Where pioneer history meets rustic country charm.
An idyllic rural setting with an abundance of historic charm makes Uralla such an appealing country town. It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit, the region’s four distinct seasons mean that picturesque scenery is always on show. Lush farmland rolls away in all directions along the roads approaching Uralla. It’s only 20 minutes south of the bustling regional centre of Armidale, but in many ways seems worlds apart.
History and heritage are a big attraction here. Pastoralists took up sheep and cattle runs in the area in the 1830s and the town was established when gold was discovered nearby in the 1850s. You can learn a lot about the old days and who lived where by taking the self-guided Heritage Walk around the pretty streets and historical buildings, or by downloading the Uralla Soundtrail app for your mobile device.
Bakeries serve quintessential Australian fare, including meat pies, sausage rolls and vanilla slices, while friendly cafés and iconic pubs dish up farm fresh food and are great places to catch up with local news. There’s even a craft brewery in town where you can relax with a refreshing ale or two.
You can head out to the Wooldridge Recreation and Fossicking Reserve and try your luck panning for gold. While you’re there, cast your mind back to the distant past when around 5000 hopeful gold diggers camped out in the area.
This is legendary bushranger country, too. In the 1860s, the region was a favoured haunt of Frederick Ward, better known as Captain Thunderbolt, a notorious highway robber. He earned fame and the title of ‘gentleman bushranger’ for never actually shooting anyone and sometimes shouting drinks to those he had just robbed. His daredevil life came to an end in a shootout near Uralla and his grave can be found in the town’s pioneer cemetery. You’ll also find a fascinating collection of Thunderbolt memorabilia in the award-winning historic McCrossin’s Mill Museum.
There’s a lot to do and see in the surrounding area. Within easy driving distance from town, are three cool climate wineries, all with weekend tasting and dining experiences. Just south of Uralla is Dangars Lagoon, a pristine wetlands area and birdwatchers’ haven. A 15 minute drive north-west is the Mt Yarrowyck Aboriginal rock art site, where fascinating paintings can be seen inside the rocky overhangs.
On the scenic drive to Dangars Gorge, you’ll pass the historic vine-clad Gostwyck Chapel. The chapel was constructed entirely of bricks made and fired on Gostwyck Station. The magnificent tree lined avenue of two hundred elms was planted by a worker who was brought out from England specifically for the task.
A short stroll across the heritage-listed bridge that spans Salisbury Waters brings visitors to Deeargee Woolshed, which was built in 1872. Originally part of Gostwyck Station, Deeargee Station and its unique octagonal woolshed gained their name from the old Gostwyck wool brand, DRG, which stood for Dangar, Gostwyck.
There are a couple of pretty historic villages to explore near Uralla. Bundarra, about a 50 minute drive north west along Thunderbolt’s Way, is one of them. The Gwydir River runs through the village, making it a great destination for fishing and picnicking. Kentucky is closer, about 15 minutes away, and is where you can enjoy award-winning spirits produced in New England High Country’s only distillery.
There’s a range of quality accommodation to choose from in and around Uralla, including campsites, caravan parks, motels, historic pubs, bed and breakfasts and unique farmstays.