As with this entire region, the Werris Creek area is thought to have been formerly occupied by the Kamilaroi Aborigines. The first Europeans were squatters who were in the area by the 1830s and there were a handful of pastoral families occupying the valley by the early 1870s. On the eastern side of the present town site, was Summer Hill station which belonged to John Single, after whom the main street is named.
The town developed when a camp of railway workers was set-up to build the northern line from Quirindi to Tamworth. The railway was officially opened to Werris Creek in 1878 and a station was built the following year.
The town's impressive railway station which is the Australian Railway Monument, consists of three linked main buildings of two-stories. The Monument promises to be the rail icon of the nation and the perfect location to step on a steam train for a ride. All aboard!
The town is not only what rail historians dream about, it is still the major rail junction for the northern and north western parts of New South Wales and is an important service centre supporting a diversification of agricultural pursuits.
A large grain silo complex is also in operation. If you'd like a break from looking at locomotives, drive to the top of the hill on which the town is situated. The backdrop of rolling hills can be breathtaking in the warm glow of an afternoon. The town's swimming pool is also located on the top of the rise. This community driven project was opened in 1968 and the unusual architectural design has drawn a great deal of praise over the years.
New residents in Werris Creek? Check out these websites for more information:
Australian Railway Monument & Rail Journeys Museum
A celebration of Australian history in the first and last railway town in New South Wales, the Australian Railway Monument & Rail Journeys Museum capture the essence of railway life in Australia. Built as a memorial to those who died whilst working to develop our nation's infrastructure, the Australian Railway Monument is a sight to behold. Opened in October 2005, the six evocative structures of the monument are set on the backdrop of the impressive historical Werris Creek Railway Station. Search the name walls of this sobering commemoration and acknowledge those who died on duty.
Quipolly Dam & Bird Hide
A flora and fauna sanctuary, a "must" for the bird lover! The Liverpool Plains is known for its many and varied bird species such as the Turquoise Parrot and Grey-crowned Babbler. This dam is known worldwide and has a newly constructed Bird Hide on the edge of the dam. The Bird Hide overlooks this pristine flora and fauna sanctuary. According to some sources the dam filled with silt during the 1940's, attributed to the rabbit plagues and developed a habitat which attracts both water and woodland birds. The sanctuary continues upstream along the creek for about 1km.
Stock Brands of the Liverpool Plains
The centrepiece of the footpaths in the Quirindi Main Street celebrates the earliest known sheep and cattle runs on the Liverpool Plains. The brands are derived from the "Large Stock Brands Directory of NSW", 1954 and the "Sheep Brands & Marks Directory of NSW", 1954.
Evidence suggests that sheep and cattle were moving through the Liverpool Plains in the early 1820's.
Most of the Brands are those not originally associated with the properties but belong to known owners. Brands were required by law after 1866 and there are a number of stories relating to getting cattle inspectors drunk or driving off their horses so that property owners did not have their stock confiscated.
On a more practical note before the days of fencing and when cattle where driven to market, brands were the only way to separate mobs that may have accidentally been drawn together.
Brands or ear tags are mandatory to this day and are becoming more and more digitized and sophisticated. In some instances the classic branding iron has been replaced by a freeze dried brand which removes pigment from the hair follicles of the beast.
Who'd-A-Thought It Lookout
To embrace the full beauty of the area the Whod-A-Thought It Lookout is a must. A full 360 degree expanse offers panoramic views of the town, the Liverpool Plains and the Great Dividing Range. It's the picnic perfect location to watch the sun set and contemplate how the region once supported oceanic coral reefs and beaches and now crops such as sorghum, wheat, cotton, sunflowers, lucerne and corn. The Lookout also has a location compass providing distances to various places of interest as the crow flies.