Heart of the North West – Narrabri, Wee Waa, Boggabri and Pilliga
The untamed beauty of Mt Kaputar National Park, the Pilliga Artesian Bore Baths, the Pilliga Forest and the wondrous CSIRO Australia Telescope are just a few suggestions of how to spend your time in the Narrabri Shire. Your stay can be as active or laidback as you like in this attractive country town. Set in the heart of the rich Namoi Valley, Narrabri Shire is home to 14,000 residents who enjoy shopping, good sporting facilities and a great way of life. Visitors and locals alike are faced with a wide selection of eating experiences with many menus incorporating fine local produce such as olives and wine. Accommodation is plentiful and of excellent standard (advisable to book ahead). It includes motels, caravan parks, B&B’s and farm stays, either self catering or fully pampered.
Narrabri Shire Visitor Centre
Toll free: 1800 659 931 F: 02 6799 6766
Open: 9 – 5pm Mon – Fri 9am – 2pm Sat/Sun & public holidays.
Narrabri Shire – Our Past
Between 17 and 21 Million years ago erupting volcanoes created the Nandewar Ranges and the magnificent Mt Kaputar National Park. Erosion of these mountains spawned rich fertile farming country and a strong river system, strengthened by underground Artesian waters, created a network along which Narrabri Shire towns grow and prosper.
The Kamilaroi (pronunciation: Gam–ill–a–roy) people were the first inhabitants of Narrabri Shire. Radiating from Narrabri, their land extends north to Goondiwindi, west to Lightning Ridge and south to Quirindi. Scar trees on the Wee Waa/Narrabri road, bora rings on Mt Kaputar, a sandstone baby washing area, and sandstone rubbings in the Pilliga forest attest to their presence.
History credits explorers Sir Thomas Mitchell and Allan Cunningham with the honour of opening the way to the North West plains, to the area that is now known as Narrabri Shire. However the notorious George ‘the Barber’ Clarke, whose epithet refers to his early legitimate trade, was the first white man to seek his fortune in the area. Clarke was convicted of armed robbery, for goods totalling 40 shillings, and shipped from England in 1825 sentenced to work on a farm near Singleton, NSW. Soon after his arrival he escaped, painted himself black, took two aboriginal wives and wandered the plains naked with the natives, stealing cattle. Upon his recapture in 1831 Clarke related stories of a deep, wide navigable river called the Kindur, which flowed into a vast inland Sea. The imaginative tale may have been invented in an attempt to save his life, but it was plausible enough to prompt Sir Thomas Mitchell to press out into a virtually unknown area.
The Kindur was never discovered, but when the rivers rise in the great floods the land becomes akin to an inland sea. Mitchell’s explorations paved the way for the early settlers and wealth came to the area ‘on the sheep’s back’ and the cattle’s pastures.
Wee Waa, the oldest town in the Namoi Valley, was proclaimed in 1847, followed by Narrabri and Boggabri in 1860. The settlers ventured across the Liverpool plains to the Boggabri, Narrabri and Wee Waa districts, ‘niver–niver’ country, as it was known by aboriginals.
Narrabri is the administrative heart of the second richest agricultural Shire in Australia. Located at the centre of a major cotton growing industry, agricultural industries in the area also include wheat, beef and lamb.
Boggabri + Baan Baa
Boggabri is a historic small country town with big community spirit offering unique lifestyle, home of the Boggabri Drovers Campfire (April) & Dripping Rock.
Boggabri is now home to vast reserves of coal destined for the export markets.
Cotton Capital of Australia, the oldest town in the Namoi Valley with distinctive architecture such as the Imperial Hotel and the Court House. Boutique shopping and a visit to Seplin Estate Wines or the Namoi Echo Museum.
Pilliga + Gwabegar
Gateway to the Pilliga Forest/NP
Enjoy the Pilliga Bore Baths a popular stopover for those wanting to soak in the 37 degree hot artesian springs.
Vast rich agricultural plains famous for the production of some of the best “prime hard” wheat in Australia and bird watching.
NO matter what time of year Summer, Autumn, Winter or Spring - Narrabri Shire has entertainment aplenty
Carols in the Park
Australia Day Celebrations
Christmas Mardi Gras
Nosh on the Namoi
Narrabri Picnic Races
Narrabri Agricultural Show
Boggabri Drovers Campfire Weekend
Australian Cotton Fibre Expo
Wee Waa Show
Narrabri Veteran’s Golf
Wean Amateur Picnic Races
Galloping Gully Polocrosse
Cubbaroo, Boggabri, Wee Waa Campdrafts
Narrabri, Boggabri and Wee Waa Pony Club
Wee Waa Charity Rodeo
Wee Waa Flower Show
Narrabri Spring Festival
See the Visitor Information Centre for exact dates
The Gypsy Willow Markets are held at Cameron Park in Narrabri on the 1st Saturday of every month.
Mt Kaputar National Park + Sawn Rocks
From the expansive views from the 1512m summit of Mount Kaputar to the remarkable organ pipes of Sawn Rocks this National Park is not to be missed!
Pilliga Bore Baths
The therapeutic value of this mineral rich water has long been recognised by locals and visitors who make regular pilgrimage to the 37 degree pool to soak away the aches and pains. Camping and caravanning permitted, pet friendly, BBQ and Toilets. (no power available)
CSIRO Australia Telescope
Discover the magic that draws scientists from around the world in their quest to unlock the secrets of the universe at the most advanced radio telescope in the southern hemisphere. Open 7 days 8am – 4pm
This saucer shaped expanse of water on the edge of the Pilliga Forest is thought to have been formed by a falling meteor many thousands of years ago. Whatever its origins its existence is much appreciated by locals, visitors and wildlife alike.
Seplin Estate Wines
This lovely winery is located on the outskirts of Wee Waa and offers cellar door with an onsite restaurant Beautiful gift packs , souvenirs and other local products and produce are available at the winery.
Pilliga National Park incl Dandry Gorge & Salt Caves
The Pilliga Forest is the largest native forest on the Australia continent. Enjoy one of the many forest drives, explore the Salt Caves, Dandry Gorge or the Sandstone Caves (dry weather roads)Bird drives and bird lists are available at the Visitor Information Centre.
The Crossing Theatre
Open Wednesday – Sunday -Two state of the art movie cinemas featuring the latest movies, a 1000 seat auditorium and a café
Bowling Alley and The Yowie
Visit the Crossroads Hotel (Narrabri) to see the Pilliga Yowie or enjoy an morning or afternoon of bowling.
The largest hatchery aquaculture farm in NSW on 205 acres holding 41 ponds. Visitors welcome – Guided tours, fishing and yabbying .
Bookings essential- 0428749606
Whether you’re after detailed local or family history or you simply want to experience a slice of the way things were, Narrabri Shire’s three wonderful Historical Museums are sure to satisfy.
Narrabri and Wee Waa have fabulous art and crafts hops to explore.
Dripping Rock - Boggabri
Dripping Rock is the newest tourism hotspot in the Shire. Surrounded by lush forests of Melaleucas, a short stroll from the carpark 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 (dry weather road only) so please pick up a map from the Visitor Information Centre or Boggabri Museum.