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Comboyne, NSW

Small town the hinterland behind Port Macquarie which promotes itself as having "peace, quiet and fresh mountain air".

Comboyne is a small rural village which lies west of Port Macquarie. Historically a timber and dairy town, today it is known for its cut flower farms, its avocado, kiwifruit, blueberries, macadamias and potatoes. As dairy farming has declined many local farmers have moved across to beef cattle. It is a pleasant, sleepy destination on the Comboyne Plateau, an area of 180 square kilometres characterised by red basalt soils and high rainfall. The town is surrounded by particularly beautiful bushwalking country and a number of impressive waterfalls. Once covered by rainforest it has been cleared and there are now only pockets of rainforest.

Location

Comboyne is located 388 km north of Sydney via the Pacific Highway to Kendall and then Lorne Road. The village is 57 km south-west of Port Macquarie.

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Origin of Name

It is believed that "cunboyne" was a Birpai Aboriginal word meaning "female kangaroo".

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Things to See and Do

Comboyne Mural and Mosaic
Located in the heart of the village the Mural depicts the history of the Comboyne Plateau. It was created by local artist Tertius who has 30 years of experience creating murals in the local area. The Mosaic has the theme of the water ecology of the plateau. It was created with assistance from Guy Crossley who initiated the project. Local school children were involved in the making of hand made ceramic tiles which were assembled under the guidance of artists Skye and Tertius - the mosaic platypus was created by local artist Kate Robinson.

 

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Other Attractions in the Area

Ellenborough Falls
Ellenborough Falls is located 28 km from Comboyne on Colling Road via Elands. From Elands, head north along Glenwarrin Rd for 3 km and turn to the right on Ellenborough Falls Road. The falls drop 160 m into the valley of the Ellenborough River. This makes them one of the longest single-drop falls in the Southern Hemisphere. There are barbecue facilities, a detailed information board and toilets, a lookout near the top of the falls and a good footpath which leads a few hundred metres to a full view of the drop. If you continue along the less well defined track it leads to an even better vantage point.

Boorganna Nature Reserve
This small, 396 ha reserve is the second-oldest nature reserve in the state. It is a rare opportunity to see what the plateau was like before the cedar cutters and dairy farmers cleared the forests. It is located by heading west out of town on the Comboyne Road, turning right into Colling Road and and following the signs to Boorganna Nature Reserve and Rawson Falls. There is a 2.7 km walking track that leads through remnant rainforest to a lookout at the 40 m high Rawson Falls. There is a brochure available at the Comboyne Community Centre. The reserve possesses sub-tropical and eucalypt forest, diverse birdlife and fauna and there are excellent picnic areas. In spring it is noted for its flowering orange blossom and spotted cinnamon orchids. For further information check out http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/boorganna-nature-reserve/rawson-falls-walk/walking.

Bridal Veil Falls Flora Reserve
Located at the corner of Comboyne and Stennetts Road this peaceful reserve provides excellent views across to the plateau to the north-west. There is a picnic area nearby.

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History

* Prior to the arrival of Europeans the district was the home of the Birpai Aboriginal people who had lived for thousands of years in the rainforests.

* In 1834 the Surveyor General, Sir Thomas Mitchell, published a map of New South Wales which mentioned "Cunboyne" as a district to the west of Port Macquarie.

* By the 1870s timber cutters were reaping a rich harvest from the cedar in the rainforest.

* The area was opened up for settlement with land being selected on the Comboyne Plateau in the late 1880s.

* In 1899 Thomas Jones, who became known as the "Father of Comboyne" selected land on the Comboyne Plateau.

* In 1902 the site for the village of Comboyne was officially proclaimed.

* In the first decade of the twentieth century 100 settlers took up land on the plateau. The land was cleared and dairy farming became the dominant local industry.

* By 1910 the cedar in the district had been exhausted.

* In 1914 a local butter factory was opened.

* By 1920 the village had a bakery, butchers shops, general stores, blacksmith, police station, post office, butter factory, boarding house, tinsmith and two banks.

* In 1921 the village had a population of 777.

* Electricity reached the town in 1950.

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Visitor Information

Comboyne Community Centre, 36 Main Street, Comboyne, tel: (02) 6550 4346 and Greater Port Macquarie Visitor Information Centre, Clarence and Hay Streets, Port Macquarie, tel: 1300 303 155 and (02) 6581 8000.

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5 suggestions
  • Twenty or more years ago I visited Comboyne. A lasting memory of that trip was the steep climb to a General Store at the top of a plateau where we bought wonderful Comboyne potatoes – which we had that night! I now plan on taking my family on that trip tomorrow (6 July). Will we be able to buy Comboyne potatoes on the plateau???
    Thank you

    Robin Hall
  • The Comboyne Community Centre is now offering Devonshire teas, coffee and hot chocolate as well as other sweet treats and a wonderful range of local products and produce. Our shop and cafe are open 7 days a week, come in and say hello to our friendly volunteers!

    Jennifer Stevens
  • This is a magnificent farming community with beautiful rolling hills. The people in this community are friendly and very welcoming. It was my privilege to travel up the mountain road and observe the beauty of this place -magnificent views with a great history. I visited the Udder Restaurant. I also got to know many of the farmers and saw some of the best dairy farms in the Manning District between 2013-2014. These were very special people. What a privilege.

    John Easton
  • Can you help me with a location where I could take my family to catch cray bobs?

    I will ensure that no rubbish is left and there is no damage to property

    Bill Alcock
  • Is there a births registry for the 1930s as my father was born in Comboyne back then. I would love to visit my ancestrial home to see where my grandparents, father, aunts and uncle all lived.

    Kyllie