08 Feb 5 Day Northwest NSW Touring Loop
1750kms in 5 days through Northwest NSW
Exploring historical Country towns and campgrounds that you won’t want to miss!
Route – Denman, Pilliga, Narrabri, Bingarra, Tamworth to Wollombi
Words and photography by Brodie & Heidi from Trip on Wheels
Difficulty – Northwest NSW has some winding, tight, dirt and unsealed roads. Medium – difficult.
Gear Required – Camping equipment, 4WD or reliable vehicle,
Track Inclusions/ Features (Descriptive) – winding roads including some steep inclines and declines, unsealed and at time dirt roads
Points of Interest – The Royal Denman Hotel, Pilliga Artesian Bore Baths, Gwydir River, Barraba Silo Complex, The Big Golden Guitar, Wollombi Tavern
Things to Do – Sightseeing Historical Country towns, Silo art, riverside camping, Hot spring baths, wildlife, fishing, canoeing
Need to Know – Plan ahead to ensure you have enough food, water and fuel as each destinations travel time and kilometres vary, be sure to research the distance between each destination to be able to re fuel and seek further supplies
Track / Trip Length – Average 4 hours per day depending on how many rest/sightseeing breaks and dependant of your choice of how many kms you want to drive per day
How to Get There – 3-hour drive to Denman, north of Sydney (250Km) via M1 and Golden HWY/B84
Best Time to Go – Suitable all year round, be prepared as temperatures can become very cool in parts of the year and become very warm exceeding 30+ degrees of dry heat
Rolling Into New Places Everyday
Country NSW features open roads, scenic views, and endless opportunities to explore at your own pace. 1750 kilometres in 5 days doing a loop with our Signature Iridium 13 ft hybrid camper trailer, a convoy of friends, and a ton of fun rolling into new places and campsites every day. Here you can drive through lush valleys of winding roads, experience plenty of wildlife and landscapes that have that feel of freedom and tranquillity. You can discover historical Country Towns that offer plenty of character and free campsites along the way. Why stay in the same spot when you can keep rolling into new places and experience something new each day? The drive to the first location The Royal Hotel Denman through the winding roads with views of the lush countryside allowed for a enjoyable drive taking it all in. The Royal Hotel Denman has free onsite camping grounds with amenities, serve cold beer and a menu that offers a twist on Australian Pub Classics. Inside the Pub it offers that country feel displaying historical country photos and has a nice deck to sit out on to watch the sunset over the mountains. A local swimming pool is located a short walk down the main street which is ideal to cool off in on those hot days.
A new day calls for a new location, packed up and heading towards Pilliga to go and check out the Artesian Bore Baths. For a rest stop we stop a little town 1 hour from Denman at Coolah, which has a great bakery with nice coffee and of course a good old aussie pie. Driving to Pilliga some roads were unsealed and quite tight with oncoming traffic such as road trains, it is a good idea to have a radio on hand to communicate as some roads become one way. Not Far from Pilliga is a dirt and dusty road which provided an ideal opportunity to put the Caravan to the test as it had not yet seen dirt. 40km of dust and dirt, It passed the test with flying colours as not dust or dirt snuck inside. On arriving a Pilliga Artesian Bore Baths it was 35 degrees, being spectacle of the temperature and bore bath being hotter than it was outside, we still decided to jump right in. It was a great feeling getting out as surprisingly cooled everyone off. Pilliga Bore Baths offers onsite campgrounds and amenities for a small fee but due to the increase of temperature we did not stay here. On the road again in search for a caravan park we came across Narrabri, only 1 hour from Pilliga. Narrabri Highway Tourist Village and Caravan Park provided a great spot to set up for the night with a town centre close by to refuel and stock up on supplies.
Next stop Bingara for some camping along Gwydir River and wow the drive did not disappoint. Driving down beautiful valleys and having view of endless countryside, spotting emu’s and plenty of livestock along the way. Bingara is a beautiful small country town and offers free camping along the Gwydir River, heading southeast out of town towards Copeton Dam which feeds the Gwydir River is three free campsites. All three campsites are for self-contained campers as there are no facilities available but there is a dump point and water refill in Bingara. The drive down to the camp was magical, trees rassling in the wind, the sound of water trickling and the view of the valley. The descend down to camp should be taken with care as it is a dirt road with a couple of sharp rocks across the track and the view of the river. Parked up with water front views you can throw a line out and fish, explore the surroundings and go for stroll with plenty of wildlife around, take a canoe out for a different perspective, swim or simply just enjoy the serenity.
