A Shire with Spirit

Sinead Reilly — 3 June 2021
Gwydir has long flown under the radar as one of New South Wales’ most deserving attractions.


Tucked away in the New England region of New South Wales, the picturesque Gwydir Shire starts at the Nandewar Range north of Bells Mountain, continuing north almost to the Queensland border. Bordered by Moree Plains and Narrabri Shires to the west, Tamworth Regional area to the south, and to the east by Inverell, Guyra, and Uralla Shires, Gwydir is a region brimming with beautiful small towns to explore. Gems in their own right replete with colourful histories, each town hosts events throughout the year including agricultural shows, race meetings, rodeos, and bike rallies to name a few.

The Shire is bursting at the seams with activities that will have the entire family begging to go back for more on the next holiday. Whether it’s exploring the gorgeous countryside on horseback, getting the adrenaline pumping with white water rafting and trail biking, fishing, or exploring on foot by way of extensive and varied hiking trails, dull days in the Shire are few and far between and there are plenty of activities to suit even the most seasoned adventurers.

A creek with rocks and treesThe region is known for its rivers


Think crystal clear air and skies, an excellent climate, and friendly faces — Bingara has been dubbed the ‘Gem on the Gwydir’ for good reason. Situated on the Gwydir River in a natural rolling hilly amphitheatre, Bingara manages to strike a balance between stunning serenity and a community humming with vibrant energy. Significant historical attractions include the Myall Creek Massacre Memorial, Bingara Historical Society Museum, and The Roxy Theatre, while those wishing to dive straight into traversing the incredible landscapes can do so via guided horseback rides or canoeing. 

A man and a child riding horsesGuided horseback tours are a great way to see the sights


A scenic drive from Bingara, the village of Upper Horton is set between the Horton River — itself ideal for swimming and fishing — and the Cobbadah Creek. Despite being the highest settlement in Gwydir Shire with an elevation of 384 metres, Upper Horton boasts a great climate in addition to being packed full of amazing sightseeing, bird-watching, and bushwalking opportunities. An annual two-day campdraft and rodeo held during New Year attracts visitors from all over the state, while cricket, tennis, and motorbike events are also held throughout the year. 

A main street with shops and carsA sleepy main street


Lying at the foot of Reedy Creek, there is more to sleepy little Warialda than first meets the eye. Boasting some of the finest late nineteenth century architecture in Gwydir Shire and an excellent base for exploring the region, Warialda is ensconced by gorgeous state forest and national parkland — the latter making it a paradise for naturalists, birdwatchers, and hikers. The Warialda Honey Festival returning in September will be an opportunity to tickle your tastebuds, and its golf course is exceptionally popular with regional golfers. Home to the Warialda Off-Road in September, Warialda has an active community filled with sporting and fundraising activities year-round. 

Be sure to follow along in next month’s Caravan World as we begin to take a deeper dive into this incredible corner of the world. 


Feature Travel Destination Gwydir Shire New South Wales