Gilgandra

The historic rural town of Gilgandra is on the banks of the Castlereagh River in the beautiful Great Western Plains region of NSW. You’ll discover the origins of the iconic bush call at the Coo-ee Heritage Centre. There is the Windmill Walk, galleries and museums, and an emu farm to tour.

The prolonged coo-ee is usually used in the bush to attract attention. The historical connection with Gilgandra dates back to 1915, when a group of 35 men set out for Sydney on the first recruiting march of World War I and called 'Coo-ee' at each town they passed to attract men to join them.

The Cooee Heritage Centre in Gilgandra, NSW

On display in the Coo-ee Heritage and Visitor Information Centre are significant artefacts from the march, including the flag carried by the marchers. There are photographs and the Coo-ee Honour Wall, a moving insight into the men’s lives. The parkland next to the centre is a lovely picnic spot.

In the community plaza is the Coo-ee Digger, a bronze sculpture made by Brett Garling, a leading Australian sculptor. ‘In recognition of the 35 men whom left Gilgandra in 1915 and their eternal footprint on the history of our community and our nation,’ reads the inscription on the plinth.

Historical buildings on display at Gilgandra Rural Museum, NSW

The kids will love a feathery encounter at Emu Logic, an emu farm. In the Gilgandra Rural Museum are fascinating artefacts, including a Cobb & Co blacksmith shop. A short drive northeast is delightful Tooraweenah, a village at the foothills of the Warrumbungles, an ancient volcanic mountain range.

You’ll find a range of accommodation options to suit various budgets in Gilgandra, which is at the junction of the Oxley, Castlereagh and Newell highways and roughly halfway between Melbourne and Brisbane. The drive northwest from Sydney is 5h 30min. You can also fly to Dubbo and hire a car.

Gilgandra is also known as the Town of Windmills. Some 360 windmills once dotted the area, tapping underground water, before central water supply in 1966. For an enchanting wander, take the Windmill Walk past an avenue of trees and windmills along the banks of the meandering river.

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO STAY

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Events

  1. Dubbo WestView Drive-in

    Friday 25 January 2019 to Sunday 27 January 2019 , Dubbo

    The Dubbo Westview Drive-in cinema is a movie experience like no other. Based in the centre of NSW in the city of Dubbo they are home to a rare phenomenon, a drive-in cinema that will transport you back to the 1970's. The Westview…

    25 Jan - 27 Jan
  2. Dubbo Parkrun

    Saturday 26 January 2019 to Saturday 28 December 2019 , Dubbo

    Dubbo parkrun is a free, timed, five kilometre run/walk put on by the community for the community. Dubbo parkrun offers an opportunity for all members of the local community, male or female, young or old, to come together on a regular…

    26 Jan - 28 Dec
  3. Aussie Outback Show

    Saturday 26 January 2019 , Dubbo

    He may not be the real Johnny Cash, but Dail Platz is the next best thing. Dail will bring his Aussie Outback Show to the stage show. Performing all your favourite Country Hits. Canadian born Platz is an international artist with a unique…

    26 Jan
  4. Dubbo Rotunda Market

    Sunday 27 January 2019 to Sunday 24 February 2019 , Dubbo

    A quality market with diverse and unique stalls. The market features Regional produce, plus craftsmen and women bring their wares to this beautiful environment in Dubbo’s Main Street. Baked goods are a feature of the market with a mega…

    27 Jan - 24 Feb
  5. Dubbo Farmers Market

    Saturday 02 February 2019 to Saturday 21 December 2019 , Dubbo

    The Dubbo Farmers Markets, held on the first and third Saturday of every month, is a showcase of the region's produce, fresh from the soils and water basins of the Macquarie Valley and beyond. Kick start your morning with the smooth…

    02 Feb - 21 Dec