Where life slows to a peaceful stroll.
Warialda is known for its relaxed pace of life and its warm country welcome. It has a long rural history that continues to this day, and is perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of city life.
1. Check out the architecture
Considered the oldest town on the Northwest Slopes and one of the oldest settled anywhere west of the Great Dividing Range, Warialda was established in earnest in the early 1830s. It’s an attractive, historic town with interesting architecture telling of its long history.
Notable buildings include the magnificent Warialda Convent (built in 1904), and the Warialda Courthouse, which is an example of some impressive workmanship.
2. Go birdwatching
Known as the place where ‘the birds of the east meet the birds of the west’, Warialda boasts a fabulous variety of birdlife and is therefore a popular destination for birdwatchers.
The Gwydir River is a great location to spot some of the 200 species that call Warialda home, and there’s even a Warialda Bird Route brochure available which identifies key birdwatching sites in the Warialda, Bingara and Barraba regions.
3. Visit the Ceramic Break Sculpture Park
Those with an artistic inclination will love the Ceramic Break Sculpture Park. Located 15km south of town towards Tamworth, it features three stylish galleries with sculptures and artworks, while its namesake piece is a participatory sculpture that invites visitors to break a plate (or similar) to add to the work.
4. Try your luck at fossicking
Marking the spot where the Fossickers Way turns right onto the Gwydir Highway, Warialda has a few key fossicking sites where prospectors can dig for opalised wood, jasper, quartz and more. Try Tigers Gap, 5km east of town on the Gwydir Highway, or Old Gravel Quaries, where you can find quartz, agate and jasper.
5. Explore Cranky Rock Nature Reserve
Warialda enjoys some pretty fabulous geological wonders, one of them being the breathtaking Cranky Rock Nature Reserve, just 7.5km east of town. The reserve contains a cluster of boulders that have settled into interesting and beautiful arrangements beside Reedy Creek. A millennia of weathering and gravity has crafted this natural work of art, and several walks are available (including over a suspension bridge) to take in this natural wonderland.
It’s suggested the popular nature reserve is so named because a ‘cranky’ Chinese man who was accused of murdering a Warialda woman was chased by the police and evaded capture by leaping to his death from the high rock.