Barraba abounds with natural beauty. As well as being tucked into a bend of the Manilla River, this little country town is surrounded by the Nandewar Ranges and the Horton Valley. Fittingly, it’s the perfect spot for outdoor adventure and also has a reputation as being a birdwatcher’s paradise.
Things to do
As a former mining town, it’s no surprise Barraba is on the Fossickers Way touring route, a picturesque trail from Sydney to Brisbane that takes you through gemstone country. Before you go on your way, soak up the country hospitality, take in the mix of colonial and art deco architecture on Queen Street and browse local shops.
Horton Falls is a scenic drive west, where the Horton River drops 83 metres. West of the falls is the 4WD-accessible Barraba track in Mount Kaputar National Park. Bike, walk or drive the steep track through towering native trees to be rewarded with spectacular views of extinct volcanic mountains, lush greenery and distant peaks.
The adventures continue south of Barraba at Split Rock Dam. Fishers know this is the place to catch Murray cod and golden and silver perch, while the boat ramps make it a popular spot for sailing and waterskiing. Pitch a tent at the campground, where the amenities include toilets, showers and BBQs.
Barraba is a birdwatcher’s paradise and home to 200 bird species, including the critically endangered regent honeyeater and the turquoise parrot. Bird routes, which follow old driving trails, cover the best sighting spots. Pick up bird-watching brochures from the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre.
Eat and drink
Prized beef cattle graze in the pastures around Barraba, so you can’t go wrong with ordering a steak. Local cafes include Queen Street Café, Polkadot and Country Coffee House. The Barraba RSL and Recreation Club is a typical country club with a bistro and the Playhouse Hotel has a more contemporary menu.
Getting there and where to stay
Barraba is a six-hour drive from both Sydney and Brisbane, and just over an hour from Tamworth. You can also catch the train or fly to Tamworth and hire a car to explore the region. Places to stay include a hotel, motel, caravan park and guesthouse.