From Toasted Turkish Rolls to barbecue, Lockharts (sort of) unite￼
By Kyle Mooty
While it’s hardly a doppelganger, Lockhart, Texas does have a namesake 8,728 miles away in Australia.
The town of Lockhart, New South Wales, Australia, has a population of just 950, while Lockhart Shire, which is akin to a county in the United States, has a mere 3,295. It’s in the Riverina region of New South Wales includes towns and villages such as Lockhart, The Rock, Yerong Creek, Pleasant Hills, and Milbrulong spread out over 1,118 square miles. Caldwell County has 547 square miles. A Shire is a Local Government Agency, or LGA.
Lockhart, Australia is 251 miles north of Melbourne and 324 west of Sydney. If you visit, you’ll want to fly into the Wagga Wagga Airport 45 minutes away or take a larger flight to and from Melbourne.
Once in the country town of Lockhart, English is fine as 27.6 percent of its residents speak the language; 33.5 percent speak Australian and 10.5 percent Irish. A reporter for the Narrandera Argus recently contacted Lockhart, Texas Mayor Lew White, and neither White nor Lockhart, Australia Council Mayor Greg Verdon were aware of the other Lockhart.
They both did some quick research and believe the two could possibly work together.
“I’d say we were made to be sister cities.” Verdon told the Argus. “… I spoke to our economic and tourism people, and they said it comes up quite a bit.”
White noted that Lockhart, Texas has about 2.5 million people within 45 minutes.
Lockhart, Texas is known as the Barbecue Capital of Texas, but sausage, brisket, and ribs may be hard to come by Down Under. The Latte Da, ranked the top restaurant in Lockhart, Australia according to one survey, serves Lamb Wraps, Toasted Turkish Rolls, Fish and Chips, and The Works Burger. There is also a bistro in town that advertises “chilled beer.”
“(Lockhart, Australia) is similar though in that we have a strong sense of history that we fight to preserve, thriving tourism and a great reputation,” White said.
White and Verdon agreed they wouldn’t be opposed to being “sister cities.”
“It’s always good to have connections to other parts of the world,” White told the Argus reporter. “I’d be more than happy to correspond with them. Of course, I would love to visit here, never having been in that part of the world. The countryside is different there with more hills and rock faces. Lockhart is very flat but you have railroads, farming, small business, just like Lockhart, Texas.”
Mr. White said his town attracted thousands of visitors each year.
Lockhart, Australia is home to the annual Spirit of the Land Festival, a celebration to the resilience of those who live and work on the land. The festival includes a competition for sculptures created from recycled farm materials.
Lockhart, Australia has nature reserves, walking tracts, lookouts, picnic areas and a rock face for climbing and abseiling. You can visit the reported cave hideout of Australian outlaw Daniel “Mad Dog” Morgan at Galore Hill Scenic Reserve.
A picturesque town, Lockhart, Australia is also known as the Verandah Town with its beautiful streets, buildings, and ornate iron lacework verandahs.