Murrurundi to tamworth

This was published in the


Australian Town and Country journal

29th November, 1873.


By "our special correspodent" travelling in a 'Cobb and Co' coach travelling north.

A tour to the North.


Murrurundi to Tamworth.





The distance, from Murrurundi to Tamworth is about 60 miles and the road is very fair in summer weather. The coach fare to the Willow Tree, 12 miles from Murrurundi, was seven shillings and for the remaining 48 miles the charge was three shillings. That was the rate I paid, and suppose it was fair. It appears that Cobb and Co , whom I patronised, wished to run off an opposition coach proprietor, who had the hardihood to attempt to get a share of the patronage on the road. Opposition is a good thing, if carried out in a proper spirit. I have seen passengers carried free for scores of miles and also with the addition of meals gratis, and on an Irish line with the addition of being treated to a glass of whisky on the road. The fare from Tamworth to Murrurundi, and vice versa, has been fixed at ten shillings but to travel to any place between the two on that road the fare is sixpence per mile.

Before leaving Murrurundi, I may state that it is, in my opinion, one of the most beautifully situated towns in New South Wales but, though so charmingly and romantically situated, (in a valley, and almost surrounded by the Liverpool Ranges) the township itself has nothing particular to boast of in the way of public buildings, churches, or places of business, with one or two exceptions. It is importantly a rising and prosperous Place, but the few good buildings are in strange contrast to their neighbours.

On ascending the great range, distance lends enchantment to the view in a remark manner. With the bullock drays loaded with wool, the horse drays loaded with tin ore, drivers carts with farmers and farmer's wives and daughters, stylish Buggies, with pairs of stylish horses, driven by the leading gentlemen of the district, ditto driven by commercial travellors, and numerous well-mounted wayfarers pass in review, and the scene is a figurative beehive. Those who have the permenent interests of the town at heart remember that Murrurundi is only the temporary terminus of the railway and think that some means should be devised to avert the fate of Liverpool, Campbelltown, and other well known towns being " ruined by the railway. Leaving Murrurundi, we soon began to ascend the serpentine road up the Liverpool range. It is three and a half miles to the top and the view is unequalled. At every turn of the road, the settlement hundreds of foot below, is revealed to view, and stretching away for miles are hills and dales and great plains. The surrounding hills have been proved surprisingly rich in coal, and kerosene shale, and perhaps iron. Having reached the summit of the range, we almost immediately afterwards began to descend on the other side and in a few minutes, the little settlement rejoicing in the name of Doughboy Hollow, was reached. Here there are two public-houses, Davie's and Quigan's, and a black smith's shop. Three and a half miles beyond Dough boy, we began to drive past some comfortable farms, with the crops looking healthy and green. A roadside inn, cosy and quiet looking, and appropriately called the "Cottage of Content" (J. Curley, proprietor) next came under inspection ; and then for several miles we passed between the well fenced Warrah property, belonging to the Australian Agricultural Co. The next, or rather first stage, " The Willow Tree," from Murrurundi, was then reached.

The " Willow Tree " is a refreshing looking place to call at on a hot day, and partake of Guest's good beer. There are a number of fine willows overhanging a stream, and threatening to completely envelope Guest's Willow Tree hotel and store, hence the name of the place. Several bullock teams, laden with wool, and horse teams with tin ore, were camped here, and others proceeding along the dusty road. About a mile and a half from the Willow Tree the road branches in two directions-one to the left, leading to Breeza and Gunnedah and the other one to the right, which we took, to Tamworth. For many miles after this, the road passes through the Loder station and estate. Much of the land looked very inviting from a pastoral point of view and the sheep and cattle were in excellent condition, Some miserable huts and uncultivated patches once familiar with the plough, were also passed, and 25 miles from Murrurundi we arrived at a small township called Wallabadah.

Wallabadah is very picturesquely situated. Its position is at the foot of great hills and towering peaks, reminding one of scenes in Switzerland. There are two hotels, Turner's Post Office, and Cropper's Marshal M'Mahon, and three stores, the largest of which appears to be that of J. J. Gardiner and Co, There is also a capital stone church belonging to tho Roman Catholics, I believe. Five miles beyond we reached the "Half way House " hotel kept by Mrs. Cropper, who gave us a good dinner, which we were surprised to get, being only coach passengers. I need hardly say it is uot usual to give coach passengers a capital dinner, or even time to eat what is laid down, this exception is therefore recorded. Two miles from the Halfway House, we reached a place called Flaggy Gully. Near by is the Great Northern Hotel, one of the best built, best furnished, and best conducted bush houses on the northern road. Mrs. Dick is the hostess. Proceeding on our journey for a few miles, some good scenery was passed, including a mountain called the Sugar Loaf, and opposite the mountain a public-house called the Sugar-Loaf Inn, Kept by Mr. K. Mc'Mahon was passed. Then commences the Peel River Company's great property, with a wire fence running nearly all the way to Tamworth, enclosing it. The country is of the finest description of pastoral and agricultural land, but as it has been often described there is no need of repetition here. Fifteen miles from Tamworth we reached the Company's head station, called Goonoo Goonoo.' Here is a fine residence of the manager, Mr. King, also a store, school, accommodation house, and post office.

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25.09 | 09:36

Absolutely delighted to come across a part of my direct ancestors history about which I knew very little and shall endeavour to find out more
Thank you Prof. A.

23.09 | 22:23

Very interesting Kelaher family history. Impressive number of trained nursing sisters. Jack lent the Copelands a cream horse, Playboy, in 1950's, ridden by Kate

09.09 | 17:58

Wonderfully informative. Thank goodness for Jane and John Atchison's work

06.09 | 14:33

I am Jack Kelaher and I am proud of my pop, dad and ancestors.

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