Caption: Gunndedah boasts many tributes to Australia’s great poets and writers
Have dog will travel! That is the motto of almost everyone in the greyhound industry and is the reason why its followers are among the most travelled of any Aussie. Each month Chase will highlight a spot on the map of Australia, usually coinciding with a major greyhound race, and explain why you should stop off and smell the roses. This month we look at NSW’s Gunnedah.
IT doesn’t take long to see why the little town of Gunnedah has been the inspiration behind many famous Australian poems.
See Gunnedah’s art on a big scale at the Maize Mill in Barber Street where a 29m high mural of famous poet Dorothea Mackellar and her poem ‘My Country’ sits.
Continue the ‘Poets Drive’ tour of the 16 plaques with poems about rural life. There are poems by Banjo Paterson, Les Murray, Henry Lawson, John O’Brien, Henry Kendall, and many more.
There is a complete map of the tour available at the visitor information centre or online.
The Mackellar Centre is also worth a visit as it is dedicated to Dorothea Mackellar and houses artwork and poetry inspired by ‘My Country’.
Come and meet the local farmers and their families at the country markets held on the third Saturday of the month. Grab a coffee from Jack and Jill’s café, Bitter Suit Café, or the Verdict Coffee and head to the market stalls to try the local produce.
Along the Mullaley Road/ Oxley Highway sits one of Australia’s largest collections of early household, agriculture and transport memorabilia. The Gunnedah Rural Museum is perfect for the whole family, with more than 23,000 exhibits from steam engines to firearms, and a working model railway.
Just a 30-minute drive away is Lake Keepit, a great spot for fishing, boating, and gliding. Families love the Lake Keepit Water Park complete with water slides as well as the Lake Keepit Soaring Club, a sailplane aerial experience with stunning views.
Another natural attraction is the Waterways Wildlife Park, just 7km from Gunnedah. Check out the local emus, kangaroos, wombats, birds, lizards, possums, and koalas.
Learn about the district’s rich indigenous heritage at the Red Chief Memorial, which honours the Aboriginal warrior Cumbo Gunnerah.
Also known as the Red Chief or Red Kangaroo, Cumbo lived in the area that is now Gunnedah and he was recognised as one of the great Aboriginal leaders in the late 1800s. After his death, stories of his bravery, achievements and adventures were handed down through the generations.
Most importantly, enjoy the time cruising country roads, talking to the friendly locals, and taking in the gorgeous landscapes of Gunnedah.