History and character
Photo by Peter Dwyer
Tamworth | Manilla | Nundle | Our Region
Walk down Barraba’s
Queen Street and it is apparent that the town is loved and community spirit is thriving.
Local businessman, David Kelly, suggests visitors 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.
The Playhouse Hotel
is very highly regarded by regional and metro visitors alike. It offers splendid food and accommodation, exhibits an ever-changing series of art in its gallery, and hosts live shows, concerts and films in its theatre.
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.
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
Photo by Margaret Harris
For information on what to see and do in Barraba, make a visit and chat with the locals at the Barraba Bakery and Barraba Fruit and Veg.
- 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, a Saturday morning café, and Friday night movies for the town’s teens. See www.playhousehotel.com or call 02 6782 1109.
- 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 Regional Council Area 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 June (with several exhibitions and many workshops on various mediums), Barraba Race Day in September and the Barraba International Festival in November.
- The natural environment surrounding Barraba demands an extended stay. Head to Horton Falls to see the 83-metre-high waterfall. See Rocky Creek Glacial Area – another geological wonder, which boasts rock formations and pools resulting from glaciers 290 million years ago. Visit Mount Kaputar National Park to view Waa Gorge and the 40-metre basalt cliff face of Sawn Rocks.