welcome to the narrabri shire
Covering 13,000 km2, our Shire is the heart of the rich Namoi Valley in North West NSW. Renowned for
the production of some of the world’s highest quality wheat, cotton, fat lambs and beef and home to
several research facilities, Narrabri Shire is truly an agricultural wonderland. All this is joined by a
wealth of excellent tourist attractions sure to keep visitors entertained for days.
The Newell and Kamilaroi Highways run through Narrabri Shire bringing people from all compass
points. With easy access, major attractions, top rate facilities and accommodation, many conferences
and high profile performers are drawn to the area.
One glimpse of a clear night sky will leave you with no doubts as to why this region is known as
“Big Sky” country. The seemingly endless horizons have facilitated the growth of the CSIRO Australia Telescope Compact Array, whose six radio telescopes are gleaming beacons of scientific advancement.
A veritable “masterpiece of nature”, Mt Kaputar National Park offers something for everyone. Whether
you’re looking for a bit of solitude, an active day or even a camping adventure the National Park is the
place for you. Did you know there is no higher peak between Mt Kaputar and South Africa? From the
360 degree viewing platform at the 1512 m summit, with scenery stretching endlessly in front of you,
it’s hard not to believe. The National Park also features Sawn Rocks, a 40 metre high basalt formation resembling giant organ pipes, a phenomenon attributed to slow, even cooling of molten lava some
21 million years ago.
Add a winery, historical museums, Yarrie Lake, Pilliga artesian bore baths, fabulous eateries, great
shopping and art shows to this mix and you’re guaranteed many fun–filled days in Narrabri Shire.
The Crossing Theatre, showing the latest release movies, a great range of local businesses and a warm welcome await, promising unforgettable memories of your visit.
Narrabri Shire is home to several exciting events throughout the year. Autumn is a busy time of year.
Don’t miss Nosh on the Namoi, the region’s largest food and wine festival, take in the exhilaration of the Narrabri Picnic Races and experience some old fashioned country hospitality at the Boggabri Drover’s Campfire. The Wee Waa and Narrabri Show’s are also on at this time of year and are well worth a visit.
In summer the Narrabri Twilight Rodeo is a highlight, along with the Seplin Estate Wee Waa Grape Stomp. Winter is a great time to catch some polocrosse and step back in time at the Eulah Creek Antique Machinery
NARRABRI – Aboriginal meaning “Forked Waters”.
Situated 560km NW of Sydney. Population 7,300 and 240m above sea level.
Good shopping, The Crossing Theatre, Narrabri Gaol Museum, Craft Shops are all well worth visiting whilst in town. Facilities include a town drive and the Narrabri Creek Walk, the Narrabri Lake, an Olympic Pool, 18 hole Golf Course (grass greens), Bowling Club and excellent Tennis Courts as well as an R.S.L.Club. 11 Motels, three Caravan Parks, 5 Hotels, self contained apartments and a B & B provide accommodation and there is a great choice of eating places. Regular air, rail and coach services operate to and from Narrabri daily. (Contact Visitors Centre for details on 6799 6760)
WEE WAA – Cotton capital of australia – Aboriginal meaning “Fire for Roasting”.
Situated 591km NW of Sydney. Population 2,000 and 190m above sea level.
In addition to holding the distinction of “oldest town on the Namoi”, Wee Waa is Australia’s Cotton Capital, the very birthplace of Australia’s modern cotton industry. This richly fertile area, well suited to agricultural pursuits, sustains its people with a quality way of life. Wee Waa is a modern town with ample facilities including a swimming pool, picturesque 9 hole golf course, tennis courts, bowling club and sporting complex. Accommodation is available in Wee Waa, two Motels, two Hotels and two Caravan Parks. Attractions include Namoi Echo Museum, CSIRO Australia Telescope, Yarrie Lake, Seplin Estate Wines and the historical walk of Wee Waa.
BOGGABRI – Aboriginal meaning “Place of Many Creeks”.
Situated 514km NW of Sydney. Population 955 and 251m above sea level.
Boggabri was proclaimed a township in 1860, but came into its own in 1882 with the opening of the railway. Today Boggabri, located on the Kamilaroi Highway east of Narrabri, is a historic small country town with big community spirit offering a unique country lifestyle. With a rich agricultural history and several recently opened coal mines the town is set for further expansion. The town boasts a nine hole golf course, bowling club and RSL Club. A modern motel, Caravan Park with cabins and two hotels provide accommodation in the town. Meals are available from the Hotels, Cafe and from the Motel for guests. Boggabri is serviced by a daily rail service.
Gins Leap, a sheer rock face just north of the town and Barbers Pinnacle have exciting stories of the district’s past attached to them. A visit the Boggabri Historical Museum and a couple of hours exploring Boggabri’s
Heritage Trail are worthwhile.
