Towns and Villages

Bonalbo

Bonalbo, the heart of the Upper Clarence, established in 1910. This quaint village’s name is interpreted from the Aboriginal word ‘bunawblu’ meaning bloodwood tree which are dotted throughout the region’s lush forests. Bonalbo is also the centre for the surrounding areas for timber, dairying and cattle-grazing industries.

Bonalbo is a lifestyle away from the hustle-and-bustle of larger centres, providing a relaxing atmosphere. The main community needs and services are catered for, along with a variety of recreational facilities to provide the individual or group with a diverse range of activities. From golf, bushwalking, swimming, site seeing, lawn bowls, picnicking, family barbeques with the oval providing large open space for fun activities. It is well worth a visit to Bonalbo to see the Working Dog Statue, located in a beautiful rose garden in the centre of the village. The statue commemorates and honours working dogs and cattle dog trials. For more information drop in to the newly accredited Visitor Information Centre. There is also a caravan park located in Bonalbo.

Further info can be obtained from http://www.bonalbo.com.au

Cawongla

Cawongla is an unusual name which combines Campbell, the name of the area’s first white settler and ‘wonga’ an Aboriginal word for hill. The traditional farming community has been boosted by the arrival of new settlers buying into multiple occupancies with many residents forming alternative lifestyle communities. A number of crafty and artistic people live in the surrounding area with the Cawongla General Store and Gallery Restaurant (refer to their entry) proudly displaying their works. This is also a great place for lunch or dinner or just a quick refreshment break. Cawongla is about a 15min drive over the Cawongla Range east of Kyogle.

The World Heritage listed Border Ranges National Park is close by and well worth a visit. Further along the road towards Murwillumbah is Wollumbim/Mt Warning National Park.

If you listen carefully you may hear the sounds, muffled by time, of Italian migrants working their banana plantations, reverberating off the hillsides. Bananas are long gone, replaced by the breathtaking beauty of the rolling hills and it’s understandable that people wish to work, live and play right here.

Grevillia

Grevillia, named by early surveyors because of the many Silky Oak trees (Grevillea robusta), in the area. The village, 30kms north of Kyogle, enjoys a peaceful existence with remnants of a busy timber industry evident in the buildings remaining from the Munro & Lever Sawmill which dominated village life for many years.
It is nestled into the hills with the Border Ranges National Park lying just to the north of the village and the Toonumbar State Forest to the south. The headwaters section of the Richmond River are located in the area and runs just on the north side of the village.
Grevillia has a strong sense of community with the focal point being the Gallery. Grevillia has many stories to tell and characters to meet. Accommodation is available in the area.

Kyogle

Kyogle’s Features, Facts And Attractions-

Kyogle is where the original Northern Rivers still exists in World Heritage listed Rainforests, diverse cultures and rural landscapes once echoing with crosscut saws of the Cedar Getters harvesting their ‘Red Gold’. The Bundjalung word ‘kaiou-gal’ means ‘the place of the brush turkey or bustard’ or “native companion” which is a fast long-legged running bird. Kyogle Council LGA is 3,589 square kilometres of lifestyle with the Kyogle township having a population around 3,500. Visitors love their experience of Kyogle and the surrounding villages drawn by the spectacular natural beauty of the area that flows with the essence of the Australian rural character. With so much to offer it is no wonder that the Kyogle area is becoming recognised as the gem of the Far North Coast in New South Wales.

A visit to the Kyogle Visitor Information Centre, which is conveniently located on the main traffic route at the Cnr Summerland Way and Anzac Dr, will enhance your visit to the area. A good car park with access from the side street, offers plenty of room for caravans and motorhomes,  The Centre opens 7 days a week 9am-4pm. Pop in and view the selection of brochures, make a purchase of local product, and receive helpful information from friendly volunteer locals who are only too happy to showcase their local region. Enjoy a break at the “Country Cafe” at the rear of the centre, where toilet facilites are also located. A electric BBQ area and lush parkland area adjoin the Information Centre, along with picnic areas, which is a great place to relax and unwind.

