The Moree plains area is probably the richest agricultural area in the nation. It produces grain, sheep, cattle and cotton along with newer crops like pecans.
The town of Moree lies on the Newell Highway, about 625km north-west of Sydney. The name is thought to come from a local Aboriginal word meaning 'long waterhole'.
Here are the top five reasons to visit:
1. Artesian baths
The main reason we love to stop over in Moree when we are travelling along the Newell Highway is to luxuriate in the steaming mineral pools after a long drive. The Gwydir Carapark has a bathing pavilion with pools of varying heat, and there are public hot spa baths in town. Whether or not the water is therapeutic, they are a wonderful asset for Moree.
2. Heritage Walks
Allow plenty of time to walk around the main streets of Moree. There are many beautifully restored heritage buildings, including stylish Art Deco buildings from the 1920 to 1939 era. The grape vine covered arbours provide shade in summer and wonderful rich colours in autumn. A variety of exhibitions are also presented in the Moree Plains Gallery, located in the restored CBC bank building.
Moree is well known for its excellent fishing in local rivers. You can fish for Yellowbelly (Golden Perch), Silver Bream, Eel-tailed Catfish and even Murray Cod. Carp musters are held annually, and native fish populations are benefiting from the bulk removal of this pest fish.
To see the variety of landscapes in the Moree area, take one of the tourist drives. A popular one is to head north to Boggabilla on the Newell Highway, and then turn west to Boomi (where there are walking tracks), and Mungindi, then return to Moree on the Capricorn Highway. Maybe even take a quick day trip to the colourful opal mining town of Lightning Ridge if you don't have time to stay there longer.
The Visitors Centre has a bird list with over 180 native birds, and a brochure with a map of bird routes. From emus and red- tailed black cockatoos at Boomi, you can see waterfowl (egrets, ibis and night herons in particular) and brolgas in the irrigation areas and wetlands. The Gwydir Wetlands State Conservation Area (SCA) was listed under the Ramsar International Wetlands Agreement in 1998.