Dripping Rock is the newest tourism hotspot in the Shire. This is an idyllic spot for a picnic or just to sit and listen to the hypnotic splash of water, melodious birdsong and wind in the trees. Dripping Rock can be difficult to find, so please pick up a map from the Visitor Information Centre or Boggabri Museum.
1. THE NARRABRI SHIRE VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE
on the Newell Highway in Narrabri – friendly staff are available to assist you between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday and between 9am and 2pm Saturday and Sunday and on Public Holidays. Phone: 6799 6760 Web: visitnarrabri.com.au
2. MT. KAPUTAR NATIONAL PARK
(56km from Narrabri – 1 hour’s drive). You can drive to the very top of this “ecological island”, where, from the 1512m summit, 360-degree views covering one tenth of NSW are visible. Three modern cabins can be booked (phone 6792 7300) and there are two excellent camping areas with hot showers and electric and gas barbecues (No caravan access). You can enjoy a picnic or barbecue at The Dawson’s Spring Picnic area in the company of the friendly kangaroos.
3. SAWN ROCKS
Mt Kaputar National Park (36km from Narrabri along the Bingara Road – a thirty minute drive). A twenty minute walk along a wheelchair accessible, all weather track leads to a 40 m high basalt formation, the columns of which look for all the world as if they were fashioned by stonemasons. The perfect polygonal jointing is attributed to the slow and even cooling of molten rock which erupted from the bowels of the earth some 21 million years ago. A picnic and barbecue area with toilets is adjacent to the car park.
4. THE CSIRO AUSTRALIA TELESCOPE
(21km from Narrabri – 20 minutes drive) – This is Australia’s latest astronomical masterpiece. Five movable dishes, 22m across rest on 3km of rail track, with a sixth placed 3km to the west. The dishes of this radio telescope can operate individually or as one telescope 6km across or when linked with the 42m telescope at Parkes as a telescope, 320km in diameter. A series of interactive exhibits in the gardens right beside the dishes helps to unravel the mysteries of the universe. The exhibits are open during daylight hours every day. Coach groups can book by phoning 6790 4070.
5. THE CROSSING THEATRE
Set on picturesque lawns overlooking Narrabri Creek, Narrabri Shire’s The Crossing Theatre is designed to cater for residents and visitor’s alike. This $8 million complex with its 1000 seat auditorium regularly stages large scale conferences, promotions and concerts, while latest release movies are screened daily in the twin cinemas. The Crossing Theatre houses the Narrabri Shire Civic Art collection, with paintings from renowned artists such as Lloyd Rees and Rupert Richardson, in addition to hosting travelling art exhibitions. The Crossing Theatre café serves coffee, morning tea and lunch from a vantage point offering the best water views in Narrabri. Contact: 67924 654 www.crossingtheatre.com.au
6. NARRABRI OLD GAOL HERITAGE CENTRE
was constructed in 1882 and operated as a Gaol until 1982. In 1988, the Old Gaol was restored and is now operating as a Museum and Family History research centre. It is open Wednesday 10am – 2pm and Saturday 9am – 1pm or by appointment. For details contact the Narrabri Shire Visitor Information Centre 6799 6760.
7. COTTON TOURS
Regular tours to a Narrabri district cotton farm and gin are available during the picking and ginning season (usually end March to mid July). Bookings are essential. Call at the Narrabri Shire Visitor Information Centre 6799 6760
8. WEE WAA
(40km from Narrabri – 30 minute drive)
The modern cotton industry had its beginnings in Wee Waa. Take a step back in time by visiting the Imperial Hotel, a beautiful three-storey hotel built in 1912. The interior and iron lace adorned balconies have been lovingly restored.
9. NAMOI ECHO MUSEUM, Wee Waa
Houses many wonderful exhibits, machinery and documents pertaining to the history and culture of the Wee Waa district. Family research from its extensive archives is also possible. The museum is open Wednesday – Friday 11am – 2pm and Saturday 10am - 4pm. Other times by appointment phone 0401 259917.
(57km west of Wee Waa – forty five minute drive)
features Artesian Bore Baths, Tombs of Indian hawkers who settled in the area and wildlife aplenty.
11. PILLIGA ARTESIAN BORE BATHS
Constructed in 1902 as a permanent town water supply after serve drought, the bore has become a popular recreational spot for swimming. The therapeutic value of this mineral rich water has long been recognised by locals and visitors who make regular pilgrimage to the 27 degree pool to soak away those aches and pains. Facilities include free entry and camping (suitable for caravans and motorhomes), pet friendly, toilets, basic shower, BBQ and shelters.
