Guyra, NSW

Rural service town famed for its potatoes and fat lambs.

Located at 1330 metres above sea-level, Guyra is the highest town of the New England Tablelands and as such has a reputation for coldness and snow in the winter months. It is the coldest, northernmost town in the country. The town is primarily a service centre for the surrounding wool, beef, potato and fat lamb-producing properties and it celebrates this economic base with a sculpture which combines a sheep with potatoes - it is located on the New England Highway - and an annual Guyra Lamb and Potato Festival. The town sits on the watershed of the Great Dividing Range with rivers and creeks to the east flowing down to the Pacific Ocean and rivers to the west heading towards the Murray-Darling basin and South Australia.


Guyra is located 509 km north of Sydney via Stroud and Walcha, 551 km via Muswellbrook and Tamworth, and 425 km south-west of Brisbane via Warwick and Glen Innes.


Origin of Name

It is accepted that "Guyra" was the name given to an early property in the district and that the word came from the local Anaiwan First Nation peoples and meant either "fishing place" or "white cockatoo".


Things to See and Do

Guyra Historical Museum
The Guyra Historical Museum is located in the old Shire Council building in Bradley Street and is open by appointment, tel: (02) 6779 2132. It is a typical rural museum with local artifacts and a photographic collection relating to the district.

Antique Farm Machinery Museum
Located in the town's old railway station, the Antique Farm Machinery Museum boasts a wide range of historic farm equipment from horse and tractor drawn implements as well as chaff cutters, water pumps, sheep shearing equipment and other pieces of historic equipment. It can be opened by appointment, tel: (02) 6779 2024.

Mother of Ducks Lagoon Nature Reserve
Located to the south-west of Guyra (drive along Bradley Street and turn west on McKie Drive) the Mother of Ducks Lagoon is a freshwater swamp at the western edge of town. It is, in fact, part of a volcanic crater with a circumference of 14 km. The lagoon is a breeding and feeding habitat for waterbirds such as the common greenshanks, white-throated needletails, eastern swamp hen, black swan, Japanese snipe (which travels between the lagoon and Japan), black duck, straw-necked ibis and grass whistling duck. There is an excellent birdwatching platform at the eastern edge of the lagoon. For more information check out


Other Attractions in the Area

Baxter's Farm Museum
Located 34 km west of Guyra (Head west on the Tingha - Inverell Road and  after 18 km turn on to the Tenterden Road then, after 10 km turn right on to the Moredun Dams Road (gravel) and it is another 5 km) Baxter's Farm Museum has a large and diverse array of historic items. There are domestic items, farm machinery, a bottle collection, arts and crafts all set in charming gardens. It is by appointment only, tel: (02) 6779 4535.

Little Llangothlin Nature Reserve
Located 10 km north of Guyra is a tiny village of Llangothlin. 5 km further north is Tubbamurra Road which leads to Little Llangothlin Nature Reserve, a 257 ha reserve which includes Little Llangothlin lagoon and Billy Bung lagoon. Both are high altitude wetlands which have been listed with the Ramsar Convention because they are ideal for birdwatchers and nature lovers. There is an easy 5 km walking circuit around the main lake which is home to waterbirds and bush birds, particularly rosellas. There is a downloadable sheet at It includes a useful map and a comprehensive list of the birds that can be found on the lagoons.



* Prior to European settlement the area was occupied by the Anaiwan First Nation peoples.

* In 1835 Alexander Campbell established Guyra Station.

* Peter McIntyre is said to have occupied the land around the townsite in 1836.

* Ollera', north-west of town, was selected in 1838 by George and John Everett.

* By 1848 Guyra had extended to 15,000 acres and was leased by Charles Marsh.

* Tin was discovered at Tingha in 1872 and at its height the town had 7,000 residents.

* The first church in Guyra was consecrated in 1876.

* Guyra Post Office was opened in 1877.

* The town did not start growing until the Great Northern Railway arrived in 1883.

* The village was gazetted and proclaimed on 20 March, 1885.

* There was extensive mining in the area by the end of the 19th century.

* Dairying had become a major economic activity by the end of the 19th century but potatoes proved a more enduring staple as they thrived on the rich, red soils.

* In 1960 the town achieved national attention when a local boy, Steven Walls, was lost for four days. This led to the largest search in Australian history and a hugely successful song "Little Boy Lost" by Johnny Ashcroft.