Culturally and environmentally diverse, the area centred on Kyogle is an ideal destination for a holiday.

The district boasts a wide range of natural assets, including the World Heritage listed Border Ranges National Park, Toonumbar National Park and no fewer than 12 state forests, all within easy reach of the towns and villages. And not far away is the Wollumbin/Mt Warning National Park.

An abundance of well-maintained facilities, picnic spots, camping sites, lookouts and walking trails will ensure that you enjoy all Kyogle has to offer. Good accomodation is available in farmstays, bed & breakfasts, rainforest retreats, pubs, motels and caravan parks.

Cross the creek and discover where real coffee is served, grab a picnic lunch and head out for a day of exploration in our World Heritage Rainforests or leisurely recreation at Toonumbar Dam. Begin a journey of discovery along the scenic Lions Road which provides a shorter, spectacularly scenic route over the McPherson Ranges and into Queensland. It is a more recent (1970) example of the pioneer spirit which created the area still being involved in community development. The road was a Lions Club project, with massive community support and assistance, and is a popular drive to visit the historically significant Border Loop Railway Spiral and Tunnels. Or you may choose one of the 1-10 “Gateway to the Rainforest- Tourist Drive ” brochures when exploring the area and visiting the villages of Woodenbong, historic Urbenville, uniquely Australian Bonalbo and sample Bush Tucker surrounded by authentic indigenous artwork at the home of the Australian Light Horse, Tabulam, where you can marvel at the longest single span wooden bridge in Australia.

Kyogle has maintained the character of its main street and hidden behind these beautiful façades is a plethora of shops; café’s, galleries, coffee shops and hotels offer the visitor a uniquely Australian experience or take the time to experience the Art Deco walk. A colourful Bazaar Market is held on the 4th Sunday of each month at the rear of the Visitor Information Centre from 8.00am to 2.00pm.

Kyogle is located 758 km north of Sydney, 184 km south of Brisbane and is 60 metres above sea level on the Richmond River at the base of the Fairymount (246mtrres high). Promoted as ‘The Gateway to the Rainforests’, a claim justified as it is surrounded by one of the largest remaining areas of rainforest in the state and the town boasts an annual rainfall of 1118mm.

For uptodate info on Kyogle’s weather visit http://www.kyogleweather.com.au/kyogle_aws/summary.htm

Mallanganee

Settled in at the foot of the Mallanganee Range, this quiet village is full of hidden treasures. Mallanganee offers the visitor a range of facilities and experiences. The Koori place name of Mallanganee means “Pine tree hill”. The display of cattle brands in the general store is a clue to the farming history of the area, with this scenic area being the heart of “Beef Country”.  The Memorial Hall commemorates the timber days with a backdrop appliqué showing a bullock team hauling timber.

Located approx 40klms west from Casino, and just off the Bruxner Highway, Mallanganee is one of the Kyogle Shire’s “Gateway’s to the Rainforest”.

No visit is complete without trying one of the famed hand-made Mallanganee Pies from the bakery. The Moon River Café, Wild West Store and Mallanganee Hotel offer meals and/or takeaways. Life is not rushed here with a population of around 140, the general store also the postal agency serves the community as it has for years, original old mail boxes are on display. Treat yourself to a taste of authentic Country Life.

Views from the Mallanganee Lookout are spectacular, with Mt Warning visible on the eastern horizon. There are rainforests and flora reserves close by, with the Mallanganee National Park itself being a very rare example of a dry land rainforest.

The Mallanganee Hotel has accommodation comprising 4 motel-style rooms for your overnight stay in the area. Additionally there is B & B and farmstay accommodation in the surrounding area.

To view the Mallanganee website click here.

Tabulam

With just 150 people the village of Tabulam is the centre of a scenic day touring the area. Home of the Bundjalung Aboriginal people the region is extremely culturally significant. The Koori Place name of Tabulam means “the originals”. Designated as a town in 1885, Tabulam is historically significant and the only other ‘town’ on the Clarence River besides Grafton.

