The Crossing Theatre
Set on picturesque lawns overlooking Narrabri Creek, Narrabri Shire’s Crossing Theatre is designed to cater for residents and visitors alike. This $8 million complex with its 1000-seat auditorium regularly stages large scale conferences, promotions and concerts, while latest release movies are screened in the twin cinemas.
The Crossing Theatre café serves coffee, morning tea and lunch from a vantage point offering the best water views in Narrabri.
The Narrabri Lake was transformed by volunteers from swamp land into a recreational playground for swimmers, canoeists, picnickers and windsurfers. For the energetic at heart take the 3km walking/cycle track which loops the Lake. For bird watchers the islands, located at the southern end of the Lake, are a haven for local and migrating birds. The Lake attracts a wonderful array of birds. Black swans and cygnets can often be seen feeding amongst the reeds. There are picnic tables and BBQ facilities at the Mooloobar Street end of the Lake.
More information about birdwatching at Narrabri Lake can be found at our Bird Routes information page
Narrabri Lake is included as part of the ‘A Day In Narrabri’ tour.
Narrabri Gaol and Museum – As Time Goes By
Get a taste of life as a prisoner of yesteryear at the Old Gaol Museum. Be regaled by fascinating stories from the days of the gaol’s operation and take a sneak peek at how the prisoners lived.
Built in the 1880s by Colonial Architect James Barnet the gaol became a home for the wayward in September 1882 and operated as a medium security prison for 100 years. Although the planned capacity of the gaol was 32 inmates, up to 49 have been accommodated. Nobody was ever hanged in the Gaol.
After its closure the Narrabri Historical Society was invited to house their collection in the Old Gaol section, and the museum opened in 1988. Visitors can experience the austere “feel” of the building with its cells, exercise yard and a black tracker’s hut.
Today the museum houses an extensive collection of artefacts of historical, archival and cultural significance, in addition to an extensive family history section catalogued by dedicated local historians. From a historical point of view, the centre houses a well documented range of early Australian memorabilia. The women’s cell is given over to the “Dalway Collection”, a fascinating collection of documents, uniforms, paintings and other articles from an influential Irishman who travelled to Australia in the early 1800’s, changed his name and took up life as an Australian. A well-versed guide will share the history of this early pioneer.
Narrabri Fish Farm
For those more interested in the fish than the fishing, Narrabri Shire is home to the largest aquaculture farm in NSW. Located just 10km from Narrabri on Jacks Creek Road, Narrabri Fish Farm boasts an impressive number of registered culture ponds of various sizes, with a total water surface area of 39,596m2. It breeds Murray Cod, Golden Perch, Silver Perch, eel tailed catfish and yabbies, and visitors are more than welcome to take self-guided tours of the facilities. There is a small entrance fee, but with BBQ and picnic areas and the chance to try your hand at yabbying the old fashioned way, it’s an ideal location for a fun family day out.
It is necessary to phone on 0428 749 606 before your visit to make an appointment. Pre-booked coach tours are very welcome.
Mt Kaputar National National Park
Today you’re heading for the sky! From the 1512m summit of Mt Kaputar, 52km east of Narrabri, you will be treated to panoramic views encompassing a staggering 10 per cent of NSW, weather permitting.
Allow: 3 Hrs minimum
Explore the rugged island of wilderness that is Mt Kaputar National Park, an ancient footprint left behind by a series of volcanic eruptions between 17 and 21 million years ago. Rising spectacularly from surrounding flat agricultural plains, millions of years of erosion have forged this volcanic wilderness into the Nandewar Ranges you see today. Whether you’re a nature lover, photographer, bushwalker, camper or simply seeking a little solitude, prepare to be spellbound by the grandeur of this landscape of lava terraces and volcanic plugs.
The national park protects a wide variety of plant communities, including semi–arid woodlands, wet eucalypt forests and subalpine heaths. It’s also home to a host of animal species, and provides a haven for many threatened species – including bats, birds, wallabies and quolls. Keep an eye out for our native pink slug! It often appears after rain, and is unique to Mt Kaputar National Park.