Visitor Information

Guyra Visitor Information Centre, Rafters Restaurant and Cafe, New England Highway, tel: (02) 6779 1876.


Useful Websites

The town's Tourism and Commerce Association has a useful website. Check out

Got something to add?

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15 suggestions
  • Hi. My name is Jason I am an American and I visited Guyra on a trip to Australia back in 1986 when I was in High School. I had a pen-pal named Tracey Clark at the time. She had a brother named Michael. Her Dad was named John, and he was a mechanic in town. I am trying to get in touch with members of their family. Can you help me? My email address is:

    I’d appreciate your help.



    Jason Winoker
  • I am a Canadian that was rock drilling for the DMR out of Glen Innes in the early ’70’s. I was able to go to a Slim Dusty Concert in Guyra. I am back in Canada now but most of my inner life is back in Australia and I often cry over my memories. Thank you Guyra for the chance to see Slim.

    Ian Bond
  • Guyra is one of the most inhospitable towns in Australia. Very unfriendly and unwelcoming to non locals or potential new businesses.

    To be local one must have lived in Guyra for 25 years plus and have three generations live here beforehand.

    Therese James
  • Can you please give me the dates for the GUYRA SHOW in 2019. We intend to stay at the Caravan Park in Guyra with our caravan. We love coming up here, where we find the locals are most helpful, especially the medical Centre & the Chemist.

  • Would like to give a medal to the gentleman who helped us out at Llangothlin just north of Guyra. We were running dangerously short of petrol and wouldn’t have made it to Guyra and he opened his servo so we could put some in. He was pleasant and helpful even though it was getting on in the evening and we appreciate very much his assistance. THANK YOU!

  • Living in the mountains in southern Spain and looking to find an Aussie town with season changes. As a place to live.
    Is there an active horse riding community in the area?

    Cherie foord
    • hey i live in Guyra and i think you could do something about the trout fest since it’s a huge deal in town and most of the kids love to go out fishing And also everyone knows everyone so it may seem like they are unfriendly but most people are generally very nice also there is the show coming up and that’s always a fun two days for the local kids

  • I love Guyra. All my uncles and aunts live there. I can drive from Southport Gold Coast to Guyra in 5 hours. I have the Guyra ghost book good. I met Steven that grew up in Guyra what was the Astro that hit Guyra and my nana and grandpa was in the movie little boy lost movie all best steven

    Steven delaat
  • Oh Alison. I hope you found peace and happiness, stan

    stan catts
  • Hello. My name is Ian Jones and I live in Ultimo, Sydney. I was looking about for places at 600 feet above sea level. That’s around 182.88 metres and this all started from hearing a chap called John Moore on today. He was conversing with Mike Adams and I never found any title on there yet it might be an old one. He believes that it is a major issue (and I hope he is wrong,) that a large rock from outer space will pass through between the Sun and Earth in 2 years time. People will get notice about 30 days beforehand…which I think would not be exact however, One will need to live at this level above to miss the floods on the coast lines around the world. Winds at 200 ks an hour in a brief sweep. No I don’t drink or smoke anything, I just happen to listen in. If this chap has done his homework It’s a huge upheaval to mankind. [ Probably the Gov is aware if true. Your township ( if this takes up…or that it isn’t zapped by laser beams,) will be a very popular place if we have this impending drama. I was surprised at this today…I know there are conspiracy theories all over the place. Anyway…there is that website. I know it’s a strange subject to give you. I just thought I’d write in about it. cheers Ian Ph 0420 511 551.

    Ian Jones
  • looking for information on any history of Richards family living in Guyra from 1937

    kerry trezise
  • My Name is Maree. My father’s name was Aubrey Allen Bowen. He lived in Guyra. His father’s name was William Bowen. One of my father’s sisters was Minnie Bowen. In 1921 the story of the Guyra Ghost was made into a black and white movie … which I believe was lost. DOES ANYBODY HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THE GUYRA GHOST.

    Maree Richardson
  • hey, i love guyra farm near there. sensational place.

  • The comment from a young man saying locals weren’t friendly was a bit odd – he didn’t say in what context he encountered this attitude. Was he poorly treated as a customer perhaps? Was he friendly himself? Was he rude? I’d want that complaint justified

    Lorraine Dinsmore
    • I worked in Guyra for 3 years 1985-87 cold as it gets frost and wind i found the people very friendly amicable etc. I grew up in a small town the people that gave newcomers the cold shoulder were recent arrivals not old timers

      Wayne downie