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. The Australian Bee Gees Show

    Saturday 11 May 2019 , Dubbo

    Fresh from celebrating eight years and over 2500 shows headlining on the Las Vegas strip, the Australian Bee Gees Show will be heading Down Under for the Australian leg of their 2019 The Bee Gees Story world tour! This new two-part show…

    11 May
  2. The Ultimate Eagles Experience

    Friday 17 May 2019 , Dubbo

    The Ultimate Eagles Experience is a show that delivers a captivating two hour live concert recreating the country rock sound of the American country/rock band The Eagles. Performing all the classic Eagles hits including Desperado, Take It…

    17 May
  3. Frankie J Holden and Wilbur Wilde Classics

    Friday 24 May 2019 , Dubbo

    Take two of Australia’s legends of Rock and Roll – who also just happen to be household names through their work on television stage, radio and film – put them together on stage with a hot band, and you have the recipe for a superbly…

    24 May
  4. The Kings of Rock and Soul Dubbo

    Saturday 25 May 2019 , Dubbo

    Jack Gatto is the voice of Elvis and James Cupples the heart and soul of Tom Jones – together they pay tribute to ‘The King’ and the Jones boy in a dynamic unmissable night. Elvis Presley and Tom Jones reached the top of their music genres…

    25 May
  5. Daniel Champagne - Live

    Thursday 30 May 2019 , Dubbo

    Hailing from Brogo, New South Wales, Daniel Champagne has been touring Australia and around the world for the past eight years and has a growing following in the USA, Canada, England, Ireland and of course Australia. He is a two-time…

    30 May
  6. National Indigenous Touch Football Knockout

    Saturday 08 June 2019 to Monday 10 June 2019 , Dubbo

    The Quit B Fit – Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program in conjunction with NSW Touch Football and Australian Touch will host the 2019 National Indigenous Touch Football Knockout (Event). The Event will be staged from Saturday 8 June to…

    08 Jun - 10 Jun