Barraba is pure gold – in every sense of the word. A stop on the epic Fossickers Way driving route, the town abounds with natural beauty. It’s the perfect spot for outdoor adventure and also has a reputation as being a birdwatcher’s paradise. 



Things to do 

The Fossickers Way drive is one of the oldest and most picturesque touring routes in New South Wales, linking Brisbane and Sydney through one of the richest gem areas in Australia. A former mining town, the New England town of Barraba is among the destinations you’ll find along the route. 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.  

The town is also part of the Silo Art Trail – keep an eye out for the amazing 40-metre-high Barraba Silo mural, The Water Diviner, on your way into town. It was created by artist Fintan Magee and has received worldwide notoriety. 

40m-high mural artwork on Barraba Silos, Barraba by artist Fintan Magee, Country NSW

Barraba Silos, Barraba

Outdoor adventures 

The New England region of NSW is volcanic and lush. And that equates to landscapes like Horton Falls, where the Horton River drops 83 metres to the valley floor. 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. 

Horton Falls and Walks, Barraba

Horton Falls and Walks, Barraba - Credit: Lauren Sparrow/DPIE

The adventures continue south of Barraba at Split Rock Dam. Fishers know this is the place to catch Murray cod, as well as golden and silver perch, while the boat ramps make it a popular spot for sailing and water-skiing. Pitch a tent at the campground, where the amenities include toilets, showers and barbecues. 

Family with campervan at Split Rock Dam, Upper Manilla

Split Rock Dam, Upper Manilla - Credit: Antony Hands - Tamworth Regional Council

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 & 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, The Polkadot Coffee Room, 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. 

Front facade of The Playhouse Hotel, Barraba

The Playhouse Hotel, Barraba - Credit: The Playhouse Hotel

Getting there  

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. Qantas operates direct flights between Sydney and Tamworth daily, and Link Airways operates direct flights between Tamworth and Brisbane six days a week. 


Plan your trip