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Wagga Wagga is one of Australia's leading regional cities. Apart from its excellent educational facilities, its cultural and sporting achievements are outstanding. With a population of 57,000 it is located on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River and is home to Charles Sturt University, RAAF Base Forest Hill and the Australian Army Base Kapooka.
The city hosts 22 primary schools, 8 secondary schools, the regional TAFE and a community college.
Wagga Wagga is the hub and major retail/industry centre of the Riverina, Australia's food bowl and New South Wales biggest wine-producing region and is bounded by the Snowy Mountains to the east and the fertile Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area to the west.
Food and wine
Wagga Wagga has dozens of restaurants and cafes and many national food chains. Charles Sturt University runs an award winning winery and cheese making facility. The gourmet Magpies Nest restaurant produces the Wagga Wagga Wild olive oil. The Wagga Wagga Winery and Restaurant is housed in a rustic building with an extensive collection of memorabilia, a huge 'moving' mural and one of the biggest fireplaces in the Riverina.
Famous for Australian sports stars
Wagga Wagga is famous as a nursery for sports stars. A small sample of the list includes Steve Elkington, Mark Taylor, Michael Slater, Tony Roche, Paul Kelly, Wayne Carey, Peter Sterling, Greg Brentnall and Scobie Breasley. Some say this is due to a mystery nutrient in the Murrumbidgee River but you can draw your own conclusions by visiting the Wagga Wagga Sporting Hall of Fame Website or pop into the Museum of the Riverina in the historic Council Chambers.
Arts and culture
The stunning new National Art Glass Gallery where regular exhibitions from world class art to local community groups feature in the Gallery programs. Public artwork has also become one of the city's key features with superb sculptures dotted around the CBD. Wagga Wagga is home to Australia's oldest professional theatre company Riverina Theatre Company, which along with Charles Sturt University's Theatre Ensemble and dozens of cultural groups creates a packed calendar of events.
Wagga Wagga's award winning Botanic Gardens are the jewel in the crown of the 'garden city'. Garden lovers should also visit the Victory Memorial Gardens, designed by Sir Thomas Kerr (designer of Sydney's Botanic Gardens) as a tribute to those who fought and died during the WW1. Wagga Wagga also has beautiful private and open gardens to be enjoyed year round.
Wagga Wagga has regular daily flights to Sydney and Melbourne and is just over two hours drive to Canberra. The Countrylink train stops four times daily.
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