Birthplace of Lieutenant General Sir Harry Chauvel of the famous Lighthorse Brigade is only one of Tabulam’s claim to fame. It is also home to the longest single span truss timber bridge in Australia, (and is an early example of a DeBurgh timber truss road.) which was completed in 1903.  It has concrete piers thus giving the bridge a high degree of technical significance. In 1998 there were 10 surviving DeBurgh trusses in NSW of the 20 built, and 82 timber truss road bridges survive from the over 400 built. The Tabulam bridge is a representative example of DeBurgh timber truss road bridges, and is assessed as being Nationally significant, primarily on the basis of its technical and historical significance. It is listed on both the NSW State Heritage register and Register of the National Estate.


Tabulam is an excellent place to begin your discovery of the beautiful Upper Clarence Valley.

Tabulum is located approximately halfway between Tenterfield (73klms) and Casino (53klms) on the Bruxner Highway, beside the Clarence river and approximately 800Km north of Sydney.

Scenic Drive - North
About 3 km west of town on the Bruxner Highway sealed roads depart to both the north and south. You can follow Paddy’s Flat Road to the north (unsealed after 7 km). It leads past Emu Creek, a good spot for a picnic, Pretty Gully, where there is a flora and fauna reserve, and Paddy’s Hills, from whence there are fine views, to Paddy’s Flat on the Clarence River (27 km from the highway) where you can swim, fish, camp out or just have a picnic on the sandy beaches. Endangered rock wallabies inhabit the area and there are also some old tank traps about, remnants of the Brisbane Line fortifications from World War II - the second line of defence in case of an invasion from the north. The road continues on to Tooloom and Urbenville, 71 km from Tabulam.

Scenic Drive - South (55 km)
Just past Paddy’s Flat Rd, Plains Station Rd heads off to the south. Almost immediately Ogilvie Drive branches off to the south-west, affording excellent views from Hamiltons Gap. Alternatively, Plains Station Rd heads south. Around 10 km from the highway is Fraser’s Cutting, a very steep, narrow and winding section which, although sealed, is somewhat dangerous and requires cautious driving. There are scenic views over the river rapids and Firth’s Crafts which are strictly open by prior arrangement only, tel: 02-6661 3553).

Further along the route, at the locality of Alice, is Yate’s River Crossing where there are sandy beaches. At this point loop around heading back north to the Bruxner Highway, 4 km east of Tabulam. There are other drives in the area. For further information ring (02) 6666 1204.

Peace Circle Carvings
9 km east where the Bruxner Highway meets up with the road that heads north to Bonalbo, Urbenville and Woodenbong, there is a picnic and barbecue area off the road where you will also find the Peace Circle Carvings, a community project consisting of eight large wooden carvings. A plaque explains that they were ‘carved by the people of Mallanganee, Tabulam, Tunglebung, Bonalbo, Old Bonalbo, Urbenville and Woodenbong. They are an expression of the feeling of peace and unity in the communities west of the range. The central block is for those of you who also wish to carve. ‘May peace and unity be with you’.

It stands opposite Sandilands Homestead, once the home of the Bruxners, after whom the highway is named.

Old Bonalbo

Nestled at the base of ‘Nooloiga’, or Haystack Mountain, this ideal setting ignites your senses providing an instant appreciation of the story telling of the cultural significance and history of the surrounding area. The village was established to cater for the growing population of ‘Cedar Getters’ seeking the red gold from the surrounding forests and the arrival of graziers establishing vast landholdings.  Old Bonalbo began life in the mid nineteenth century as the original site for the village of Bonalbo, thirteen kilometers further south established on the banks of Peacock Creek. The village of Old Bonalbo lies on the connection road between the Mt Lindsay Highway in the north and the Bruxner Highway to the south at approximately the halfway point, nestled against the magnificent Richmond Ranges in rural Northern New South Wales.

