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Woodenbong, NSW

Quiet service centre near NSW-Queensland border

Woodenbong is a tiny service centre near the New South Wales-Queensland border. It is located in volcanic country and has the natural advantage of being set amidst some spectacular mountain scenery including some picturesque waterfalls. Today it is a rural district with local agriculture focussed on dairying, timber, cattle, potatoes, maize and grazing.

Location

Woodenbong is located on the Mt Lindesay Highway just 10 km from the Queensland border. It is 808 km north of Sydney via the Pacific Highway, 141 km from Brisbane and 60 km north-west of Kyogle. 

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Origin of Name

No one is sure what Woodenbong means. The Anthropological Society of Australasia claims it means "lagoon" in the local Bundjalung language but other sources claim that it may be derived from Bundjalung 'noyamboon' for platypus or from 'Nguthunbung' the name for an Aboriginal ancestral being. Still others claim it means wood ducks on water.

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Things to See and Do

Tooloom Falls
Tooloom Falls is located 19 km south of Woodenbong. They can be accessed by travelling south on Clarence Way for 16 km and turning onto Tooloom Falls Road. They are 3 km from the turnoff. There are bush campsites beside Tooloom Falls as well as toilets and picnic-barbecue facilities. Toilets. This is a very significant place for the Githabul people. There is an easy walk to Tooloom Lookout and a pleasant walking track through the rainforest of Tooloom National Park. For more details check out https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/tooloom-national-park.

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Other Attractions in the Area

Beaury Forest Loop Road
To access the Beaury Forest Loop Road head north-west out of Woodenbong along the Mount Lindesay Road and turn left into Beaury Creek Road which heads south to Urbenville. The road travels through particularly beautiful dry and moist hardwood forest and grazing lands. After 13 km turn left on to the sealed road to Urbenville. This road is a loop which can return to Woodenbong via the Clarence Way.

Mt Lindesay
About 10 km north-east of Woodenbong, along the main Mt Lindesay Road to Beaudesert, is the very prominent and distinctive Mt Lindesay which stands 1195 m above sea level. A remarkable mountain it belongs to the Nandewar Range which is part of the border between New South Wales and Queensland. It is a volcanic plug from the vast shield volcano which covered this area from 21-17 million years ago.
The Nandewar Range is a complex of peaks. Mount Gillies, Mount Lindesay and Mount Glennie represent lava eruptions from the volcano. The prominent, sheer cliffs of Mount Lindesay are remnants of horizontal rhyolite lava which have subsequently been isolated by erosion. The mountain is a popular spot for mountain climbers. 

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History

* Prior to the arrival of Europeans the district was home to the Githabul group of the Bundjalung Aboriginal people.

* The rugged volcanic peaks of the district were first signed by Logan, Fraser and Cunningham in 1828.

* Shortly afterwards Francis Roberts surveyed the border between Queensland and New South Wales and passed through the area.

* The 'Keelgyrah' run was established on the southern bank of the Richmond River in 1848 by George Wyndham of Dalwood.

* In the 1890s a yowie was sighted in the area.

* Woodenbong was officially declared a village in 1908.

* At one time an Aboriginal settlement was located at Grevillea and poet Roland Robinson, with permission from the Githabul clan of the Bunjalung people, gathered their folklore and translated some into English verse. 

* In the 1930s Grevillea was the headquarters of a Department of Main Roads scheme which employed 1152 men in local road building that was intended to open up grazing land for closer settlement and dairy farming.

* In 2006 the local population was 332 in Woodenbong village. 

* Today the Githabul Aboriginal language is taught at Woodenbong school.

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Visitor Information

There is no Visitor Information in the town.

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Useful Websites

There is a useful local website. Check out http://woodenbong.org

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Got something to add?

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14 suggestions
  • Good morning, am writing in the hope you can assist me in some family research. Back on the 12th December, 1921, WILLIAM HENRY HARVEY, passed away in Woodenbong, at the age of 81 years, at the home of one of his sons.
    Is there somebody you can put me in touch with to confirm he is buried there. My goal is to locate, enter him at Findagrave then connect him to his wife Hannah at the Melbourne cemetery.
    Appreciate any help you can pass along. Judith Meahl.

