NSW Top Tourism Town Finalist

Welcome to Gunnedah

Top Town: population over 5,000 residents

09:00 Weds 13 April - till - 17:00 Weds 27 April.
Members of the public may lodge only one vote for one town in each category. See Terms & Conditions.

Yaama - Welcome to Gunnedah

Cumbo Gunnerah was a clever chief and mighty warrior. Legend has it that Red Chief, as he was also known, defeated a large opposing Aboriginal tribe with only a handful of warriors by leading them into the Wallaby Trap, a natural trap created by the land form and vegetation, and used by the Kamilaroi nation to hunt wallabies.

Welcome to Gunnedah! Let the Red Chief take you on a discovery trip of his land, the place of white stones. Two lookouts offer the best views of the town: Pensioners Hill and Porcupine Hill. Both are culturally significant places and will tell you the story of the local people. The carved trees on Pensioners Hill enhance a stunning sculpture of Red Chief, as well as other heritage sculptures depicting farming, mining and early pioneer life. You will also find a Red Chief memorial in Abbott Street.

A walk along the Bindea walking track on Porcupine Hill gives you a chance to learn about the local flora and fauna whilst enjoying the breathtaking views over the fertile plains. 

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Boonalla Aboriginal Area near Kelvin has unveiled ancient Aboriginal artifacts dating back 4000 years. This area has made a significant contribution to the cultural and spiritual well-being of the local Aboriginal people and offers a very enjoyable bushwalk to the caves. 

We invite you to discover the secrets of the Boonalla area by taking a short walk through the bush to the caves.  The caves offered shelter to animals as well as humans, and today is one of very few maternity and roosting sites for the threatened Eastern Cave Bat. 

Both the Rural Museum and the Water Tower Museum pay homage to the traditional custodians of this land. We are also excited that the Cumbo Gunnerah Keeping Place will reopen later in 2022, continuing to tell the story of this great warrior and his people. 

The Visitor Information Centre in Chandos Street is home to the magnificent Rainbow Serpent Water Feature, which features colourful mosaic tiles handcrafted by generations of Kamilaroi people. The tiles depict koalas, turtles, cockatoos, lizards, fish, Aboriginal tools, children's hands, and the Red Chief, among other images, as they glide along the length of the serpent’s body. The serpent tells its own story as it glistens in the sun. You only have to listen.

Another prominent Australian, Dorothea Mackellar has found her place in Anzac Park where the poet sits astride a horse, forever looking to the horizon. The statue is across from The Mackellar Centre, which pays homage to the late poet and author of the famous poem My Country.

Walk back in time and lose yourself in her beautiful words describing the landscape that surrounds Gunnedah. This vibrant and dynamic landscape has inspired many local visual artists, including the late Jean Isherwood whose collection of watercolour paintings illustrates verses of My Country. The works take up an entire room in the centre, which gives you an opportunity to immerse yourself into the poem just like the artist did. 

Sitting alongside The Mackellar Centre on Anzac hill is the Gunnedah Water Town Museum, which preserves and displays the Shire’s rich and diverse heritage, including First Nations and wartime history, and collections of local memorabilia of all walks of life.

The Water Tower is also the canvas for a Vietnam War veterans’ memorial mural, depicting iconic Huey helicopters, soldiers and the Long Tan Cross.

Down the road, the Gunnedah Rural Museum is a treasure trove, capturing Australia’s rural and agricultural history from yesteryear. The impressive collection of Arnott’s biscuit tins and vintage Coca-Cola bottles and cans are just some of the artifacts that will send you down memory lane.

A walk through Gunnedah in spring is delightful as jacarandas flowers carpet the roads of the friendly town. Keep an eye out for our iconic koalas – they still call Gunnedah home, even though the numbers have declined in recent years.

With so much housed within the town centre, Gunnedah is the perfect stop for a few days, allowing visitors to shop, sightsee, walk, or just relax in the country air. 

The culinary offering alone will have you stay a little longer: every Pub has a distinct atmosphere and beautiful meals, Coffee is Gunnedah’s middle name with a number of busy cafés to choose from. Our international offering ranges from Chinese to Korean, Japanese, Thai, and Italian.

Independently owned boutiques, antique and second-hand shops, and a native nursery offer a great shopping experience and cater to everyone’s tastes.

We hope we have whet your appetite to visit Gunnedah! By the time you get here, we might even have other surprises for you – this is a town on the move, a town with far horizons that embraces opportunities with both hands. Yalu, see you soon!

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Four days in Gunnedah

Yaama and welcome to Kamilaroi Country. We invite you to slow down, park your vehicle and explore Gunnedah.

Gunnedah is situated between the tropical and temperate climate zones and experiences very warm to hot summers and cool to mild winters.

The best time to visit avoiding extreme temperatures is spring when you can also enjoy the vibrant colours of the jacarandas and big paddocks of canola, and autumn when the cotton dresses the paddocks in a soft white - but there is always the public pool and the river to cool you down if you visit in summer.

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