Walcha

Apsley Falls, Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, Walcha, NSW showing the falls lookout.
Tree ferns, Werrikimbe National Park, Walcha, NSW

Walcha is a town on the Northern Tablelands of the New England (New South Wales) region, 425 kilometres north of Sydney via Thunderbolts Way and 184 km west of Port Macquarie. The area is the southern gateway to the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park which can be accessed at the Apsley Falls, 20 km east of Walcha and 1 km off the Oxley Highway via a sealed road.

Understand

Walcha is a great place to enjoy fishing, four-wheel-drive trips and bushwalks into wilderness areas with gorges, rainforests and waterfalls. The town is recognized for its unique Open Air Gallery, historic buildings, cafes, restaurants and quality accommodation.

Climate

Walcha has a cool climate with some snow falls and frosty nights, producing extremely low temperatures, during the winter months. However, frosts are usually followed by clear sunny days. In autumn, the town has the changing colours of the trees which make for great photographs. But it is summer that is arguably the best time to visit Walcha, although even on warm sunny days the temperature can suddenly drop. Due to its altitude, the town is rarely humid, and even days where the temperature reaches 33°C are tolerable. Be prepared for a sudden drop in temperature at anytime of the year by bringing adequate warm clothing.

During a very cold night untreated (summer) diesel fuel can "gel" (turn from a liquid to a semi-solid). At temperatures below freezing, diesel engines may experience starting problems and warm-up slowly. As the morning warms (usually before 9AM), the vehicle will operate normally without intervention.

Tourist Information

Get in

By train

Walcha does not have a railway station, however it is serviced by the Countrylink Rail line at Walcha Road, which is located approximately 20 km west of Walcha. Country Link Rail Services arriving or departing Walcha Road are connected to Walcha by bus, which must be booked at the same time as booking your rail ticket. This rail service connects Sydney with Armidale where the service terminates.

By vehicle

Walcha is located at the junction of the scenic Thunderbolts Way and the Oxley Highway. When travelling from the south (Sydney) on the Pacific Highway past Raymond Terrace you will see an exit sign pointing to Bucketts Way and Gloucester on the left hand side of the road. Take this exit, and turn left at the round-a-bout in Gloucester and follow this road (Thunderbolts Way) all the way into Walcha. This route is about 70 km shorter than the alternative trip on the New England Highway through the Hunter Valley and Tamworth. When travelling on the New England Highway, after crossing the Macdonald River at Bendemeer, turn right onto the Oxley Highway which takes you into Walcha. Motorcycle rides from Gloucester and Port Macquarie are also very popular scenic trips for riders. Do not speed through the town. The boys in blue have some new play toys that they are trying out.

Get around

There are not any public transport services in the town and you will need a vehicle to visit the many out of town sightseeing locations. A 4WD with low range is needed if trips are planned into the wilderness areas of Riverside Camping Area and Youdale’s Hut. Trips to the spectacular Apsley and Tia Falls in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park are easily accessed using a regular vehicle.

See

Do

Other events include the Music Hall, opening of the trout fishing season, pony club events and camp, Nowendoc Rodeo, Woolbrook Stampede and Woolbrook Spring Fair.

Buy

Top quality locally produced handicrafts at the Walcha Craft Centre.

Purchase stud and commercial beef cattle, and Merino sheep from the many breeders in the district. Several annual local weaner sales present excellent opportunities to purchase top quality, large lines of young beef cattle.

See also: Walcha Business Directory

Eat

Elsewhere in town at one of the town’s two clubs, the Bowling Club or Walcha Ex-Services Memorial Club, which have limited hours of opening.

Drink

At the town’s local Hotel Motel, the New England, two clubs or the Commercial or Apsley Pub

Sleep

Out of town

"Hole Creek Country House" A country house with 2 living areas, large eat-in country kitchen, 2 bathrooms and 4 bedrooms sleeping up to 10 guests.

Connect

For internet services: Walcha Telecottage, 32w Fitzroy Street, Walcha NSW 2354; Phone:02 6777 1111; Fax:02 6777 1112; E-Mail: telecottage@optusnet.com.au

For free computer and internet usage (during opening hours): Walcha Library, Derby St., Phone: 02 67742550

There are many areas in the district and surrounding area where mobile (cell) phones (including next G country models) will not operate.

Go next

Walcha Shire has approximately 156,000 ha of National Parks and Wilderness in the region. The wilderness area incorporates most of the Oxley Wild Rivers and Werrikimbe National Parks.

The spectacular Apsley Falls, which has disabled persons access, about 7 viewing platforms, a gorge rim walk, picnic and camping areas is located 20 km east of Walcha on a sealed road. Tia Falls are about 44 km east along the Oxley Highway. These falls are part of the 90,000 ha Oxley Wild Rivers National Park which is one of the largest National Parks in NSW. The Park contains the scenic Macleay Gorges Wilderness Area and is listed on the World Heritage Register in recognition of its importance to nature conservation.

Riverside is a rare area where one can take a low range 4WD into a wilderness area for a day trip or camping, after paying a fee and obtaining a key at Apsley Motors.

Youdale’s Hut is another low range 4WD vehicle destination that is also possible to access after paying a fee and obtaining a key at Apsley Motors.

Werrikimbe National Park, 60 km east of Walcha is a pristine wilderness. It's a World Heritage park, wrapped within the dramatic fold of the Great Dividing Range where two rivers, the Forbes and Hastings, begin their journey to the coast. Racecourse Trail runs for 20 km across the top section of Werrikimbe and gives access to the park's highlights. Here you'll see subalpine swamp, heath, snow gums and the soft grey-greens of the cool climate eucalypt forests. In spring, the high country wildflowers alone make this a spectacular drive. There are many other National Parks and Nature Reserves in or near the district, including: Mummel Gulf National Park.

Other tourist attractions include scenic 4WD trips, hiking, visiting the State Forests, fishing (mainly for trout) and fossicking opportunities.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, October 03, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.