Gilgandra and district Attractions
Welcome to the home of the famous 1915 Coo-ee March commemorating 100 years of Coo-ee 1915 - 2015.
Gilgandra welcomes you to our friendly town established on the banks of the Castlereagh River. The Aboriginal name means “long waterhole”. Proclaimed in 1888, Gilgandra is located at the junction of the Newell, Oxley and Castlereagh Highways, halfway between Melbourne and Brisbane. Admist the Newell route is historic Tooraweenah, the southern gateway to the spectacular Warrumbungle Mountains.
The Shire covers an area of 4817sq kms with a town population of 2900 and a rural population of 2100.
Tooraweenah and Armatree are two villages in the district. Once you’ve been in the area a while you’ll
learn some of the numerous localities that are also within the Shire - Bearbung, Balladoran and Curban are just a few.
Known in the early days as the “Town of the Windmills, Gilgandra once had a skyline dotted with windmills
as there was no reticulated town water supply until 1966. By the 1950’s and beyond there were over 300 windmills pumping water from the sub-artesian basin. Visit the windmill walk which meanders along the rive and leads to leafy Hunter Park & the CBD , a great little 2 km shady walk. Along the walk you can see a number of windmills that once operated here.
Gilgandra is famous for the 1915 Coo-ee March “Home of the Coo-ee’s” - The Visitor Centre has a Gallery exhibiting 100 year memorabilia and depicts the March as the Coo-ee’s walk to Sydney . There is also an obelisk in Bridge St, which marks the spot of the 1915 March.
Gilgandra & District offers a range of quality accommodation at excellent value. From motels, cabins,
caravan parks, bed and breakfast and hotels there is something to suit everyone. Stay and sample our
warm hospitality. In the shire are many unique attractions including the Coo-ee Heritage Centre, Rural Museum, The Hitchen House Tooraweenah and Warrumbungle National Park.
Base yourself in Gilgandra to make day trips to other areas of the region.
Gilgandra is a strong rural centre , farming cereals such as wheat, barley, oats, rye and sorghum, oil seed crops including canola, safflower, some sunflower and linseed, and legume crops such as chick peas, field peas, faba beans, cow peas and lab lab. Sheep have been grazed for wool production since 1830 and there are now a significant number of cattle. Other agricultural enterprises include pigs, poultry, aquaculture, emus, olives and buffaloes.
Gilgandra boasts excellent facilities for all popular sports, including golf, football, tennis, basketball, horse racing, pistol shooting and speedway racing. The excellent climate allows outdoor activities to be enjoyed all year round.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Tourist Route 1 to Warrumbungle National Park
Tooraweenah the Southern Gateway to the majestic Warrumbungles, an area of forested ridges, barren spires and deep gorges. On route to Tooraweenah, you will find a viewing platform, between Tooraweenah Village and Tourist Route 1. It Is the perfect place to paint, photograph or simply appreciate the magnificent features of the Warrumbungles, stay on this route and it will take you through the Warrumbungle Mountains and on to Coonabarabran.
The Warrumbungles are ideal for the bushwalker and backpacker, for photographers and bird watchers, or for just admiring the spectacular scenery. There are walking tracks to cater for all capabilities.
Gilgandra Coo-ee Heritage & Visitor Centre
Winner of Inland Tourism Award - Most Outstanding Visitor Centre in 2006.
The Coo-ee Heritage Centre is named for the significance of the word Coo-ee. It is the bushmans call for help, and Coo-ee is actually adopted from the aboriginal language.
The centre is constructed of rammed earth walls and floors. The uniqueness of the building gives it that outback feel. Explore the hidden treasures within the building. For information on things to see and do in the Gilgandra District, call in at the Level 1 Accredited Visitor Centre or take a stroll through one of our four galleries. Visit the photographic story of the famous 1915 Coo-ee March, marvel at the Aboriginal artwork and artefacts, take in some local history and be delighted by the changing travelling and local exhibitions. Stop over, stretch your legs and use our picnic and barbeque facilities.
The rural museum offers you a peep into yesteryear with its fascinating collection of agricultural machinery. Discover great grandfathers carts and drays, old harvesters and impressive range of early model tractors. Located at Coo-ee March Memorial Park on the Newell Highway - Just look for the large shed with the huge windmill out the front. Open 9am - 4pm - 7 days.
The windmill walk/bike track meanders along the Castlereagh River. Leading from town to the Rural Museum, along a shaded path with picnic facilities. This provides you with an ideal opportunity to experience Gilgandra.
A display of collectable dolls dating from the 1940’s to present day. Come and find your favourite childhood doll. Open everyday. Free entry.
Hunter Park, skate park & pool
Located in the centre of town, Hunter Park is a spacious leafy park. There is plenty of room for children to romp and play on equipment, skate park & bowl, toilets and picnic facilities and a fresh cool pool open seasonly.
Join the fun and excitement at the next speedway meeting. See action packed racing by Super Sedans, Fender Benders, Street Stockers Division 3 cars. The speedway is famous for its safe design. Regular meetings take place from October until June.
The Hitchen House Museum
The Hitchen House, home of the Hitchen brothers who initiated the Coo-ee March, is now set up as a museum. Displaying memorabilia from WW1, WW11, Vietnam, plus recruiting marches and re-enactments. The house is located in Miller St opposite the Royal Hotel.
The reserve , 8.5 hectares of lovely bushland , make an ideal picnic location. The Reserve is spectacular in spring, with most plants flowering September through to November. Great for bird watching with significant plants being the grass trees and the rare pink phebalium. Facilities include bbq’s, shelters, tables and seats, rainwater and new toilets. Turn off the Newell 8kms north of Gilgandra and travel for 6kms (dirt rd) Always open. Free entry.
Gilgandra Shopping Centre
Gilgandra has a range of beautiful craft stores located in Miller St, as well as a range gift stores. Target Country, Modern clothing stores catering for all ages and genders, and all other needs can be met with a range of hairdressers, beauticians, supermarkets, chemist and cafes.
Shelley Mae Antiques & Collectables
Specialsing in Shelley China, browse through a huge range of fine china, furniture and collectables. Something for the kitchen, garage, workshop or that special memory. Located in the CBD St. Open 7 days 8am - 5pm.
Orana Cactus World
A range of 400 cacti - Open most weekends and School Holidays and by appointment, call In at Visitor Centre.
Berida Woolshed Tours
Group tours of this century old woolshed provide a fascinating glimpse into the legendary past of the Australian wool industry. Experience life in a wool industry . Experience life in a working shed, gander at the display of blade and electric shearing equipment, old letters and photos, shearers’ memorabilia and antique faming equipment. Group Bookings only 68471300.
Macanbar - Emu Farm
Group tours only, except Wednesdays from 2pm, located 20kms after Tooraweenah, just off Newell Highway , travelling north,(02) 68254346 Farm tours and emu products for sale.
For more information about any of these interesting, fun, free activities and other great things to see and do in the Gilgandra District contact the friendly team at the Coo-ee Heritage & Visitor Information Centre.
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