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. Troy Cassar Daley: Dubbo

    Saturday 06 April 2019 , Dubbo

    Celebrating an amazing career – solo acoustic with special guest Jem Cassar-Daley Troy Cassar-Daley has come a long way from the twelve-year-old boy from Grafton busking on Peel St at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Even as he…

    06 Apr
  2. 360 Allstars

    Monday 08 April 2019 to Tuesday 09 April 2019 , Dubbo

    A phenomenal physical performance exploring all forms of rotation, 360 Allstars connects the street with the elite to deliver a radical urban circus. Boasting a stellar international cast, including the two-time World Champion BMX…

    08 Apr - 09 Apr
  3. A Migrant's Son

    Saturday 13 April 2019 , Dubbo

    Exploring one of the most colourful times in Australian history - the arrival of the Greeks! Direct from a sell-out season at Adelaide Cabaret Festival, A Migrant’s Son is a true story exploring migration from Greece to Australia during…

    13 Apr
  4. Glenn Shorrock

    Saturday 04 May 2019 , Dubbo

    With a career spanning over 40 years, Glenn Shorrock is one of the elder statesmen of Australian contemporary show business. From The Twilights to Axiom to Little River Band, hear the songs that have made Glenn one of our most popular…

    04 May
  5. Orana Mutual Dubbo Show

    Event dates to be confirmed: May 2019 , Dubbo

    Orana Mutual Dubbo Show has been a signature event for Dubbo and the region for over 140 years, designed to showcase agricultural production around the region, to promote businesses to the regional community and to provide competition…