My QTH, Barraba, NSW
Barraba is a small rural town of around 1100 people. Located on the Manilla River in the foothills of the Nandewar Ranges and bordering the New England Tablelands. It is known as a prime Beef & Sheep area.
Located 90 km north of Tamworth along the Fossickers Way and 100 km west of Armidale, NSW, at an altitude of 500 meters.
Climate in Barraba varies between -10 degrees in winter, with snow on the higher areas, to 45 degrees in summer. Snow fell in the township in 1986.
The Kamilaroi people lived and occupied the Barraba region prior to European settlement. The first white man in area was the explorer and botanist, Allan Cunningham, in 1827. At the same time, he discovered the Manilla River. A land holding named Barraba Station was taken up around 1837 or 1838. In July 1852, the Assistant Surveyor, J. T. Gorman mapped the future townsite.
During the 1850s, gold rushes in the Woodsreef, Crow Mountain, Tea Tree & Red Hill region helped the growth of the township. Copper was mined at Gulf Creek, once the biggest copper mine in the Southern Hemisphere.
On 1 April 1856, the first Barraba Post Office opened, with a brick post office built in 1882. A school followed, opening in 1861, in rented premises. In 1876 the first St Laurence’s church building was built, as well as the first bank.
In 1878, the Commercial Hotel was built and was used as a Cobb & Co stopover, and three years later, the Barraba Court House was built.
On 20 March 1885, Barraba was proclaimed a town. During the 1890s, many more key buildings of the township were built, including the hospital (1891) and the Wesleyan Church (1898). In 1893, the population in Barraba reached 500; this increased to 1,164 in 1921.
A local newspaper, the Barraba Gazette was first published in 1900. The last section of the Barraba railway line from Manilla to Barraba opened on 21 September 1908 . The last train to Barraba ran on 21 September 1983, with the majority of the line closing on 25 November 1987. During 1933, Connors Creek dam was constructed as a water supply for the town.
In December 2013 a new water supply pipeline was completed from Split Rock Dam.
The 500 million year old Peel fault lies to the east of town and has been mined in the past for Gold, Copper and Magnesium. Mt Kaputar is 50 km west of town. It is an 22 million year old extict volcano, rising to 1510 meters above sea level. A National Park & Wilderness area surrounds the mountain and is home to a rare pink slug.
More information on the park can be found at http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au
Barraba is also known as a bird watching area, several endangered species can be found including the Regent Honeyeater.
Fossicking for gold in the Ironbark Reserve 18 km east of town has become popular over the last couple of years with good finds reported. Many signs of mining can still be seen.
For more information on Barraba and district visit www.barraba.com.au