Located midway along the Fossickers Way, Barraba is nestled in the heart of the Nandewar Ranges and is surrounded by natural beauty. Straddling the Peel Fault, a geological fault line which runs from north to south, the district is an exceptional area for fossicking and gem hunting.
Barraba has many natural attractions from towering mountains and ancient rock formations to rare flora and fauna species.The back-gateway to the summit of Mt Kaputar can be reached by travelling along the Barraba Track (4WD only) which passes through some of the most westerly rainforest in the state, before reaching an altitude of 1510m at the summit. Spectacular and magnificent are not strong enough words to describe the view, which takes in about 10 per cent of NSW. Horton Falls which are found just off the Barraba Track make quite a splash plummeting 83m to the valley floor.
The Barraba area is a renowned district for bird-watching, which can be undertaken along any of the 14 recognised "bird routes" in the area - a natural tourism attraction that won the region an award for environmental tourism. Bird-watching enthusiasts may also be able to spot the endangered Regent Honeyeater among the some 190 species of birds that frequent the area.
Barraba is also the home of the endangered Boronia Ruppi, a rare plant species only found in this NSW district.
Split Rock Dam is located 15km south of Barraba and between this water reservoir and the local rivers, the district offers some fishing for Murray Cod, golden and silver perch, and catfish. Split Rock Dam is also a wonderful facility for many water-sports and other activities such as sailing, water skiing and camping. Visitors choosing to travel to the northern end of the dam will also be able to take in the scenic surround of Glenriddle Reserve.
Mining and Fossicking
In the 1850s, gold was discovered at Woodsreef, Ironbark and Nangahrah creeks and at Crow Mountain, which in its time, made way for two other mining villages (Woodsreef and Gulf Creek) that were located near Barraba and were about the same size, but have since been abandoned. Diatomite is still mined around Bell’s Mountain along with invertebrate fossils sometimes found, while the diverse range of geological changes in the district make for excellent fossicking.
Gold and other minerals such as copper, pyrites, jasper, garnets, zeolite, as well as opaque red, brown and yellow quartz, can be found in the 540ha Woodsreef Recreation Reserve and other fossicking areas in the vicinity while petrified and opalised wood, as well as plant fossils can be found along the roadside near Mt Lindsay.
Visitors are welcome to explore the fossicking reserves established at Ironbark Creek and Woodsreef, which are open for camping and bushwalking daily.
Barraba's attraction is not only limited to nature-based activities, visitors who wander down the main street of the town can immerse themselves in the past, viewing the numerous historic buildings, some of which date back to the 1880s and are heritage listed. Enjoy the beautiful tree-lined streets or stop in at the museum to see relics from a by-gone era.
For further information on Barraba:
visit www.barraba.com.au or contact our Visitor Infomation Centre.