For those with time to thoroughly explore the park, two camping areaswith hot showers and electric barbecues are available as well as threewell-equipped cabins at Dawsons Spring, which can be booked through the NPWS office. Mt Kaputar has a range of walks to suit all tastes, from pleasant bush ramblings to strenuous climbs.
Deriah Aboriginal Area
Allow: 2 Hrs minimum
Uncover the secrets of this recently opened reserve, located at the foothills of the Nandewar Ranges. The Deriah Aboriginal Area forms part of the traditional country of the Gamilaroi people and is a beautiful place to explore the unique wildlife of the area and learn more about Aboriginal cultural heritage.
Stop for a barbeque at the Wagun Picnic Area and learn about the Wagun (willy wagtail) dreaming amongst the short Culture Sculpture Walk. The nearby Biruu gaba lookout offers spectacular views across the Nandewar range.
From the Kaputar Road, turn right onto Eulah Creek Road and follow it for 11km. Turn right into Carinya Road and follow the route uphill to enter the Deriah Aboriginal Area. Part of this access route is unsealed.
Keen to experience an almighty wall of organ pipes without stepping foot inside a church? Then Sawn Rocks, with its towering 40m high pillars is the place to go. Undoubtedly the most iconic reminder of Kaputar’s volcanic past, this basalt rock formation is located in the northern section of Mt Kaputar National Park.
As you head north along the Newell Highway, the plains to the west stretch to eternity whilst the furls and rugged peaks of the Nandewar Ranges unfold to the east.
Just 3km out of town, turn right onto the picturesque Killarney Gap Road (Bingara Road) and travel a further 33km to the Sawn Rocks carpark.
From the carpark Sawn Rocks is reached via an easy 750m walking track (disabled access) that meanders through the tall eucalypts, figs and ferns. An observation platform affords stunning views of the intriguing rock formation jutting starkly from the bed, of the Bobbiwaa creek. Stairs to the side enable access to the creek bed upon which outlines of more pillars are visible. This unusual phenomenon is the result of slow and even cooling of molten rock, which enabled individual crystals within the rock to align perfectly with each other.
A shelter and BBQ area is available next to the carpark for those wishing to enjoy the scenery.
Yet another reminder of the region’s volcanic past, Waa Gorge is as spectacular as it is old. You’ll be entranced by the towering tangerine-streaked walls sweeping up to the ancient volcanic plug, Mt Waa. Millions of years of weathering turned cracks and fault lines into the deeply etched gorge and surrounding gullies you see today. The sheer scale positively dwarfs, while the enormous boulders strewn across the gorge’s floor look like marbles in a giant’s playground.
The walk into Waa Gorge takes a good hour and visitors need to be prepared with water and sturdy shoes. From the car park, follow the short walking track to the tranquil “Mill Bullah” (Two Eyes) waterholes. From here, the walk enters a wilderness area with no formed tracks or signposts. Make sure to look at the map on the interpretive sign by the pools for detailed directions. Climb the small hill on the left of the waterholes and follow the creek for a few hundred metres until you find your way into the rocky creek bed that leads to Waa Gorge.
CSIRO Australia Telescope
The Dish times six! Satisfy your scientific curiosities at the most advanced radio telescope in the southern hemisphere, located 25km west of Narrabri at the Paul Wild Observatory. Discover the magic that draws scientists from around the world in their quest to unlock the secrets of the universe.
Consisting of six 22m wide dish antennas, the CSIRO Australia Telescope compact array is truly a site to behold.
A giant 3km long rail track holds five of the dishes, while the sixth is fixed approximately 5km to the west. Working together the antennas simulate a much larger antenna, allowing astronomers to observe very fine detail.
The Telescope Information Centre can answer all your questions, while a regularly updated video showcases some of the “out–of–this–universe” photos captured by the antennas. Check out the computers for up-to-the-minute particulars on what is being tracked. Interactive exhibits around the Centre provide a world of fascination for young and old. Even those who find the science a little bewildering will be captivated by the whispering dishes.
