Coolah is a small town in the beautiful Coolah Valley that traces its heritage to the ‘black stump’, a reference to the limits of colonial settlement. The charming town is the gateway to the magnificent Coolah Tops National Park, where bushwalking, mountain biking and camping are popular activities.

You’ll find plenty of country hospitality and convenient accommodation in Coolah, including two classic country pubs – the Black Stump Inn and the Coolah Valley Hotel. Browse Coolah Crafts for gifts, visit the Pandora Gallery for fine local art, and relax in the Coolah Garden Cafe and Pantry.

4WD parked among tall eucalypts, Coxs Creek campground, Coolah Tops

A black stump was a boundary measure in colonial times. The Australian colloquial saying ‘Beyond the black stump’ – beyond European civilisation or deep in the outback - is closely associated with Coolah and has ties all the way back to Governor Darling’s 1826 limit on authorised settlement.

The term, according to the Macquarie Dictionary, might have been popularised by the Black Stump Wine Saloon which in the 1850s stood where two horse-drawn coach routes met near Coolah. The saloon took its name from the earlier Black Stump Run, the boundary limit set by Governor Darling.

A fire burnt the saloon down in 1905. Today the Black Stump Rest Area marks the location of the colonial boundary. There are picnic shelters, an electric barbecue and other amenities at the delightful rest area. Stop for a family picnic at the historic location, a short drive from the town.

4WD parked among tall pine trees, The Pines campground, Coolah Tops

Coolah is in the Warrumbungle region 70 minutes’ drive south of Coonabarabran, Australia’s astronomy capital. Dubbo is 85 minutes to the southwest and Mudgee is 80 minutes to the south. The drive from Sydney to Coolah is five hours, via either the Blue Mountains or the Hunter Valley.

Coolah is by the Coolaburragundy River and a great base for exploring attractions nearby. Follow the trail of colonial explorer and botanist Allan Cunningham and stop at the Cunningham’s campsite before discovering the Pandoras Pass, a natural break he found through the Warrumbungle Range.

Coolah Tops National Park is where the Warrumbungle and Liverpool ranges meet. There are trails for bushwalking and mountain biking in the park, as well as campsites, enchanting waterfalls and spectacular lookouts. Among the diverse wildlife are wallabies, gliders, kangaroos and eagles.


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  1. Art Unlimited

    Friday 17 May 2019 to Sunday 26 May 2019 , Dunedoo

    Art Unlimited is a high profile annual competition and exhibition held in the NSW Central West town of Dunedoo. Since its inception in 2008, Art Unlimited has attracted entries from a broad spectrum of artists, photographers and…

    17 May - 26 May
  2. Veterans Touch Footy Carnival

    Saturday 02 November 2019 to Sunday 03 November 2019 , Coolah

    Do you love to play touch football and are you aged over 30 years? Well, head to Coolah and have a great weekend at the Annual Coolah Veteran's Touch Footy Carnival. After a great day of competition, join the party atmosphere on…

    02 Nov - 03 Nov
  3. Tunes On The Turf Music Festival

    Saturday 09 November 2019 , Dunedoo

    Tunes On The Turf is a music festival booked in for the second weekend in November every year at the Dunedoo Sports Club. The festival will go ahead regardless of the weather. Support small communities! Friday night features live music…

    09 Nov