Departing from Bingara on Tourist route 3, we followed the pretty Gwydir River for some of the way. I noticed there were sections where free camping was allowed, I stored that info away for another day.
We passed by the historic Keera property with the double story homestead situated on the L/hand side of the road.
Beware, Cattle roam on the roads, we met some! The road climbed a steep hill, over the top and more great scenery including a drive over the Copeton Dam Wall. It was onto Inverall, passing acreage farms and Olive groves.
Another tourist drive well worth doing.
The distance from Bingara to Inverell is 90kms
This is a lovely scenic route to drive. Bingara is located in the centre of it.
The route is mainly bitumen surfaced, should be fully bitumen in a months time, as 2010.
The drive takes you past good farming land, where we saw flocks of Sheep, herds of Cattle, and even Pig farming.
Parrots, and we passed and startled a huge flock of the pretty pink & grey Galahs, not pretty to the Farmer as they are a pest, they eat his grain.
There is a Glacial area where you can stop at, it is signposted with a Brown tourist sign.
The views are excellent of what were lava flows in the Mt. Kaputar National park. We wound our way around and up and over the Mountain Range.
Stop at Sawn Rocks,its a must see, then continue on the open plains where acres of Cotton were growing before finally reaching Narrabri.
The website below, tells you about the geological aspect of these Mountains.
The Imperial Hotel is another oldie, being built in 1879. It is only one of two hotels that are still in business in Bingara, out of five.
The Hotel is a two story building, brick and galvanised iron, with beautiful lace verandahs. It has been renovated, but still the design remains the same.
There were chairs outside, located next to a mural
I walked the main street of Bingara to the end where the Bingara Museum was located.
The museum was originally the Post Office Hotel. It's what they call a slab construction, constructed from pit sawn and hand made local cypress timber, and has a puddled iron roof. Built in 1860, it was occupied continuously until 1970, (as a private home since World War I).
It was closed, so I could not gain entry, so will have to return again.
I did read that it is still furnished as a private home. Other buildings in the grounds include a 'One teacher school house," historical machinery shed, a building for the Gem and Rock Collection and a blacksmith shop.
The Blacksmith shop is the original, which the infamous bushranger 'Thunderbolt' regularly has his horse shod. .
There are over 2,000 items, 2,000 photos, 2,000 gems and minerals
ADMISSION in 2010........Adults $2, children 50c
Some other heritage buildings in town worth looking at are....
The brick courthouse, which has a decorative finish, and the lock-up keeper's residence, built in 1879.
The Police station & residence was built in 1882, the Royal Mail Booking Office (1882) - next to the ambulance station in Maitland St - the Anglican Church (1889), the primary school (1899), St Andrews Presbyterian Church (1904) on Cunningham St, St Mary's Catholic Church (1907)........so you can see, there are more than just Art Deco buildings in this town.
I walked the main street of Bingara, and of course, the pride of place was the historic Art Deco Roxy Theatre. It looks like new now!
Not only the Roxy, but there are so many other Art Deco buildings in this street, a walk is a great way to have a look at them all.
It looked like the main town area had been "painted & polished" as all the buildings were looking at their very best.
The Soldiers Memorial Hall looked resplendant after a paint job [see photo]
It was like stepping back in time when looking at the Roxy Theatre.
Situated in the main street of Bingara, the Theatre was built in 1936 by three Greek gentlemen, and operated as a cinema until 1958.
For forty years, it was not used, then the Roxy was restored to its original splendor and re-opened to the public in 2004.
The theatre still has the original art deco architecture and it still contains the original fixtures and fittings, including the ornate stucco plaster, paintwork and coloured lights from 1936.
I could not go inside, as it was full of workmen, perhaps more restoration taking place.
I thought it was interesting finding a 480-seat Art Deco -style Theatre here. Evidently, this Theatre was never a success like they had hoped.
The exterior is a basic rectangular Art Deco style, and it has the ticket box situated in the middle of the Entrance doors at street entry.
I would have liked to seen the inside, may be, on another return visit, it will be open.
This website tells you the story about it.......
Located along the main street, and just around some corners, are some very well painted Murals, depicting the history of the Town.
The Information centre does not have a map of where they are located, that doesn't matter, as Bingara is a small town, and it is quite easy to find them all.
I know, it's just another excuse to show you a picture of the Gwydir River. Still, I thought you might like it.
I went fishing here soon after I took this snap. Lost a good lure on a snag, caught nothing. You know, the usual scenario!
This is on the edge of town on the Copeton Dam road.
This is one of my all time favourite river scenes. About every second trip I do in the area I make time to pull up and just soak up the atmosphere. It's akin to meditating I guess. Whatever, it certainly works for me.
You'll always hear the squawking of parrots as they squabble over territory or a mate and you're bound to see some wrens if you sit and watch. It's such a peaceful and relaxing spot and there's a flat area where you could park a motorhome or caravan though I've only ever seen one there.
The reason for Bingara being where it is is due to primary industry, plus the fact it would have been a coach stop away from the next nearest habitation.
Thus it is that a rustic atmosphere pervades and it is just that atmosphere that attracts tourists today.
Scenes like this of disused farm equipment aren't too hard to find, you just have to keep your eyes peeled.
One of the day trips you'd certainly want to do is visit the "Sawn Rocks" A now somewhat famous attraction that you will probably have to yourself if you visit it.
This is the same natural structure that features in the Giants Causeway in Ireland. The columnar remnants of volcanic trachyte leave a spectacularly symmetrical display of nature and leave one wondering how such a thing could occur without man's puny hand being present.
The tranquility of the Australian bush is exemplified in this area where you can walk to your heart's content in a national park bigger than some small European countries. To find yourself brushing volcanic ramparts among the trees and surrounded by the chatter of birdsong is a truly serene experience.
There has been a noticeable spread of painted towns. Whilst Sheffield in Tasmania started the trend and still remains the finest example, others have sought to emulate it.
Thus it was that Bingara went down that path and now the town has a few scattered around. It's remarkable what a difference something seemingly as small as a few brush strokes can do but it certainly works for me.
This is one of the artworks shopside in Bingara.