Walcha - an enticing blend of arts, culture and nature that any visitor will find hard to resist. Welcome to Walcha, an arts and culture hub located right in the core of wild and remote gorge country.
Straddling some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the country, Walcha is the ultimate gateway to hectares of national park, wilderness and state forest. Walcha is at the very heart of gorge country, so if breath-taking valleys and sheer cliffs inspire, Walcha is just the place to visit. Fertile farming land also surround Walcha, with the high altitude, soil type and healthy pastures creating the perfect conditions for prime lamb and wool production.
Couple this with the grand historic buildings peppering the streets and the nearby wineries producing some of the region’s best cool climate wines, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a reason not to explore this marvellous country town today.
Things to do in Walcha
With such rugged and wild terrain on the very doorstep of Walcha, comes some of the very best adventure experiences to discover. 4WD and motorbike tours, scenic helicopter flights, guided bushwalks and canoeing expeditions are just a few of the more daring ways you can explore the wilderness areas of the Walcha Shire.
If getting the adrenaline pumping doesn’t sound like your type of ideal getaway, then you’ll be delighted to hear that Walcha is a haven for gourmet fare and sensational dining options. Trying the lamb in Walcha, which is renowned across Australia, is like trying fresh seafood when you’re on the coast – a must-do experience. You’ll have to wash all the food down with something, so why not head to one of the cool climate wineries, like Merilba Estate, which produce some award-winning (and delicious!) wines.
Open Air Gallery
An open air gallery that features over 40 spectacular works of art has seen Walcha’s reputation as one of the most art-friendly towns in Australia skyrocket. The diverse and fascinating sculptures include a breaching humpback whale and a giant throne. Created by both international and local artists, the sculptures add visual interest to the already pretty streets and riverside walking tracks of Walcha. The open air gallery has also boosted the communities interest in the blossoming arts culture, with any local likely to let a visitor know that there is now one public art piece for every 60 citizens.
Oxley Wild Rivers National Park
As the southern access point to the Macleay Gorges Wilderness area, Walcha is the perfect base to explore the dramatic Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. The rare dry rainforest landscape, which stretches over 165 hectares, is made up of plunging gorges, vertigo-inspiring cliffs and thunderous waterfalls. The heritage-listed park, part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, is also home to over 1,100 plant species - one of the most diverse environments in NSW. Options to enjoy the beauty of this park are seemingly endless, you can camp, swim, horse ride, fish, hike, bike and paddle through Oxley Wild Rivers.
Getting to Walcha
Situated at the south-eastern edge of the Northern Tablelands and part of the New England High Country region, is Walcha
The quickest and most direct route to Walcha from Sydney, is now via Thunderbolts Way. It’s a 410km journey, and takes just under 6 hours. Coming from Brisbane, the best route for the 525km trip is via the New England Highway.
CountryLink run a daily train service to Walcha, departing from Sydney and then Armidale. The journey takes approximately 7 hours.
When to visit Walcha
Whilst autumn is generally seen as the most popular time of the year to visit the New England High Country, when it comes to Walcha, summer is the season to plan your stopover.
Warm, sunny days create ideal conditions to best explore the national parks, where you can then indulge in swimming, canoeing and camping – activities that are much harder to enjoy in colder weather! The town rarely experiences humidity, and temperatures seldom hit higher than 33°C. Just make sure you prepare for cold nights, sudden drops in temperature at night are not unusual!
The shopping precinct of Walcha is a smorgasbord of speciality stores, art galleries, curious antique shops, handmade boutiques and a tasty smattering of cafes, pubs and restaurants.
Walcha also has an IGA and a FoodWorks, along with a health food store, butcher, bakery, multiple banks, chemist and Post Office.
RV Dump Points
A free RV dump point is located at the Council Works Depot on North Street, Walcha. Walcha Caravan Park also has a dump point, which is free if you are a guest, otherwise a small fee applies.