As the sunrises over the Gwydir River, it was time to pack out and say goodbye Bingara to what was a stunning location to camp. Heading to the final destination of this trip, Wollombi but of course stopping along the way to explore what the surrounding places had to offer. Just 40 minutes for Bingara was Barraba Silo Complex and of course stopping for a photo of these amazing Silo’s that display Art across them that tell a story from when there was a drought and a local divider looking for water across the farmland.
Only 1 hour after seeing the amazing Barraba Silo’s is something big! Tamworth the country music capital of course home of The Big Golden Guitar, another stop for a photo because it is another big thing Australia has to offer. Down through more valleys driving through the stunning countryside of the Hunter Valley to Wollombi the final destination of our Northwest NSW loop. The view of wineries with vineyards as far as you can see and lush paddocks full of wildlife arriving at Wollombi Tavern to set up camp. Wollombi Village another small country in which offers plenty of history makes for the perfect last stop, Wollombi Tavern offers free onsite camping nestled behind the Tavern. Wollombi Tavern campgrounds offered grassy campgrounds and it was perfect as it was located right behind the Tavern. Camp is set up and a very short walk up to the Tavern it was time for some food and a nice cold drink after a day of driving whilst overlooking the valley on the Tavern’s deck with the sunsetting in the valley, does it get better?
Countryside Highlights In 5 Days
Northwest NSW in 5 days does not seem long enough but what can you experience in this short time will blow your mind. Jumping straight into the first destination for this Trip is The Royal Hotel Denman situated 3 hours north of Sydney in the Upper Hunter Valley. Continue the adventure rolling on into the inner northwest you will have these options to experience
- The Royal Hotel Denman – An iconic Pub which was built in 1913 offering that Country feel with Historical photographs within, cold beers and a menu that offers a twist on Australian Pub Classics. Just when you didn’t think there was more, there is! It has free onsite camping grounds and amenities with a view of mountains behind.
- Pilliga Artesian Bore Baths – Found just East of the village of Pilliga along the Pilliga Road and a very iconic recreational activity that was constructed in 1902. For over a century these Bore Baths offer therapeutic value of natural flowing mineral rich water for people to sook their worries away with an outback appeal. The temperature sits at 37 degrees all year with a roof covering and lighting in the pool area to allow for bathing into the evening. It has onsite facilities including campgrounds, barbeques, picnic area with shelter and amenities. There is no fee to enter the Bore Baths and a small fee for campgrounds
- Gwydir River Bingara – Bingara is set in a valley surrounded by several ranges and is a historic old gold and diamond mining town. Gwydir River runs through Bingara all year round with an abundant flow, drawing all those who love to adventure. Gwydir River offers free campsites on the banks of this picturesque river and for those who want to fish, swim, canoe or for those who simply want to enjoy its waterfront views and listen to wildlife. Drift along the edge or jump right in…. the choice is yours!
- Barraba Silo Complex – A destination for the curious and the art enthusiast’s, located in Barraba on Old Manillia Road and 99kms north of Tamworth. The artist listened to local stories and the concept of the mural was created. The Mural illustrates a local diviner searching for groundwater during a drought using a y shaped twig searching the farm walking over where they suspect the water may be located using magnetic and mineral force the sticks to cross or be pushed downwards when the water is located. It offers a range of parking for small and large vehicles to ensure you capture the perfect photo.
- The Big Golden Guitar – the name says it all, BIG! The Big Golden Guitar in Australia’s country music capital, Tamworth. Unveiled by Australian King of Country Silm Dusty in 1988 and standing 12 metres high.
- Wollombi Tavern – home of the original world-famous Dr Jurd’s jungle juice and situated in the historic Wollombi Village. After a long day exploring why not have one more night camping overlooking the breathing views of the Wollombi Valley as they offer free camping nestled behind the Tavern.
This trip offered plenty of variety for everyone and it really had everyone smiling from ear to ear. Historical Country towns have a lot of character and ensure exploring was always to be interesting. Researching the destination further is highly recommended to ensure you are equipped with enough supplies and clear plan of where you are heading
Preparation is key and enhances happy campers, therefore we recommended packing plenty of food, water, and general camping supplies to prepare yourself for a good and stress-free time
Information can be found on Visit NSW website. Become part of happy camper’s crew and go research these places!
It’s The Little Things
Breathtaking countryside views, open roads, and freedom far as you can see. Get out of the hustle and bustle of the city and experience the peaceful countryside. If you decide to travel with a convoy or are a solo camper, it offers something for everyone and will have you appreciating all the little things. We highly recommend taking a break from the hustle of life and experiencing this for yourselves!
Signature Camper Trailers
We would like to thank our great customers Brodie and Heidi for sharing this adventure with us, Truely does look like a sensational trip!
Be sure to follow them on their travels on Instagram