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Baradine

Town known as the Gateway to the Pilliga Forest

Baradine is a small pleasant town in the Goorianawa Valley, at the south-western edge of the Pilliga Scrub. Baradine began as a service centre to the timber getting activities based in the Pilliga Forest. It is now a tight-knit farming community. A new addition to the economic repertoire of the town is the enormous number of emus and ostriches being farmed for their meat, leather and oil in the area around the town. 

Location

Baradine is located 504 km north-west of Sydney and 46 km north-west of Coonabarabran on the Coonabarabran Road. 

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Origin of Name

There is no certainty to the meaning of the town's name but the most widely accepted suggestion is that it is a corruption of a local Kamilaroi word meaning 'red wallaby'.

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Things to See and Do

Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre
Located at 50 Wellington Street and open from 9.00 am - 4.00 pm daily, the Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre provides maps and advice for visitors wanting to explore the Pilliga Forest. The excellent website explains: "Interactive displays will give you your first taste of this dramatic landscape and inspire you to get out there and explore. This first ‘walk in the forest’ will reveal plants and animals, and Aboriginal cultural heritage - Pilliga like you’ve never seen it before. You’ll often find art exhibitions from local artists and other cultural contributions to the community taking place here." For more information tel: (02) 6843 4011 or check out https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/visitor-centres/pilliga-forest-discovery-centre.

Baradine Local Aboriginal Land Council and Keeping Place
Located on Wellington Street, the Baradine Local Aboriginal Land Council and Keeping Place is an opportunity to learn about the local Kamilaroi First Nations people through a series of interesting displays of artefacts. For more information tel (02) 6843 1171.

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Other Attractions in the Area

Pilliga Forest also known as Pilliga Scrub
The Pilliga Forest is a remnant of semi-arid woodland area which covers more than 500,000 ha to the north east of Baradine. Although the area is now dominated by cypress pine (reputedly the largest cypress pine forest in the Southern Hemisphere) it has over 900 plant species which, inevitably, means it is spectacular in spring and summer and has a rich collection of fauna and flora including colonies of koalas as well as over 50 reptiles, squirrel gliders, bettongs and Pilliga mice. It is believed that before the arrival of Europeans the area was lightly timbered. Today the forest is criss crossed by 2,700 km of roads (many old Forestry roads). It is an ideal location for bushwalking and birdwatching. Information can also be obtained from the Coonabarabran Visitor Information Centre, tel: (02) 6842 1441 and there is the excellent Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre, 50-58 Wellington Street, Baradine. Check out http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/pilliga-national-park for the range of activities in the park which include the Sandstone Caves Walking Track and Sculptures in the Scrub.

Sculptures in the Scrub
Located at Dandry Gorge in the heart of the Pilliga Forest (take the road east of Baradine) these artworks are made from bronze, stone and stainless steel. The four sculptures were created by artists Brett Garling, Col Henry and Ken Hutchinson and Badger Bates (an indigenous artist) and have been placed at Dandry Gorge to provide an opportunity for visitors to view these works of art against the beautiful vista of the Dandry Gorge and the Pilliga scrub. The fifth sculpture by Pamela Denise from Nymbodia is an interpretation of the women of the Pilliga as expressed through five mosaic sculptures. Check out http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/pilliga-national-park/sculptures-in-the-scrub-walking-track/walking for maps and specific details. The walk is 3 km return and takes between 90 minutes and 150 minutes.

Warrumbungle Dark Sky Park
Lying 64 km south via Black Hollow and the John Renshaw Parkway is the Warrumbungle Dark Sky Park. It is Australia's first Dark Sky Park and the first in the southern hemisphere. "The park is renowned for its stargazing opportunities thanks to its crystal-clear night skies, low humidity, high altitude and world-class astronomy research facility at nearby Siding Spring Observatory." It is part of the International Dark Sky Parks which are spaces which are characterised by intense starry nights. They are protected "for their scientific, natural, educational, cultural heritage." It is an ideal location to enjoy the magic of the night sky. For more information check out https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/conservation-and-heritage/our-parks/dark-sky-parks.

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History

* Prior to European settlement the area was the home of the Kamilaroi people. 

* The first European to reach the area was the explorer John Oxley and his party who passed south of the current townsite in 1818. It was George Evans, a member of Oxley's expedition, who named the Castlereagh River.

* The district was settled by Europeans in the 1830s.

* In the 1830s Andrew Brown developed a pastoral run which he named Barradean.

* By 1839 the main sheep station, Biamble, was employing over 60 men.

* By the early 1860s a settlement on the banks of the Barradine Creek had been surveyed.

* In 1862 a reserve of 40 acres had been proclaimed

* In 1865 Baradine was officially proclaimed a village and the first blocks were sold.

* Australia's only Chinese bushranger, Sam Poo, was active in the district in 1865 but was caught and hung that year after killing a police officer.

* By 1866 a village had developed. It had 30 residents.  

* The Baradine Post Office opened in 1867.

* In 1876 a telegraph office was opened in the town.

* A public school was opened in 1877.

* By 1911 Baradine was a town of 80 dwellings with a population of 411.

* The railway reached Baradine in 1923.

* The local Memorial Hall was built in 1925.

* In 1934 a serious fire destroyed a number of buildings in the main street.

* The railway station was closed in 1985.

* In 2009 the Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre was opened.

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Visitor Information

Check out the Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre, 50-58 Wellington Street, Baradine, tel: 02 6843 4011. Or the Coonabarabran Visitors Information Centre, Newell Highway, Coonabarabran, tel: 1800 242 881 or (02) 6849 2144. 

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Useful Websites

For more information check out https://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/country-nsw/warrumbungle-area/destination-information/baradine.

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1 suggestion so far
  • Baradine is A sensational well kept secret, and a great starting point for adventures on bicycle, motocycle and 4wd into the Pilliga and beyond.

    Lloyd