    Judith Meahl
    • Judith William Harvey is buried on my property The Venture,12315 Mt Lindesay road. Property was selected by his son Arthur originally. There is a headstone on the bank of the creek behind my home.

      Andrew Peterson
  • To whom it may concern. I am Lena Close, named after my father’s sister Lena Close, marriage name Lena King, who was married to Eric King, from the Gullabull tribe). I’m a descendant of the Githabul tribe ‘Muli Muli’. My Grandfather is Tom Close and my father is Rory Close, both are Githabull men and custodians of the Githabul tribe of, “Muli Muli.’ NSW. I have a cultural significance love for people and country. Over the many years, I have been studying and doing Ceramics and paintings about our old people storyline or the Dreamtime stories on the signs and symbols of the history of the past and present, of about what the Bible means to our people and how the book Genesis – Genesis 2: 4-25 mean to the Githabull tribe of NSW. I am doing my Master of Theology, in Ministry. And I need the support of, who is ever there, who may have books or documentation, pieces of evidence on how our people have painted the landscape of the Storyline of God and Mother Earth. I am trying to get in touch with a man called Howard Creame. Howard Creame has researched and have given documentation of his work to library’s and to our NAtive Title Clain, and was a teacher at the New England University of Armadale, NSW. I’m writing a paper on the Githabul tribe, in the area of the Bible. The Book of Genesis 2. And I would like to find out about the many signs and symbols that the Githabul people used in their paintings. Much appreciate it if there is anybody who can help me with my assessment paper. It’s an essay of 10,000 to 12,000 words. I will be adding my assessment paper when finished. After the 3rd December 2021. Also, I will be doing more research on the signs and symbols of the common tribes who shared similarities in drawings and painting what is the signicanecy from a woman warrior appoint of views, means in relation to Kinship, belief and lore, and what the signs and symbols are translating to bring the light of God alive. Hidden mystery.

    Regards
    Lena CLose

    Lena Logan Close
  • Do you have any Historical photos etc from 1942-6. I lived a a Sam all saw milling community at Dalman approximately 10 kms from Woodenbong. Was there on Monday could find no sign of the settlement and only the home that was on a farm before the settlement. I thought I’d look it up on the internet but it’s not mentioned on any of the sights I could find, it’s like it’s disappeared without trace if there any photos or evidence of the small settlement I would be very happy as it is part of my family tree.

    Valma Emhofer
    • The house on the corner where the Dalman mill was is Pat Davidson’s house. He worked at the mill. His home was burnt down. Used to be on lane to yards. His wife still lives there … may have some photos. The Dalman mill site and the house are all part of my property.

      Andrew Peterson
      • Hi Andrew, My father Norman William Glasby worked at the mill at Dalman, in the 1940s, rode his pushbike from Old Koreelah there and back over the hill at Yellow Gulley. Are you related to Jim Peterson from White Swamp

        Don Glasby
      • Hi Andrew, please Email me re. “the early history of the Koreelah valley” which I am researching at the moment, Arthur Harvey’s property is part of that story, and I find it interesting to see that you now own that property. I remember Andy Peterson from Old Koreelah when I was a small boy, are you related?

        Don Glasby
  • Judith Mearl, William Harvey is buried on my property The Venture 12315 Mt Lindesay road. This property was originally selected by his son Arthur Harvey. There is a headstone near the creek.

    Andrew Peterson
  • Woodenbong will always have a special place in my heart because this beautiful place is where my grandparents lived for many years before they both passed, and also where my mother and aunts and uncles grew up. My grandparents were loved and respected by the community. Thank you to the people of this town for that. <3

    Jane Doe
  • Hi Valma, Dalman mill was closed down in the 1950-60s I think, most of the staff were transferred to other Munro and Lever mills. I am writing the early history of the Koreelah valley, and including some stuff about Dalman mill. My father and two uncles worked there in the 1940s, one of my uncles Jim Brunton was the engine driver, he transferred to the mill at Grevilia when Dalman closed.

    Don Glasby
  • Does anybody know Mabel Logan? Expected she was born approximately 1900-1915. We are searching for our ancestral lines and one of our searches led us to Woodenbong and Boggabilla. We do know Mabel was living for sometime around Bourke – Lightning Ridge – Goodooga. I’d love to know more.

    RENEE KELSO