Just a few kilometres west of the scientific wonder of Australia Telescope lies an unexplained wonder of the natural variety.
Yarrie Lake, a 3km saucer-shaped expanse of water on the very 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. A veritable mecca for over 70 bird species, its sheltered position makes it an excellent natural bird breeding ground.
Travellers seeking a little peace will love the quiet isolation, while powered sites, hot showers, toilet and laundry facilities bring that touch of civilisation to this bush camping experience. Some marvellous sunsets make Yarrie Lake a popular spot for photographers, while others come here to enjoy water sports or a touch of yabbying.
Seplin Estate Wines
All this touring leaving you thirsty? Drop in for a drop (or two) of award-winning wine or port at Seplin Estate Wines. The region’s chocolate loam soil and warm summer sun lend themselves to the production of top-quality red and white wines and sparkling wines and ports, as is evident in the tasting.
On the outskirts of Wee Waa on Chifley Road, relax and unwind on the covered deck overlooking the lagoon and beautifully manicured grounds. Enjoy the abundant birdlife and evening kangaroo visits.
A unique experience with warm country hospitality.
Namoi Echo Museum
The Namoi Echo Museum provides a wonderful reminder of days gone by. Opened in 2006, the Museum, run by the Wee Waa Historical Society, is home to many fascinating items and machinery pertaining to the history and culture of the district. Outstanding modern murals and a multitude of ancient machinery make this one of Wee Waa’s must-see destinations.
Kamilaroi meaning: Swamp Oak
Situated 105km west of Narrabri and approximately 60km north west of Gwabegar, Pilliga got its start from the early development of the timber industry. Gazetted as a township in 1885, Pilliga was once an important centre on the Cobb and Co route, but today is renowned for its artesian bore baths.
A wander in the cemetery reveals a fascinating montage of the lives and trials of the past. Of particular interest are the rough–hewn graves of the Indian traders.
The Community Link Centre is a good place to start your visit. Staff will be happy to direct you to such attractions as the Pilliga lagoon, a bird watcher’s paradise.
When you’ve worked up an appetite, the Pilliga Pub, with adjoining accommodation, or the Pilliga Café are both great places for a meal, drink, or to rest your head for the night.
Pilliga Artesian Bore Baths
Constructed in 1902 as a permanent town water supply after severe 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 pilgrimages to the 37-degree pool to soak away those aches and pains. A roof covers the pool area and has lighting for night time bathing. Camping and caravanning is permitted at the bore baths (fees apply). It has toilets, showers and a BBQ area.
Pilliga Forest–“A Million Wild Acres”
Ever heard of the Pilliga Yowie? The Pilliga Forest, with its vast and unusual semi–arid woodlands spanning over 3000m2, is said to be the home of this Big Foot kin. Seekers are drawn from across the globe in search of this mystical (or is that mythical?) creature. Yowie’s aside, the Pilliga Forest has been long recognised as one of the most important areas for biodiversity in eastern Australia, home to at least 300 native animal species, and over 900 plant species including cypress pine, ironbark, eucalypt, broom plains, and beautiful spring wildflowers.
The scenery within the Pilliga Forest is distinctly unique and makes a trip into the scrub quite an adventure. As you drive across one of the many crisscrossed roads, you may come across remnants of the past (chimney stacks, abandoned timber mills and a cobblestone road) and the future (gas wells).
Today, the Salt Caves area offers a recently revamped picnic area with BBQs and toilet facilities, but according to legend, the caves were once 30m 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 fire tower offers an incredible bird’s eye view of the entire Forest and the surrounding ranges.
The nearby dam is a great spot to experience the Pilliga’s immense variety of birdlife.
The Sandstone Caves, hidden deep in the Pilliga Forest, are a delight that often go undiscovered.
A 2km looped walking track circles the caves, leaving viewers speechless at the unique tunnels and formations that have evolved over many thousands of years. As you walk you will find a number of caves, including one which is closed and undergoing preservation. Keep an eye out for indications of Aboriginal habitation in this cave – grinding marks and artwork in sandstone.
