"A view to somewhere" Narrabri by iandsmith

Narrabri Travel Guide: 60 reviews and 142 photos

Mt Kaputar and Narrabri

It's rather sad really. Visits to my New England pages are rare and, I suspect, for the few who read these pages there will probably be even less who have seen this part of the world.
Out from Narrabri in north western N.S.W. if you look in an easterly direction, one cannot help but notice a distinctive outcrop on the horizon. Juxtaposed here and there on the ridge line are dramatic volcanic plugs, defiant core remnants of hot liquid violence millions of years ago.
This spectacular range is commonly referred to as Mt. Kaputar National Park but Mt. Kaputar just happens to be the highest peak in the area. Its lofty summit affords views of one sixth of the state, more than any other viewpoint.
This picture shows the view from two thirds of the way up, looking back on to the western slopes and plains leading in to Moree. In places it's rugged though generally the walking is fairly easy.
The area produces wheat, lambs, beef and especially cotton. You can always tell a cotton town just by eyeing off the side of the road for a 100kms in any direction and you will see the bits that have come adrift from the trucks on the edge.
The town is split by the river and is situated on the Newell Highway between Coonabarabran and Moree. The Newell is a major truck route from Victoria to Queensland so you're guaranteed to see and hear semis every night.
The town is 240 m above sea-level and Narrabri's population is currently just under 7,500.
It is apt that the town's name is said to mean 'forked waters'. Drive through Narrabri along the highway you will notice shafts of brown water heading in different directions. First you pass over the Namoi River, then Narrabri Creek and, finally, the creek's sub-branch, Horse Arm Creek.
The Kamilaroi tribe were the original occupants and the town's name comes from their dialect.
John Oxley, one of Australia's great pioneering explorers, became the first European to set foot in the district in 1818.
He was followed by Allan Cunningham in 1825 and escaped convict George Clarke roamed what is now Narrabri Shire from 1826-1831. Stories of a vast inland river prompted the expedition of Thomas Mitchell into the district that in turn opened the area up to settlement.
The first squatting run was the 'Nurrabry', taken up in 1834. A townsite was first recommended in 1848 and a hotel was licensed in 1858 and the town was proclaimed in 1860. A post office and police station were established but a devastating flood hit Narrabri in 1864. It would not be the last.
A courthouse was constructed in 1864-65, a coach service commenced in 1865 and the first public school opened in 1868.
After the Robertson Land Act of 1861 the area was slowly opened up to smaller selectors and wheat-growing began in 1873. The population climbed from 313 in 1871 to 1,977 in 1891. The growth in size and prosperity of the town is evident if one compares the two surviving courthouses, one built in the 1860s and the other in the 1880s .
The railway arrived at Narrabri West in 1882 and a settlement began to develop around it. This was a boon for the transportation of agricultural goods. Narrabri was declared a municipality in 1883.
A major soldier resettlement scheme was implemented at Edgeroi (24 km north) post World War II, creating greater prosperity for the district and a resurgence in population. A major flood in 1955 devastated the town but Narrabri West was unaffected and so resumed something of its earlier importance. It was finally incorporated into Narrabri in 1981.
Cotton came in 1962. It has transformed the area from just another suffering rural town. Intensive research and improved irrigation have created the largest cotton yields in Australia, bringing renewed prosperity and a white future.

Yulludinida, the supreme lump of rock

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Plenty of accommodation and food, Mt. Kaputar
  • Cons:Can get hot in summer
  • In a nutshell:Worth a stop
  • Last visit to Narrabri: Sep 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (25)

Comments (6)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Apr 10, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    G'day, Ian! I see Mt Kaputar and Narrabri are a great attraction indeed... Thanks for sharing your observation and experiences....

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    Apr 6, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    We were just passing through after our Camp Fires and Country Music near Coolah and all my camp fire cooking Marg

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    Apr 6, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    I am here Iain ...just passing thru and I tell my readers to visit your page as all I had was a coffee shop of no distinction

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Sep 15, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    We're heading north in a few weeks Ian. A route we've covered far too many times over the years, invariably saying "next time we must visit Mt Kaputar Nat Park". This time it's in the planning schedule as a "definite" and your page has been valuable input.

  • lynee's Profile Photo
    Nov 24, 2009 at 5:31 PM

    fantastic photo I am going to lightning ridge/moree /narrabri with my daughter in Jan haven't been there for years. Never knew about the gorge until i read Virtual tourist ( and I thought I was reasonably well travelled in AUS!!!)

  • eden_teuling's Profile Photo
    Aug 5, 2005 at 2:47 AM

    I agree with you, Ian, THE WORLD IS AN AMAZING PLACE and I enjoyed what you wrote about Narrabri and surroundings. Never saw cotton drifting through the air....much be nice! and your company pays......enjoy the trips through your countryside! elisabeth


“The shortest distance between two people is laughter (note sign in picture)”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 2 1
Forum Rank:
0 0 4 4 8

Badges & Stats in Narrabri

  • 25 Reviews
  • 35 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 1,155PageViews

Have you been to Narrabri?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Narrabri

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)