Uralla is situated half way
between Sydney and Brisbane. Uralla, in the Anaiwan tongue,
means "a special meeting place". Situated in the Goldfields, the
creeks still yield that elusive mineral if you are prepared to
pan for it. There are still some locals that glean a living from
Uralla has settled down to the
modern day pace of country life and looks forward to greeting
those visitors who choose to stay and explore our beautiful
In all probability, the last time
Uralla saw a flurry of activity was back in the last century
when the notorious bushranger Thunderbolt led the NSW
constabulary on a merry dance through the New England
It was at Kentucky Creek just
south of Uralla where they finally got the man who had for years
been causing havoc on the New England highways and byways,
giving rise to the area's unofficial title of 'Thunder-bolt
There's Thunderbolt's statue in
the centre of town. Thunderbolt's Rock just out of town
and an exhibition of artworks depicting Thunderbolt's last day
on permanent display in the Old McCrossin's Mill Museum.
Dead bushrangers and historic
buildings notwithstanding, Uralla boasts more than its fair
share of natural and man-made attractions for a town of this
The gently rolling hills and
English-style greenery of the New England plateau provide the
perfect setting for a town that truly cherishes its heritage.
Many of the quaint cottages, stately country manors and main
street shops date back to the 1800s when gold was discovered in
them thar hills and more than 5000 prospectors flocked to the
region in search of fame and fortune.
Unlike most former gold rush
towns, Uralla held onto its town status and main-tained the old
buildings long after the glitter had gone, and today it embodies
the country lifestyle where everybody knows their neighbours and
no-one worries too much about locking their doors.
While the locals meet and greet
each other in the main shopping street, visitors meander in and
out of craft shops, art galleries, antique stores cafes and
restaurants. Uralla boasts renowned antiquarian book-shops and
three or four antique emporiums where you could easily browse
among the treasures for several hours or just take some time to
relax and enjoy a latté or cappuccino accompanied with a
delicious cake or snack.
After a quiet ale or two in one of
the historic pubs, you can step back in time at the old Brass
and Iron Lace Foundry built in 1872, where much of Sydney's iron
lace was produced in years gone by. The Foundry is still
operating as a commercial business, using the original tools and
methods and visitors are welcome to stand and watch while the
blacksmith swings hi hammer and stokes up the coal fires.
For those who prefer a more action
and adventure-driven holiday, the countryside surrounding Uralla
offers plenty of activity. There are no less than twenty
National Parks within a two-hour drive of Uralla, providing
endless opportunities for bushwalking, horse riding, bird
watching, fishing, camping and caravanning.
A public fossicking area just out
of town is a huge drawcard for families. There's still alluvial
gold to be found and the kids will happily spend hours panning
along the creek bed. Fossicking equipment can be hired at the
Uralla Visitor Information Centre.
Bird watching is another popular
activity in the region and Dangar's Lagoon is just south of town
and a haven for a large variety of waterbirds. It is also
equipped with a public bird hide so all the family can partici-pate.
On the western side of town Mt
Yarrowyck Reserve takes you even further back in time to a rock
cavern decorated with ancient aboriginal paintings. A 3-km
walking track loop starts at the picnic area and incorporates a
number of interesting natural features en route to the paintings
which were possibly designed to tell nomadic travellers what
type of food they would find in the area.
What makes this particular corner
of New England so spectacular, is its proximity to the eastern
escarpment of the Great Dividing Range where the high country
pastures suddenly drop away into a series of dramatic gorges.
Dangar's Gorge and the
breathtaking falls which tumble down the granite cliff face are
just 35 kms from the centre of Uralla, they are surrounded by
picnic areas, camping sites and over 20 kms of walking tracks.
Take a detour via Scenic route 19
to Gostwyck Chapel, which looks as though its been plucked from
an English village and replanted in country NSW. Close by is one
of Australia's oldest sheep shearing sheds, built in 1869 and
still in use today. The Deeargee Woolshed may only be viewed
from the roadside but is still a spectacular sight not to be
As the halfway point between
Brisbane and Sydney on the New England Highway, Uralla and the
surrounding district make an ideal stopover point or short-break
getaway destination. Accommodation in town ranges from camping
sites and caravan parks through to historic pubs and modern
motels. Alternatively, you can get right into the country
lifestyle by staying on farmstay or B&B properties.