Surrounded by spectacular national parks threaded with wild rivers and tumbling waterfalls, Walcha is renowned for its natural beauty. The oldest colonial settlement in the New England region, the small town also has a rich history, vibrant arts community, and plenty of country charm.
Arts & heritage
Start with a tour of the town’s historic buildings on a self-guided walking tour. You can pick up a brochure from the Walcha Visitor Information Centre. Find relics of a by-gone era at the Pioneer Cottage and Museum, including a Pioneer Cottage, Wool Hall, Blacksmith's Shop and a hangar with an authentic Tiger Moth Aircraft. The Langford House is a historical building which offers guided tours and shows the two storey building constructed of locally produced red brick, featuring 22 rooms and a five storey central tower overlooking the circular entrance driveway and extensive surrounding gardens.
See sculptures and artworks by renowned local artists at the vibrant Walcha Gallery of Art. Keep an eye out for the renowned Open Air Gallery, an outdoor exhibition of more than 50 sculptures, created by local, national and international artists.
Check out the events calendar for what’s on around town, including the monthly . Don’t miss The Walcha Show, a traditional country show held in March that’s been running for almost 140 years. In January, the Golden Gate Campdraft and Rodeo is a thrilling spectacle to watch at Walcha Showground.
National Park wilderness
Gateway to the World Heritage-listed Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, there are spectacular wilderness adventures to enjoy around Walcha. Discover ancient rainforest, dramatic gorges and the Wollomombi Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Australia.
The Apsley River meanders through Walcha into the national park where it falls over two sheer cliffs into a deep gorge. The Oxley and Apsley Gorge Rim walking tracks offer stunning views and you might even spot a brush-tailed rock wallaby among the eucalypts. Stop for a picnic lunch at the Apsley Falls picnic area.
Scenic drives and touring routes
There are plenty of epic scenic drives and picturesque touring routes to explore the region. The Oxley Highway winds through Cottan-Bimbang National Park along an old convict road between Walcha and Wauchope, while Thunderbolts Way meanders through mountains and valleys between Gloucester and Walcha.
The Myrtle Scrub Scenic Drive takes you off the beaten track for 14kms through old growth forest and rainforest of the Cottan-Bimbang National Park. Out on the open road, you’ll get to see the pastoral wonderland that makes up the Walcha district, home to some of Australia’s finest grazing land.
Walcha is just over five hours’ drive north of Sydney, around six hours from Brisbane and 50 mins from Armidale. You can also fly into Armidale Airport, a 40-min drive away. Places to stay include guest rooms at the Commercial Hotel and the historic Walcha Road Hotel, as well as motels, B&Bs, farmstays, wilderness retreats, cottages and campgrounds.