Abandoned Wilcannia Convent

The river port township of Wilcannia sits on the edge of Outback NSW. The area is the traditional home of the Barkindji or Paakantyi people, a tribal group who reside along the Darling River.

Hidden amongst the townships’ criss-crossed urban grid are the ruins of The Sisters of Mercy Convent. Built in 1894 from locally sourced sandstone, a decline in population caused the permanent closure of the religious facility in the 1920's.

Now heavily dilapidated, the building sits idle after years of no maintenance. Filled with pigeon faeces, the majority of its floorboards have been upheaved. A rotted wooden staircase ascends to a second story level, revealing a series of empty, roofless rooms.

In 2012, the structures owner commenced work with the Central Darling Shire and Heritage NSW to repair the building. However any commissions seem to have stalled given that the Convent still remains in a state of ruin in the back streets of Wilcannia.


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