12. THE PILLIGA FOREST
(5km south of Narrabri)
5000,000 hectares of cypress pine, ironbark and many other Eucalypts. The Pilliga Forest is also home to colonies of kangaroos, emus, wallabies and koalas. The wildflowers in spring are a sight to behold. Many Forest drives are accessible to conventional motor vehicles. Today, the Salt Caves area offers BBQ and toilet facilities, but according to legend the caves were once thirty metres deep, and salt hung in columns like stalactites from the roof. Wild horses, wild cattle and kangaroos were often seen and local women collected the salt to cure their meat.The Sandstone Caves hidden deep in the Pilliga Forest are a delight that often go undiscovered. You will need directions to get to the Sandstone caves so ask for a Brochure from the Visitor Centre or the Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre (located in Baradine).
The Sculptures in the Scrub are the latest addition to the attractions you will find in the Pilliga forest.
Described as one of the Pilliga’s iconic attractions, five magnificent sculptures overlook the spectacular Dandry Gorge. These amazing works of art reveal the cultural history of the Pilliga in most striking fashion which is not out of place in the natural setting of Dandry Gorge. The drive to the sculptures is on a maintained unsealed road, accessible for busses and 2WD vehicles, weather permitting. Facilities include walking tracks, picnic and barbeque area, toilet and camping area. The Sculptures in the Scrub provide a new perspective on the vast, ancient and unique Pilliga forest. Maps are available at the Narrabri Shire Visitor Information Centre 6799 6760
13. YARRIE LAKE
(26km west of Narrabri – 30 min. drive or 20km east of Wee Waa – 20 min. drive) –
A circular lake some 3km in diameter. Water skiing, wind surfing, bird watching and camping (powered and unpowered sites). Details are available from the Narrabri Shire Visitor Information Centre 6799 6760.
14. DRIPPING ROCK
Dripping Rock, a waterfall significantly more impressive than its name indicates, Dripping Rock is the newest tourism hotspot in the Shire. Surrounded by lush forests of Melaleucas, a short stroll from the carpark (follow the track markers) reveals a large rock pool at the base of the Dripping Rock cascades. This is an idyllic spot for a picnic or just to sit and listen to the hypnotic splash of water, melodious birdsong and wind in the trees. Dripping Rock can be difficult to find, so please pick up a map from the Visitor Information Centre or Boggabri Museum.
15. BOGGABRI HISTORICAL MUSEUM
(in Boggabri) –
You can spend hours enjoying the memorabilia and reminders from days gone by at this Museum. Throughout the year, the Museum features special displays. The museum is open by appointment, phone 6743 4612.
16. GIN’S LEAP
(5km north of Boggabri)
from the summit of this sheer rock face, legend has it that an Aboriginal girl of the Kamilaroi tribe (the original inhabitants of this part of the North West of NSW) plunged to her death to escape the advances of an unwelcome suitor. In the shadow of Gin’s Leap is a vault, which was the final resting place for two members of the Grover family who owned the Rock Inn, an early mail stop and changing station for the Cobb and Co. coaches. In it also was buried a serving girl from the Inn, Mary Ann Mein who died in 1858. These are the only reminders of the once bustling Inn’s existence.
The Namoi River meanders through Narrabri Shire, close to many of the roads, thus giving easy access to fishermen and campers. Murray Cod, Yellow Belly and Catfish are just some of the species you can bag on a relaxing day along the willow-lined banks. Fishing maps are available at the Narrabri Shire Visitor Information Centre. note: A fishing license is required in NSW.
18. SEPLIN ESTATE WINES
The Winery is located on Chifley Road producing superb quality red and white wines. Seplin Estate Winery is open 7 days (A call before arrival is appreciated 6795 4512.) Wine Tasting, meals, gift packs and local produce available.
19. ARTS & CRAFTS
One of Narrabri’s earliest residences in Dangar Street, has found a new purpose in the life as home to the Narrabri Art and Craft Society. Housing a shop, gallery and studio complex you are invited to pop in and view the exquisite handiwork of local craft people. The Gallery is open 7 days (except Good Friday and Christmas Day) between 10am and 4pm. You’re likely to pick up a delightful memento of your visit at the craft shop.
20. NARRABRI FISH FARM
A visit to the Narrabri Fish Farm is most rewarding. Found some 10 km from the centre of town, at 261
Tuppiari Road (Off the Kamilaroi Highway – Gunnedah side) 41 registered Culture Ponds with total water surface area of 39,596 square metres are stocked with Murray Cod, Golden and Silver Perch and Crayfish. Visitors are welcome to cast a line, purchase freshly caught fish or just to visit the farm. Please phone
first on 0428 749 606 or email: [email protected]
For more information about any of these interesting, fun, free activities and other great things to see and do in the Narrabri Shire contact the friendly team at the Narrabri Shire Visitor Information Centre.