Gwabegar

img_8951-2Gwabegar pronounced Wobby-gar, was a thriving timber milling and seasonal grain handling town until 2005 when the railway closed.

Barnaby Joyce, bought marginal grazing land near the town in 2006 and again in 2008. Despite a close friendship with John Anderson, former National Party Leader and CEO of Eastern Star Gas (now Santos), Joyce told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2013 that he had no idea the company had a petroleum exploration licence over these properties.

A children’s playground and a primitive toilet block are located in Gwabegar’s main street. The post office combined with a small general store is located in Anzac Parade.

Further along this road, turn left into Chauvel Street to see the well cared for primary school.

Continue along Anzac Parade to the huge grain shed, a monument to stranded assets. Wheat was stored here, then loaded onto trains before the government closed the railway.

Cross the Baradine Highway and drive west to see the remains of one of the sawmills.

Koalas used to be common around Gwabegar, particularly along Baradine Creek, but the 2006 drought wiped them out and not many have been seen since.

Not far south of Gwabegar the road crosses the Baradine Creek. On the south eastern side of the bridge you can access the creek bed for a picnic.

The sealed road between Baradine and Gwabegar has a number of clearly marked bird trails going into the Pilliga Forest. The Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre in Baradine has leaflets with directions and information on the birds you are likely to see.

The road north to Pilliga is unsealed but usually well maintained.