What Nundle lacks in size, it makes up for in personality. This small, historic mining village of 300 people is nestled between the Peel River and Great Dividing Range in the New England region of NSW. It has some of the state’s quirkiest festivals as well as fascinating colonial heritage and striking scenery.
Things to do
Nundle is one of the nine stops on the Fossickers Way touring route through gemstone country, so while you’re here try your luck at gold and sapphire fossicking. If you don’t strike it lucky, you can see the splendid Gil Bennet collection of rare minerals and sparkling crystals at the Nundle Visitor Information Centre on Jenkins Street.
Gold fever struck the district in the 1850s and you can explore the history of the colonial gold rush at the Mount Misery Gold Mine Museum and Cafe. Chinese migrants were among those who sought their fortune and the annual Nundle Go for Gold Chinese Easter Festival celebrates their contribution to Nundle’s heritage.
There are more great festivals and shows on the Nundle events calendar, including the Great Nundle Dog Race in May. What started out as a working dog race has turned into a fantastic family day out, with novelty dog races and fun activities for kids. Chaffey Dam is another family-friendly spot, where you can go boating, sailing and swimming.
The Nundle Woollen Mill is one of the last operating spinning mills in Australia, buy colourful knits and woollen socks at the mill’s shop. Other local boutiques include Odgers and McClelland, which is located in a beautifully preserved 19th century village store, Ratters Flat Curios, Volcania Art Glass and Sacs on Jenkins.
Eat and drink
Make the most of the delicious regional produce at the Nundle Country Picnic in March, which also offers a catered picnic lunch. If you’re game, you can try to catch your own dinner at the Arc-en-Ciel Trout Farm. If you don’t get a bite, the Smokehouse will sell you one. The 1860-built Peel Inn has hearty pub meals and a lovely beer garden.
Getting there and where to stay
Nundle is a 4hr 30min drive from Sydney and just under an hour from Tamworth. You can also fly into Tamworth Airport and hire a car to explore the region. Places to stay include a riverside tourist park, cottages, DAG Sheep Station with its original, historic woolshed, Nundle Fishing Club overlooking Chaffey Dam and lots more.