW TrainLink's Hunter line.
The railway station was once quite large with a timber and glazed station master's office and signal room as well as brick ticket offices and waiting rooms on the Maitland-bound platform and a smaller timber ticket office and waiting room on the Newcastle-bound platform. After suffering vandalism in the 1970s, these buildings were demolished and replaced by simple weathersheds. At one time there were loading ramps to the west of the railway station and roadbridge which were used to load coal in the 1940s from a small mine, Kent Colliery, at Beresfield. Some evidence of these ramps still remains.
# Things to do