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Art Deco in the Riverina Murray

Leeton TownshipCREDIT: Destination NSW

The art deco facade of the Leeton Roxy Community Theatre in Leeton.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Art Deco in the
Riverina Murray

Leeton Township CREDIT: Destination NSW

The art deco facade of the Leeton Roxy Community Theatre in Leeton.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

The Riverina and Murray regions of southwest New South Wales are home to many outstanding examples of Art Deco architecture, with historic streetscapes preserved in towns such as Leeton, Albury and Temora. Celebrate this elegant architectural style on heritage trails, stay in a gloriously restored hotel or immerse yourself in the spirit of the era at Leeton’s Art Deco festival. 

See an architectural jewel 

Leeton, a six-hour drive southwest of Sydney, is the jewel in Australia’s Art Deco crown. Designed with a circular layout by architect Walter Burley Griffin in the early 20th century, the town’s streetscape features 21 well-preserved buildings listed on the Art Deco Society of NSW Register. Many significant buildings are found along Pine and Kurrajong avenues, including the modified Spanish Mission-style Roxy Theatre, which, with its dramatic façade and red neon signage, is one of the finest examples of a rural movie palace in NSW. Take the Art Deco Heritage Walking Tour (with a downloadable audio tour) to learn more about the town’s proud heritage. You can also immerse yourself in the music, fashion and movies of the inter-war era at the Australian Art Deco Festival, held annually in Leeton each July.  

Step into elegance 

The NSW border town of Albury features many fine examples of both commercial and residential Art Deco buildings, including homes built between 1929 and 1952 by renowned architect James Wallace Sproule. Some of the most distinctive Modernist buildings include the T&G tower on Dean Street, a New York skyscraper-style facade added to the original shopfront in 1940. The Albury and District War Memorial on top of Monument Hill is another standout. Take in the town panorama before continuing a walking tour of architectural highlights, following a guide provided by the Visitor Centre

Extend your stay at Circa 1928, an elegant boutique spa hotel that occupies the former Commonwealth Bank building on Dean Street. Its sister property, Circa 1936, in the Murray town of Corowa, is housed within the environs of the former Rural Bank of NSW and features a lounge beside the bank vault. 

Australian Art Deco Festival, Leeton CREDIT: Australian Art Deco Festival Leeton

Art deco buildings and cars in Leeton at the Australian Art Deco Festival.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Australian Art Deco Festival, Leeton CREDIT: Australian Art Deco Festival Leeton

Art deco buildings and cars in Leeton at the Australian Art Deco Festival.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Streetscapes, Albury CREDIT: Destination NSW

Streetscape of Albury looking down Kiewa Street.

#newsouthwales #lovensw

Streetscapes, Albury CREDIT: Destination NSW

Streetscape of Albury looking down Kiewa Street.

#newsouthwales #lovensw

Find more heritage treasures 

The Riverina towns of Wagga Wagga, Junee and Coolamon all boast untouched streetscapes featuring wonderful heritage buildings, with fine Art Deco spots tucked in among them. Wagga Wagga’s Fitzmaurice Street is awash with beautiful examples, including the recently renovated Tourist Hotel and the Uneke Lounge, formerly the Crown Corner Café; while Junee’s Athenium Theatre, designed by famed architectural firm Kaberry and Chard in 1929, is on the NSW State Heritage Register. In Gundagai, drop in to the iconic Niagara Café ― established in 1902, it’s the oldest continually run Greek café in Australia and features an elaborate counter and mirrored bar. 

Enter a time warp 

An hour’s drive north of the Riverina hub of Wagga Wagga, the heritage town of Temora prides itself on its well-preserved heritage, with many outstanding Spanish Mission-style Art Deco buildings among its architectural gems. Pick up a brochure from the Temora Visitor Information Centre and enjoy a self-guided stroll through the streets. Stop by the White Rose Café, an Art Deco diner, for malted milkshakes and cheeseburgers in classic American-style booths. Architecture fans should also make a beeline for the nearby National Trust-classified town of Ariah Park, a step back in time to the 1920s. 

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