Gunnedah is a vibrant country town that combines its picturesque position on the banks of the Namoi River with a hefty dose of museums, memorials and culture. Explore the area, visit its historical monuments and discover why this particular spot in northeast NSW had such a profound impact on local poets.
History and poetry
This beautiful region inspired Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar’s evocative poem My Country. Her family owned property in the district and you can see the surrounding sunburnt country, sweeping plains and wide brown land she immortalised in verse. The Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Statue is in Anzac Park.
The Breaker Morant Drive tells the story of another famous poet, horseman and soldier who worked in Gunnedah in the 1890s. The town’s museums, including the Gunnedah Rural Museum and the Gunnedah Water Tower Museum, will uncover more local heritage. The cultural precinct includes an arts gallery and monthly exhibitions.
Things to do
Learn of the district’s deep indigenous heritage and visit the Red Chief Memorial, which honours the great Aboriginal warrior Cumbo Gunnerah. Pop into Gunnedah Visitor Information Centre for tips on where to spot wild koalas – local council encouraged the colony by planting tree corridors in the area.
A 30min drive away is Lake Keepit, a fantastic spot for fishing, boating and gliding. Cool off at the family-friendly Lake Keepit Water Park, complete with water slides. Those looking for more of a thrill can hop into a sailplane with Lake Keepit Soaring Club for an aerial adventure with fantastic views.
Festivals and events
Gunnedah is part of the fertile Liverpool Plains, one of Australia’s richest agricultural areas, so it makes sense the town hosts an incredible array of country events including AgQuip, one of Australia’s biggest agricultural trade shows, and the family-friendly Gunnedah Show. Looking for a new pet? The Gunnedah Bird Sale and Expo is the nation’s largest.
Eat and drink
The Country Markets are held on the third Saturday of the month and the Plains of Plenty Co-Operative also sells local produce. Start your day at Jack & Jill’s Café, Bitter Suite Café and Wine Bar or The Verdict Coffee. Discover why Chinese restaurants in country towns are beloved at Gunnedah Chinese Restaurant.
Getting there and where to stay
Gunnedah is a five-hour drive from Sydney and just one-hour from Tamworth. You can catch the train from Sydney, which takes around six hours, or fly into Tamworth Airport and rent a car to explore the region. You’ll find plenty of places to stay, from camping and caravanning to motels and heritage hotels.