Tooraweenah, New South Wales: Travel guide and things to do

Tooraweenah is a tiny rural village of about 130 people on the lower western slopes of the Warrumbungles. It is 4 km off the Oxley Highway between Gilgandra (43 km south-west) and Coonabarabran (58 km north-east).

The 16 000-acre Tooraweenah Run was taken up by squatter Andrew Brown in 1837. The first store was opened in 1841 and a village began to develop though it was never more than a small centre. The Land Settlement Act of 1861 encouraged closer settlement of the area. A school opened in 1884 and an hotel in 1886.

One event memorialised in the town's history is the Kookaburra March, wherein 23 men set out in 1916 from Tooraweenah on a march to Bathurst to recruit men for service in World War I. There is a veteran's plaque on the village common.

In 1931 Arthur Butler landed his aeroplane near Tooraweenah during his London to Australia flight. He taxied to the general store to refuel. Butler returned in 1938 to establish an inland airmail and passenger service, linking Charleville to Sydney via Cunnamulla, Bourke, Coonamble and Tooraweenah with coach services linking in Coonabarabran and Gilgandra. Today the Warrumbungle Gliding Club operates from the aerodrome and welcomes visitors.

The town has a nine-hole golf course, a caravan park, a hotel and a general store. Lions Park has picnic, barbecue and play facilities. Most of the town's buildings remain as they were in the early 20th century so a stroll around the village is a pleasant prospect.

Things to see

Tourist Information
The local information centre is at Gilgandra, tel: (02) 6847 2045.

Scenic Drive
The road that connects Tooraweenah to the Oxley Highway continues northwards for about 24 km, linking up with the Gulargambone-Coonabarabran Road which runs east-west. A right turn towards Coonabarabran leads along a partly gravel road to Warrumbungle National Park (see entry on Coonabarabran).