So one of Coolahs little surprises is found at Coolah Tops.
You need to visit Coolah Tops National Park to discover an amazingly large cluster of towering grasstrees, some of which are estimated to be up to 300 years old! You can walk amidst these giants on a 2 km walking trail, an easy walk.
There is a waterfall but it is said to be a fair walk.
And the views are spectacular from Pinnacle lookout.
Coolah Tops National Park is said to be one of the best kept secrets of New South Wales. And we had been to Coolah many times before we had even heard of it.
The road in is from the centre of Coolah...about 30k of dirt. Sometimes there are cows on the road.
You could find some kangaroos in the park...but not a ranger....
All this and more if you explore The Golden Highway Adventure Trail
COOLAH is most famous for, being the home of the famous ‘BLACK STUMP’ which is an icon in Australian folklore.
There are several Towns that lay claim to having the Black Stump, but nobody knows who has the real authentic one!
“This side of the Black Stump,” or, “Beyond the Black stump” meant “beyond the limits of settlement or civilization.” This saying was said to have originated here.
Coolah’s claim to it is supported by an authentic document showing land boundaries declared by Governor Darling in 1826, where “land beyond this point was neither sold nor let nor settlers allowed.
The local Aboriginal gamilaraay people were said to have called the area “Weetalibah-Wallangan " which meant “the place where the fire went out and left a burnt stump.”
In 1905, a fire engulfed the Black Stump Wine Saloon, which is where the original Black stump was located.
Now days, there is a nice rest area, with picnic tables and toilets next to the Black stump.
Autumn is a lovely time to visit Coolah. The air is crisper, cool to cold, it's getting time to snuggle infront of an open fireplace.
What I like the best, is all the Autumn leaves, for Coolah has a main street, with deciduous trees down the centre. During Autumn, they are a picture, and I believe they hold an Autumn Leaves festival.
The area around Coolah is very pretty, with many English trees planted on the road edges. Some of the trees were in full colour, others just turning colour, and Poplars had dropped all their leaves.
Be careful out on the country roads, you most probably will come across Cattle on the roads, we did!
This is where I headed, to find out information on Coolah Tops National Park.
I was rather lucky, as the centre is only open for limited hours, and I was out of them,
BUT........the centre had been opened for a school group. The lady who was locking the doors was kind enough to give me the map and information I needed, so nice of her!
The library has Wifi access and also Computers available for public access.
Public toilets are located at the back of the Library.
Mon/Thurs/ 10.00am – 5.30pm (closed from 1.00pm – 2.00pm)
Tuesday: 10.00am – 5.30pm
Wed/Friday 1.00pm – 5.30pm
Saturday: 10.00am – 12 noon
Along The Golden Highway in N.S.W Australia.
Follow this main link to read all about this wonderful Easter activity at Hartwood a property just north of Coolah. You will find contact numbers and 'how to get there'
And here is 25 years of Hartwood in 2012
You would probably love the camping but as an alternative there is a Motel in Coolah which is probably fine as some of the artists stay there. Others have stayed in the hotel in Tanbar Springs which is past the Hartwood turn off...'just up the road'...not much else in Tanbar Springs.
Day passes are available for the festival.
We also had a chance to buy some books written by Monte Dwyer 'Red in the Centre a collecton of Australian stories.
'stories of whimsy and humour gathered during a 70,000km odyssey sourcing radio stories for a national broadcaster'
And for even more photos see this travelogue
And here is Paul's website
Now I promise that at Easter time I will take some photos as we pass through Tanbar Springs (which is not on the data base I might add)
There is an old fashioned pub there....and they welcome strangers. And I think there is still a police presence. and a cemetery. ..and you might need the public phone as your mobile (cell) phone may not work... and I am almost sure there is a petrol bowser.
Why would you come here you ask? Well to head north ...pass the Hartwood property towards Tamworth of Country music fame....and then you can choose where to go next. Or you can head further west if you like... give Tamworth a miss. You will find some petrol at Mullaley or else at Gunnedah. You could head for Coonabarabrum and the amazing Warrumbungle and you must read up iandsmith's pages for more on this amazing place
You will have seen a bit of Aussie country. It might seem these places are a bit far apart...well they are...but nothing like the real outback.But even here there is nothing much in between unless you live there and know where to look.