Sit back, relax and be delighted…
…by the friendly, small-town welcome you’ll receive while exploring this historic gem.
An easy half hour drive north of Tamworth, Manilla is a must-visit destination for travellers who love to get off the beaten track.
Choose your experience in Manilla
Manilla will not disappoint with its laid-back country outlook and generous hospitality. Be sure to ready yourself for some history and beautiful country scenery when you visit.
Steeped in history, Manilla as we know it grew from a camping ground for teamsters and bullock wagons stopping off at the junction of the Manilla and Namoi Rivers when carrying supplies to outlying cattle stations.
Today, the façades lining Manilla Street tell the story of Manilla’s prosperous past, drawing in travellers who come for the museums and antique shopping, but who stay for the charm of the village and its community. You’ll find a range of accommodation options, as well as pubs, cafés and restaurants ready to roll out the red carpet for visitors.
Manilla is also a popular stopover for caravanners, due to its RV-friendly town status and its picturesque campgrounds within a stone’s throw of the village centre. For outdoor adventurers, it’s the perfect spot to base yourself while you explore nature’s playground, with easy access to Lake Keepit, Split Rock Dam and Warrabah National Park.
And for the thrill-seekers out there; you may be more familiar with Manilla due to its proximity to Mount Borah – an adventure destination that has hosted state, national and international competitions in sports flying (think paragliding, hang gliding and sailplane gliding). If an adrenaline rush is your thing, there’s no better place to experience it.
Top 5 Manilla Experiences
1. Manilla Heritage Museum
Discover the area’s heritage at the Manilla Heritage Museum complex on Manilla’s main street which includes the Heritage Museum, Rural Museum, Burrell Memorial Garden, Chinese Memorial Garden and Yarramanbully Schoolhouse. Set aside some time to get lost in the Manilla of the past; you’ll be fascinated every step of the way!
2. Warrabah National Park
Beautiful Warrabah National Park is just a hop, skip and a jump from Manilla and a must-visit destination for lovers of the outdoors. Canoeing, swimming and fishing are all popular pursuits on the Namoi River which runs through the park, or if you’d prefer to stay dry, bushwalking, birdwatching, nature photography and picnicking are all pretty good options too! Check out the Billys Hole, Warrabah, Gum Hole and Boundary Hole picnic areas, or settle in for a night of camping at Warrabah and Gum Hole campgrounds. You can also hire the cabin at Muluerindie. Make sure you arrive prepared by checking for alerts on the NSW National Parks website before you travel.
3. Split Rock Dam
For some outdoor recreation, look no further than Split Rock Dam, a lake 28km upstream of Manilla with a capacity ¾ of the volume of Sydney Harbour! It was built to meet increased agricultural demand for water in the Namoi Valley, and is a playground for water sports enthusiasts, fishermen, birdwatchers, bushwalkers, campers and picnickers. Unfortunately there’s no access to the dam wall, but there are some killer views from vantage points all around the lake.
4. Manilla Bridge-to-bridge Walk
Get some fresh air on the Manilla Bridge-to-Bridge Walk, a 2.5-3 hour round trip along the Namoi and Manilla Rivers in town. It’s a great way to get active and see Manilla from a different perspective.
5. Manilla Paragliding
Sign up for a paragliding lesson at Mount Borah with Godfrey Weness – Australia’s most experienced pilot and the world distance record holder (a casual 335km!) – at Fly Manilla. It’s one of the world’s best and safest flying sites, and hosts camps and championships for flying sports throughout the year. If heights aren’t really your thing, it’s also a great spot to watch others decorate the sky.