THE MOONBI HILLS
Anybody travelling to Tamworth on the New England Highway will have to cross the Moonbi Range of hills.
This range has put the shivers down the spine of a few semi-trailer drivers who have lost their brakes on the way down and had to use the safety ramps.
Heading up the Moonbi range is just a crawl for the semi's, thankfully faster for us towing a caravan.
In the early years, this was a dirt road and quite an obstacle for the wagon teams to cross. When the teams came down the hill, the teamster put felled trees behind his beasts to slow them down as they descended the hill. This inspired our famous Australian poet "Banjo Patterson" to write a poem "Over the range" and many songs were written about it.
Quote from Wikipedia of words to one of the songs.
"Big Jim was a timber man with muscles made of steel. An iron nerve to hold the curve, two big hands on the wheel. But twenty tonnes of ironbark, the devils fatal load, went crashing off the Moonbi... the end of Big Jim's road."
Over the years the road has been improved, it now has double traffic lanes so you can at least pass the slow vehicles and the much needed emergency stopping beds were put in and they have been used!
The Moonbi Park lookout is situated at the top of the First Moonbi Hill just off the New England Highway and well worth a look. It is signposted and easy to find.
We didn't call in this time as we had been there before, pre digital camera so no photos. I can tell you it is worth coming into as there are impressive views over Moonbi Village, Cockburn Valley and beyond. September and October when the Golden Wattle is in full bloom adds more colour!.
Those towing caravans are able to take the short drive to the large parking area where picnic tables, toilets and water (not suitable to drink) await you. To get to the lookout from the car park you have to walk across a series of terraced walkways to where the lookout is constructed on a huge rock.
If you don't call in and are heading to Tamworth, then have your camera ready for the views coming down the Moonbi Hills.
I haven't been to Gravity Hill which is on the other side of the highway. Apparently, water appears to run up the hill.
WHERE - Approx 13 kms south of Bendemeer look for the turn-off to the right.
Coming from Tamworth, the lookout is approx 7 kms north of Moonbi village on the left hand side of the highway.
- Road Trip
Visit a Water Hole in the Tamworth Rainforest
We love bushwalking and Tamworth has some lovely scenery up in the surrounding hills. We went on a rainforest bushwalk and found a lovely rock swimming hole. Also coming home we went to this berry farm (don't know the name of it) but you could go a pick all sorts of berrys and we also bought some lovely jams and dessert berry wine. It's well worth a visit.
This water hole is located at Sheebah Dam outside Nundle at Hanging Rock. Below is a link.
- Family Travel
- Hiking and Walking
- Jungle and Rain Forest
A reason for being
Tamworth's base is a rural economy, though these days there are lots of small industries in the industrial parks. However, you don't have to go far to see what originally put Tamworth on the map.
Here's a couple of scenes I shot once while heading north. They were taken about 30kms short of Tamworth on the New England Highway.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
This sign appears as you are about to enter Queensland. Very different, that is for sure.. But what a beautiful sight it is, when you have been on the road for a couple of days.
- Road Trip
This Cathedral was actually in Warrick, Queensland, which was my first stop after leaving Tamworth...
So, it is quite a way off the beaten track.
- Road Trip