Batlow is a town within the South West Slopes region of New South Wales, Australia, on the edge of the Great Dividing Range, 725 m above sea level.
Batlow is well known for its apples, supplying to both the Australian and export markets, and also grows cherries and stone fruit.
The town's main landmark, the "Big Apple", stands testament to the orchards which have been vital to the town's economy for over 120 years.
History of Batlow
Prior to European settlement the Wiradjuri people lived in the Batlow area. Hamilton Hume and William Hovell were the first Europeans to explore the area in 1824, en route to Port Phillip Bay.
When gold was discovered in the area in 1854, a small settlement called Reedy Creek was established as a supply point and service centre for the mining area, and a Mr Batlow surveyed a townsite nearby.
The gold deposits were quickly exhausted, but farmers found the area better suited to a variety of crops, so the mining supply point was moved and the current township established around 1855. Reedy Flat Post Office opened on 1 August 1873 and was renamed Batlow in 1889.
Fruit trees and timber quickly became the main sources of income for the town, and in 1910 the townsite was gazetted.
In 1922, the first cool stores in New South Wales were constructed in the town, and at the same time a railway was built from nearby Tumut, which facilitated the town's trade with Sydney and beyond, even supplying troops with dehydrated fruit and vegetables during World War II.
Batlow is an agricultural town offering services and facilities to the surrounding area, including two primary schools and a high school, a library (with telecentre), a hall and several stores and small businesses.
The Batlow Fruit Co-operative, trading since 1922, is based in the town.
Batlow's economy turns around the production of apples for the fresh food market. Some revenue is also obtained from other agricultural exploitations and timber from the large soft and hardwood plantations. There is a strong influx of seasonal labour for the harvesting of fruit from March to April. A smaller influx occurs at thinning time in December.
The 430km² Bago State Forest between Batlow and Tumbarumba contains stands of alpine ash and radiata pine.