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.


Filter by categories


  1. Titan Macquarie Mud Run

    Saturday 23 March 2019 , Dubbo

    They are an obstacle race like no other, crossing the Macquarie River, set in beautiful Dubbo NSW. Funds raised will go back into the local community towards outdoor fitness equipment and facilities. The Commando, Steve Willis will be…

    23 Mar
  2. The Clapton Unplugged Show

    Friday 29 March 2019 , Dubbo

    Celebrating Eric Clapton and his legendary Unplugged Concert. Layla, Signe, Before You Accuse Me, Running on Faith, Tears In Heaven, Wonderful Tonight and I Shot the Sheriff. Eric Clapton’s career has spanned over six decades. Lauded as…

    29 Mar
  3. John Paul Young and The Allstar Band: Dubbo

    Saturday 30 March 2019 , Dubbo

    John Paul Young and The Allstar Band The Vanda and Young Songbook is a concert celebrating this incredible song-writing duo's creations; the songs that gave Australia it’s unique soundtrack during the 60s, 70s and the 80s and still to this…

    30 Mar
  4. The ABBA Show

    Sunday 31 March 2019 , Dubbo

    Following more than 5000 international shows, the world’s premier live ABBA tribute, The ABBA Show, is coming to Dubbo Regional Theatre! Far from being ‘just another cover band’, The ABBA Show is a full-scale theatrical production…

    31 Mar
  5. The Gospel According to Paul: Dubbo

    Thursday 04 April 2019 , Dubbo

    One of Australia’s favorite performers, Jonathan Biggins, is Paul Keating – visionary, reformer and rabble-rouser – in a new comedy, The Gospel According to Paul. Full of intelligence and wit, this comedy satire is a funny, insightful and…

    04 Apr
  6. The Proms Spectacular Goes To The Movies

    Friday 05 April 2019 , Dubbo

    With a lavish new program for 2019, this stunning spectacular salutes the famous BBC Proms Concerts of London’s Royal Albert Hall performing all the well-known favourites including Rule Britannia, Jerusalem, Radetzky March, and Elgar’s…

    05 Apr