Winmalee is a town in New South Wales, Australia.
- Area:9.058 km2
- Elevation:280 m
- Local Government Area:Blue Mountains City Council
Winmalee is a town in New South Wales, Australia. Winmalee is located 77 kilometres west of Sydney, in the local government area of the City of Blue Mountains. At the 2011 census, Winmalee had a population of 6,593.Originally known as North Springwood, Winmalee was officially established in 1972. Springwood is historically significant as the first European settlement in the Blue Mountains. Winmalee is surrounded by Blue Mountains National Park. This National Park is on the World Heritage List and is known as the Greater Blue Mountains Area World Heritage Site. The Blue Mountains area is unofficially known as "The City Within a World Heritage National Park". Winmalee extends from Birdwood Avenue and Paulwood Avenue to Coramandel Avenue and east to a point part-way along Singles Ridge Road.
It is commonly believed that Winmalee is an Aboriginal word for north. But, as Aboriginal cultures did not use north, south, east or west, this is doubtful. It is more likely a corruption of the world Wimlah, the name of one of the Three Sisters, a rock formation 35 km to the west. The name was coined by 14-year-old, who won a competition to find a name for North Springwood when the Geographical Names Board wanted to remove the compass prefixes from the names of towns and suburbs of New South Wales.
## Aboriginal heritage
The area now officially known as Winmalee was once inhabited by Aboriginal Australians known as the Dharug tribe. This was a nomadic tribe which inhabited much of the Lower Blue Mountains until European colonisation and settlement. The dialect spoken by the tribe is known as the Dharug language. Current figures place the date of this settlement as beginning up to 50,000 years ago.
Except for a small number of descendants there are no members of the Dharug tribe now living in the area. The majority of this group were thought to have moved northward in the Blue Mountains and to have merged with the Gundungurra tribe. Others are thought to have been wiped out during European exploration and settlement. Archaeological evidence from the aboriginal inhabitants is common throughout Winmalee and includes several open sites and occupation shelters.
## European settlement
In 1970, the Geographical Names Board of New South Wales suggested that the area which had been unofficially known as 'North Springwood' be made an independent suburb of the Blue Mountains and renamed 'White Cross' because of the rapidly increasing population growth of Springwood. However residents of the area objected to the name 'White Cross'.
In 1971, the Department of Education selected "Winmalee" as the name for a new school in the area. Though the residents of the area approved this as the name for the proposed school they rejected it as a name for the suburb. The name Winmalee was chosen by the Department of Education as the result of a competition that had been organised amongst the local people. Terry Macauley, who was to be one of the school's original primary students, suggested the name "Winmalee", a supposed Aboriginal word for North. The word was in fact never used by the Dharug people in relation to the area, but is instead a reference to its previous unofficial name.
Winmalee was finally officially established as an independent town on 28 April 1972 after the Minister for Lands, Tom Lewis MLA announced the suburb's independence from Springwood and approved the name Winmalee despite objections from residents.
## October 2013 bushfires
The town, the nearby village of Yellow Rock and a small part of the adjacent town of Springwood were badly affected by a bushfire which started on 17 October 2013. 196 residential properties were destroyed, and 109 damaged. 40 homes were destroyed on Buena Vista Road in Winmalee alone.
# Things to do