Heritage walks, farmers markets and thrilling rodeo are just some of the things you’ll find in the picturesque town of Walcha. The southern gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, there’s also plenty of wilderness adventure and scenic drives to enjoy.
Explore the colonial buildings in the town on a self-guided walking tour – pick up a brochure from the Walcha Visitor Information Centre. Keep an eye out for the Open Air Gallery, a collection of 40 outdoor sculptures along the streetscape, created by local, national and international artists.
Check out the events calendar for what’s on. The two-day Walcha Mountain Festival in October is great family fun, and in November is the Golden Gate Rodeo at Walcha Showground, an event that has been running for over 50 years.
A pastoral wonderland, the Walcha district is home to some of Australia’s finest grazing land for merino wool and prime lamb. The rich soil also supports vineyards and wineries. Places to stay include farm stays, wilderness retreats, pubs, B&Bs, motels, cottages and campgrounds.
Fishing is popular in streams and the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, where the Oxley and Apsley Gorge Rim walking tracks offer breathtaking views. You might spot brush-tailed rock wallabies among the eucalypts. Try kayaking and rafting for an exhilarating experience on the water.
The Apsley River meanders through Walcha into the national park where it falls over two sheer cliffs into a deep gorge. The Apsley Falls picnic area is a lovely lunch spot. In the New England High Country, Walcha is 50 minutes’ drive from Armidale and 70 minutes from Tamworth.
Two popular motorcycle and car touring routes are between Walcha and Wauchope, on the Oxley Highway, and between Gloucester and Walcha, on Thunderbolts Way. The Oxley Highway trip is about two hours and winds through Cottan-Bimbang National Park, where there’s a remnant convict road.