Welcome to the Tamworth Region
It's an arts and culture hub just over an hour drive north of Tamworth with plenty of reasons to show off.
Barraba was established as a town in the mid to late 1800s on the back of grazing and the gold rush. It’s surrounded by some of the most picturesque and productive beef grazing country in Australia. Settled in the late 19th century as a service town for local farmers, it's at the heart of some of Australia’s best farming land, much of which is still owned by descendants of the district’s founding families. Once known for its wool and wheat, the region is nowadays celebrated for its world-class beef production.
Walk down Barraba’s Queen Street today and it is apparent that the town is loved and community spirit is thriving.
When perusing the main street, make a point of looking up to admire remnants of Victorian, Edwardian and art deco architecture – all of which contribute to the traditional country charm and personality of the town. Independent boutique businesses – including gift and fashion stores, commercial kitchen supplies, cafés and grocers – offer friendly, personal service and a distinctive mix of shopping opportunities.
For a walk back through yesteryear, put the Shed of Knowledge museum on your to-do list. It's a private collection of fascinating bits and pieces across the years, from bottles and war memorabilia to photos and much more! The collection is open by appointment, so call 02 6782 1519 and head to 53 Henry Street Barraba to check it out.
Your visit can include exploring the natural attractions of Mount Kaputar National Park (Sawn Rocks and Waa Gorge), Horton Falls National Park, Glenriddle Reserve, Split Rock Dam and Rocky Creek Glacial Area.
For information on what to see and do in Barraba, drop into the Tamworth Regional Council office in Queen Street (weekdays only) or make a visit and chat with the locals at the Barraba Bakery or Saunders Fruit and Veg.
- You can't miss the Barraba Silo mural, The Water Diviner, an impressive work on an incredible 40m high canvas at the southern entrance to the town on Manilla Road. The mural also features a Regent Honeyeater bird with striking yellow and black plumage, an endangered bird that is one of over 190 species sighted in the Barraba district. Completed in 2019 by Sydney-based and internationally-recognised artist Fintan Magee, the silos have already attracted visitors from all over Australia.
- Barraba has earned the title of “The Bird Watchers’ Paradise”. It has 14 well-signposted bird routes on old drovers’ trails and travelling stock routes. Brochures from the Barraba Bakery and Barraba Fruit and Veg help twitchers identify 190 birds in the area, including the endangered regent honeyeater. Download information on bird routes of the Tamworth Region at www.tamworthbirdwatchers.com.
- Plan your visit to Barraba to coincide with annual events that celebrate the town’s blue-ribbon cultural richness. There’s the Barraba Show in February, the Frost Over Barraba Arts Festival in July (with several exhibitions and many workshops on various mediums) and Barraba Race Day in September.
- The natural environment surrounding Barraba demands an extended stay. Head to Horton Falls to see the 83-metre-high waterfall, or visit Mount Kaputar National Park to view Waa Gorge and the 40-metre basalt cliff face of Sawn Rocks. And don't forget the Rocky Creek Glacial Area, a geological wonder boasting rock formations and pools resulting from glaciers 290 million years ago.
- Since it opened in July 2007, the Playhouse Hotel has become the cultural hub of Barraba. Owner Andrew Sharp transformed the old hotel to offer stylish accommodation and dining, about six live touring performances a year in the intimate 80-seat theatre, and Shelley's Table café.
Learn more about Barraba
To find out about what's on in the Tamworth region including Barraba, check out our events listing.
If shopping is your thing, there are heaps of great places to stop by in Barraba. And don't forget the markets!