Ranching Down Under

By Samantha Hall 

Between 17 and 21 million years ago, erupting volcanoes created the Nandewar Ranges and the magnificent Mount Kaputar, which became home to the Kamilaroi people (pronounced GA-MIL-A-ROY). Scar trees on the Wee Waa/Narrabri road, bora rings on Mount Kaputar, a sandstone baby washing area, and sandstone rubbings in the Pilliga Forest attest to the Kamilaroi people’s presence dating back thousands of years.

In 1860 European settlers Sir Thomas Mitchell and Allan Cunningham came to the north west of New South Wales to an area between the Nandewar ranges and the banks of the Namoi River and established what would be later proclaimed as the town of Narrabri, which means “forked waters” in Kamilaroi language. In 1861, the Narrabri Post Office was built (the building still stands and operates as the post office today). Other buildings followed such as the hospital, the courthouse and school, many of which still stand.

Today Narrabri is a town with a population of 7,000

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