Sculptures in the Scrub is a cultural delight in the heart of the Pilliga. Indulge all your senses as you explore the five magnificent sculptures inspired by the Aboriginal connection to the surrounding landscape. Soak in the view of Dandry Gorge and then descend into the sheltered oasis of Dandry Creek below. During early spring you will be treated to spectacular wildflower displays.
There is a picnic area with BBQs to relax in for lunch or a campground for those who wish to soak up the atmosphere for longer.
Handy Hint: It is advisable to purchase a Pilliga Forest map from the Visitor Information Centre as there are 2,700 km of tracks through the forest and although most are marked, it would be easy to take a wrong turn
The location of this small village, deep in the Pilliga Forest, is key to its existence. Known as the “Heart of the Pilliga” it is roughly the geographical centre of the timber industries that grew and flourished in the Western Region of the Pilliga.
The modern Community Link Centre in Gwabegar provides an excellent meeting spot for village members and visitors.
Anzac Park in Gwabegar is a designated Primitive Camping ground. Camping and caravanning is permitted free of charge however there are no facilities provided. Please take all your rubbish with you.
Bird watching in the Pilliga
Pickup a brochure at the Visitor Information Centre for a guide on what birds you may hope to spot in the different areas, or visit the following page links for more information about birdwatching in the Pilliga and Narrabri Shire bird routes.
(Original spelling Bukka–Bri)
Kamilaroi meaning: Place of Many Creeks
Boggabri is a historic small country town with big community spirit and a unique country lifestyle. The town boasts a ninehole golf course, bowling club and RSL Club. A modern motel, caravan park (no cabins) and two hotels provide accommodation in the town while fuel and motor repairs are also available.
The main business area of Boggabri has, over the years, been found in three different streets. This makes for an interesting mix of architecture, which can be explored with a walk along the Boggabri Heritage Trail.
Boggabri Historical Museum
Open: By Appointment
This fascinating time piece found in Boggabri’s second main street, Brent St, traces Boggabri’s evolution. With three main streets and the town’s relocation due to flood, Boggabri is a truly dynamic town. TheBoggabri Historical Museum complex houses exhibits of precious memorabilia donated by Boggabri’s residents, past and present.
A self-walk Heritage Trail reveals many interesting highlights of Boggabri’s progress through history since its early beginnings. A brochure is available from the Whitehaven Coal office in Merton St or at the Museum in Brent St.
Nelson’s Honey Factory
Chasing the sweeter things in life? It doesn’t get much sweeter thanNelson’s Honey Factory, 66 Lynn St Boggabri. This successful business venture emerged from Mike Nelson’s childhood hobby of keeping bees, and developed into one of the largest NSW suppliers to the Honey Corporation of Australia.
White and Yellow Box and narrow leafed Iron Bark are the major sources of honey extracted by the Nelsons, mainly from the Pilliga Forest, and the honey is superb!
This striking rock face, towering over the Kamilaroi Highway outside Boggabri, has been known by many names over the years.
Local Aboriginals knew it as “Cooloobindi”, whilst it was known as “Bullaballakit” in the era when Sir Thomas Mitchell was exploring the Namoi Valley. In Cobb and Co coach days, it was known as “The Rock” and now it goes by “Gins Leap”.
The widely accepted origins of the current name follow the tragic death of a pair of ill-fated young Aboriginal lovers, a modern day Romeo and Juliet.
The site also features a picnic area and interpretive sign.
Local landmarks Barbers Lagoon and Barbers Pinnacle are located on the Manilla Road, just north of Boggabri, after crossing the Iron Bridge. They take their names from George “The Barber” Clark, the runaway convict who inhabited this area from 1826 to 1831, living with the Kamilaroi people who seem to have regarded him as one of their own returned from the dead.
Barbers Lagoon, on your right, is marked by a plaque and notes the approximate location of Clarke’s hut and stockyards. The striking outcrop of rocks on your left, called Tangulda by the Kamilaroi aboriginals is now known as Barber’s Pinnacle.