The rolling tree covered hills and rich pasture lands have remained long after the Cedar Getters moved on and the sprawling cattle stations have been divided into smaller farms that are the life blood of the area. The “Old” was added in the early 1900’s as the villages took their name from the largest landholding ‘Bunalbo Station’ taken up by John McLean in 1840. The name Bonalbo translated from the Aboriginal word ‘bunawlbu’ meaning ‘place of many bloodwoods’.

The one and only General Store/Post Office will supply all of life’s necessities and point you in the direction of local attractions and beauty spots, National Parks and forest drives. There are thousands of native birds, loads of wildlife and a kangaroo and wallaby population that outnumber humans by 500 to one.

Urbenville

The imposing volcanic plug of Coutts Crown Mountain indicates your arrival into Urbenville and a journey to a truly remarkable experience. This area is a biodiversity hot spot with the National Parks and State Forests surrounding the village rich in flora and fauna.

Dairying and cattle raising, some timber milling, and a small but growing farm tourism presence are the mainstays.  It’s here you’ll truly be in wilderness county. If heading north, Woodenbong is your last chance to stop and stretch before beginning the climb over the “scenic rim”.

Spectacular views of such landmarks as the tabletop outcrop of Mount Lindesay will have you craning your neck, so pull over and stop in a safe place to get a better look.  Listen out for the constant calls of Bellbirds in the forests as you cross the border into Queensland heading for Rathdowney.

The area is rich in history and very significant to Aboriginal culture. Originally known as Tooloom, the village was renamed Urbenville after the first white child born at the Tooloom gold diggings William Urben. Gold enticed many to the area and timber kept them there and is still an important industry for the region. Situated in the head waters of the Clarence River, the local topography and numerous streams provide a diverse range of experiences for the visitor.

Further west, Richmond Range and Toonumbar National Parks via Urbenville or Bonalbo, have camping and picnic facilities including tables, barbecues, toilets and limited tank water.  3 walking tracks provide bushwalking and birdwatching opportunities.

Woodenbong

Woodenbong is largely a timber and cattle town situated on the Queensland/New South Wales border. Located approx 55klms NW of Kyogle and only 10klms from the Qld border. Some of the most spectacular volcanic plugs and rocky outcrops including Mt Lindesay will welcome your arrival. Woodenbong is rolling hills, forest and scenic beauty. Woodenbong is a community of about 600 people, which offers lifestyle and friendship, as well as being only a few kilometers from Mount Lindesay (1280m).

Come and embark on an experience that will leave you as warm and comfortable as your favourite old jumper on a cold winter’s morning.

Woodenbong has a golf club, swimming pool, tennis, scenic drives and many more leisure and recreational activities. Experience a bit of real fair dinkum Australian country hospitality. Woodenbong Hotel offers meals and comfortable accommodation and the Woodenbong Driveway offers 24 hour fuel and newsagency and stationery supplies. The Woodenbong Camping Grounds welcome caravans, motorhomes and tents and offers a free dump point.

 

To view the Woodenbong website click here

Wiangaree

Proclaimed on the 27th March 1907, this picturesque village 13km north from Kyogle on the Summerland Way is a unique rural based community with a population of around 130. At Wiangaree you turn off for the western entrance of the World Heritage listed (link) Border Ranges National Park. On the banks of the Richmond River, Wiangaree’s rural surrounds consists of dairying, beef farming and general horticulture activities.

Wiangaree General Store is where you treat yourself to a variety of refreshments and cooked meals and experience a big dose of country hospitality while gathering local tourist information. The Old style general store is open 7 days a week from 6.30am. They are also licenced and sell orchids, and display relics of local history.

Wiangaree also boasts a Naturopath, Primary School, Rodeo/recreation grounds, Tennis court, Anglican Church and has a school bus service 5 days per week into Kyogle.

Picnic and toilet facilities are available at the newly developed park area in front of the Wiangaree Store where you can sit and relax or you can park your car by the lake at the southern end of the village and enjoy the tranquility and birdlife (no facilities here though).