Moree - Places to See

Visitors' Centre
The Moree Tourist Information Centre is located at the corner of the Newell and Gwydir Highways, tel: (02) 6757 3350. There are gifts and pecan nuts for sale. Enquiries can be made here concerning scenic drives, the town's open garden scheme, which operates on specified days in autumn and spring, and tours of a cotton gin and cotton farm (from April to August), of Lightning Ridge (March to November) or of a pecan nut farm.

Adjacent the centre is the Lyle Houlahan Park where there are picnic tables and childrens' play facilities.

Artesian Spa Baths
The mineral-rich water emerges at 41 degrees Celsius and is pumped into the public pool complex via both underwater spa jets and, for therapeutic and pleasurable effect, by above-pool spouts. The pools are emptied and cleaned each night. They are open on weekdays from 6.30 a.m. to 8.30 p.m., and from 7.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. on weekends and public holidays. A masseur is always in attendance though bookings are necessary, tel: (02) 6757 3450.

The complex is located at the corner of Anne and Gosport Sts.

The Artesian Thermal Resort is a privately owned complex with its own artesian pool, restaurant and therapy centre, set in five acres of landscaped gardens, tel: (1800) 637 678.

Walking Track
The Barry Roberts Walk is a scenic trek along the picturesque riverbanks of the town and the adjoining bushland. It also takes in some of the town's heritage sites. A guiding pamphlet is available from the visitors' centre.

Heritage Buildings
Despite the wealth of the shire the architecture, with a few exceptions, is functional and undistinguished. This may well reflect the fact that the town, built on flood plains, has been completely submerged on a number of occasions, particularly in 1910 and 1955, and was partially destroyed by fire in 1928.

However, there are a few buildings of note in Frome St. The Edwardian-style Moree Club was originally the residence and private practice of Dr McGill, who, in 1900, allegedly became the first Australian motor car owner when he bought his vehicle in Sydney and drove it to Moree. It is said that he didn't like it and soon returned to horse-power.

The brick and stone courthouse with gambrel roofs, built in 1903, has some venerable old jacaranda trees for shade.

At Frome and Heber is the Federation-style Lands Office building (1894) with gambrel roofs and enormous verandahs added in 1910. Award-winning restoration was carried out after a 1980 fire. Note the Art Deco TAFE College. Opposite is the Moree Plains Gallery, situated in a fine Edwardian Baroque building (1920). The National Bank Building, on Frome St, is also of some interest.

'Alloway' at 15 Gwydir St is a private residence built in the late 1890s.

Moree Plains Gallery
The Moree Plains Gallery, at the corner of Heber and Frome Sts, has an ever-changing display of artworks, though the collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Art and Artefacts from the Kamilaroi region is on permanent display. They are open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. weekdays, from 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. Saturdays and from 11.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. Sundays, tel (02) 6757 3320.

Amaroo DC3
At the Amaroo Tavern in Amaroo Drive is a well-maintained DC3 aeroplane from World War II. You can inspect the interior.

Mary Brand Park
Mary Brand Park, at the corner of Gwydir and Frome Sts, is named after the woman who, along with her husband, opened a store in 1852, which proved the beginning of the town. In 1861 she established the town's first inn on this very corner. The park contains a replica slab hut and Meei Cottage (reflecting the original spelling of the Mehi River) which is typical of an 1890s residence. There are also some rather old Moreton Bay fig trees.

On Greenbah Rd (the Gwydir Highway), at the western outskirts of town, beyond the golf club, is a cemetery. Perhaps the most famous grave is that of Charles Dickens' youngest son, Edward Bulwer Lytton Dickens. It is located to the left of the main gates. Young Dickens arrived in Australia in 1868. His father died in 1870. He spent the rest of his life in Australia becoming the mayor of Wilcannia and working for the Lands Department in Moree from 1900 until his death in 1902.

Another headstone marks the tomb of Mary Brand who, along with her husband, effectively founded the townsite in 1852 when she opened a store. In 1861 she established the first inn. Her daughter, buried alongside, was the first white child born in Moree. Kangaroos gather here at dusk, but visitors are advised not to attempt feeding.

Weirs and Swimming Spots
There are three weirs around Moree which can be pinpointed at the Moree Information Centre. Tareelaroi Weir, which has picnic and barbecue facilities, is 20 km east via the Gwydir Highway (take the signposted turnoff to the left). Combadello Weir, a good fishing and bird watching spot, is 25 km west of town via the Gwydir Highway. Boolooroo Weir, where there are barbecue facilities, is about 8 km north via the Newell Highway (turn left just before Boolooroo Bridge). The Rocks are a pleasant picnic and swimming spot. Head north-east for 11 km along the Newell Highway then turn right, heading east for 5 km to the end of the road.

Waa Gorge
Waa Gorge is 86 km south-east of Moree (including 20 km of unsealed roads) at the northern tip of Mt Kaputar National Park. The route is convoluted so be sure to pick up a detailed guide available from the Moree Visitors' Centre.

From the end of the road a walking track leads past the picnic area to the 'Devil's Waterholes', two deep waterholes in which you can swim. Climb the small hill on their left and follow the track alongside the creek. It is about 45 minutes to the gorge which appears as you round a corner, towering 70 m overhead. The walls of the gorge are bright orange.