Tingha is a small town 25 kilometres south east of Inverell. Tingha boasts being a heritage town but there is little evidence of communicating that message within the town. The town is old with lots of old buildings heritage factors. Unfortunately most are undated and without heritage information. Most basic services are provided at Tingha.
Tingha is an Aboriginal word for ‘flat or level'.
Tingha was first settled in 1841 by Sydney Hudson Darby and became a mining town after tin was discovered there in the 1870s. Within a year Australia’s first commercial tin mines were operating at a private settlement known as Armidale Crossing. Over 6,000 people arrived and more than 25% of the miners were Chinese. The Wing Hing Long Museum is a reminder of that heritage.
The village was proclaimed a town in 1885. Initially there were enough readily accessible surface deposits to make a good living without using machinery as the Chinese did. The first school was established by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1890. In the 1890s drought came to the district and the easily obtained deposits of tin were exhausted leading to a loss in population.
The main industry nowadays is agriculture with some fossicking in the area. Tin dredging and mining has continued on a scale that varies according to international price fluctuations.
Tingha is a diversion trip from either Inverell or Bundurra or from the Guyra route. As at today forget the effort, but not before long this will be a nice historic visit. There is clearly an effort being undertaken.