Located in the heart of the Namoi Valley, Gunnedah Shire covers an area of 5,092 square kilometres and has a population of approximately 13,000. Gunnedah is a major rural centre in NSW and boasts not only a wonderful country lifestyle, but offers a full range of city conveniences.
Gunnedah is known as the Koala Capital of the World thanks to the special tree corridors that have been planted throughout the town, it is home to Australia's largest and healthiest population of koalas who are regularly spotted walking along the residential streets and bush tracks.
The black soil plains surrounding this thriving centre comprise some of the richest agricultural and grazing land in NSW and the farming economy is showcased each year at the Ag-Quip field days which attract more than 100,000 people from all over Australia.
This land of sweeping plains and the rugged mountain ranges beyond also served as the inspiration for Australia's best loved and most quoted poem, 'My Country'. Poet Dorothea Mackellar came to 'love a sunburnt country' on visits to her brothers' properties in the area and the town pays homage to its favourite adopted daughter at the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Wing in the Visitor Information Centre and through the trail of poetry plaques set out along the main streets.
Prior to white settlement in 1834, the Gunn-e-darr people of the Kamilaroi tribe inhabited the Gunnedah area. One of the first identities to live in the area was the "Red Chief"; the legendary Aboriginal warrior whose life story has been told by Ion Idriess in his book entitled "The Red Chief".
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This is one of the biggest agricultural shows held in the southern hemisphere. Annually, for 3 days during the third week of August, Gunnedah is host to an extra 100,000 people and offers something for everyone. A wide range of agricultural products, machinery and equipment is on display for the world to view and purchase. For those not so interested in the agricultural side of the market, Ag-quip offers a broad range of other items - from Clothing to fine bed linen, jewellery, travel destinations, educational displays, caravans, camping gear and much, much more.
Dorothea Mackellar Memorial
A bronze, life-sized statue of Dorothea Mackellar, author of "My Country", is located in Anzac Park opposite the Visitors Information Centre. A collection of memorabilia is on display in the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Wing of the Visitors Centre. Gunnedah also coordinates the annual Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, a National Poetry Competition for School Children of all ages and that attracts over 10,000 entries per year.
Gunnedah Rural Museum
The Rural Museum at Gunnedah is one of Australia's largest collections of domestic agricultural and transport memorabilia with a display of over 18000 exhibits. A working museum of farm machinery, equipment and artefacts highlighting the early days of agriculture in Australia, in particular, the Gunnedah and Liverpool Plains area. Located on the Oxley Highway, 1km west of the Visitors Centre, the museum is open seven days from 9.00am to 3.00pm.
Gunnedah has one of the largest and healthiest inland populations of koalas in Australia. The earliest record of koalas in the Gunnedah region comes from zoologist; John Gould in 1863 and because of the abundant variety of favoured eucalypts and freedom from disease, Gunnedah's koala population is increasing. Koalas are readily seen the urban area of Gunnedah. It is not uncommon to see koalas strolling the footpaths or crossing the street! In a recent survey, at least 60 koalas were living in the town! Best spots to see Koalas are Localities near the Anzac Park, Porcupine Lookout, Gunnedah Golf Course, Stock Road walking/ cycle way, TAFE Campus, PCYC and the western end of the Showground area near the Kennel Club grounds.
Lake Keepit State Park
Lake Keepit State Park is located 30 minutes east of Gunnedah on the Oxley highway. The Park offers fun and relaxation for the whole family with BBQs, picnics and bushwalking along the Namoi, or water sports on the 34km of stunning waterways. The park is great for bushwalks, with many pleasant and easy trails. Go gliding, lessons are available, or bring a BMX bike and try out the track. Roller bladers, roller skaters and skateboarders can have fun in the skate bowl. There is also a water park in Lake Keepit Inland Waters Holiday Park available for visitors even if they aren't stayng on site. Lake Keepit State Park is famous for its fishing. Hook silver and golden perch (yellow belly), Murray cod and catfish. Through the spring and summer seasons the lake's 4,370 hectares offers pleasure boating, sailing, swimming, water skiing and windsurfing.
Waterways Wildlife Park
Located 7 kms from Gunnedah on the Mullaley Road the park has a large variety of wildlife including kangaroos, wombats, emus, possums, echidnas, dingoes, deer, birds and lizards. A large open koala enclosure allows you an up close look at this sleepy marsupial to take lots of pictures.
The "A Grade" 18 hole course situated right in the middle of Gunnedah's magnificent residential area, offers bent greens, full time professional, with all equipment hire. The course caters for social and competition golf as well as visiting and corporate days. The club and bar offers excellent dining and gaming facilities.
Gunnedah Memorial Pool Complex
The complex provides year round swimming in either the 50m pool with
diving boards and water slides, heated indoor 25m pool or shade cloth covered
toddlers pool enclosure. The spacious grassed surrounds and shade areas provide
the ideal environment for families or individuals to enjoy a break away from
the hot summer sun. Take advantage of the free BBQ's and a well stocked kiosk
that sells confectionery, ice creams, cold drinks and takeaway foods. Fully
trained staff and monitoring equipment combine to provide a first class
A celebration of Australian poetry, the poets drive is a self guiding tour of Australian poetry inspired by Gunnedah's iconic landmarks and local heroes. The drive explores the essence of bush life and considers the challenges and adventures of rural Australia. The 'Lyrical Loos' located in Brock Court at Wolseley Park is a must to see and hear.
Bindea Walking Tracks
The walking track was designed and constructed by Tamworth Lands Office in association with the Gunnedah Shire Council and opened in 1983. Located at the top of Porcupine Lookout, the track offers a range of different walks over various lengths and durations. Picnic and barbecue facilities have been provided at a number of spots.
Gunnedah Country Markets
The markets are held from 6am to early-mid-afternoon in Brock Court, Wolseley Park, (opposite Woolworths), on the third Saturday of each month. A variety of stalls offer a good selection of arts & crafts, bric a brac, cakes & slices, clothing, vegies, books, plants, jewellery and more.