Coonamble is a determined and dynamic township on the banks of the Castlereagh River. It lies at the heart of what is a productive agricultural region based on sustainable dryland livestock grazing and cropping industries.
The Coonamble Shire spans almost 10,000 square km from the edge of the Warrumbungle Mountains, across the Castlereagh Plains to the magnificent Macquarie Marshes. The area is traditionally home to the Weilwan and Gamilaroi people and has a population of 3900.
Just down the road from Coonamble is the town of Gulargambone which has a Wiradjuri heritage and a strong sense of community. Its name in the traditional language means ‘watering place of many birds’ and a number of bird sculptures in the form of corrugated iron galahs pay homage to this historical element. ‘Gular’ was also the first place in Australia to have a community-owned post office.
The village of Quambone is a charming place which has two quaint churches, a general store, hotel/motel, tennis courts, swimming pool, school and library. The localities of Combara, Gilgooma and Wingadee are also situated in the Coonamble Shire.
Coonamble is situated on the Castlereagh Highway between Gilgandra and Walgett.
A unique feature is that there are no restrictions on road train and B-double access on roads in the Shire.
There is a return bus service operating daily from Lightning Ridge through Coonamble (via Gulargambone) to Dubbo 165 km away which connects with train and air services.
Located six hours from Sydney and eight hours from Brisbane, Coonamble and Gulargambone also feature on the Great Inland Way – an alternate road route to north Queensland.
Climate: Winter 19 degrees
Summer 39 degrees
In Coonamble, your downtime can be as hectic or as quiet as you like. Live music, art groups and theatrical shows cater to cultural cravings while there is also a huge social calendar of outdoor events. There is also a selection of pubs, licensed clubs, cafes and restaurants.
Coonamble residents excel at making their own fun. They like to wine, dine and dance under the stars beside the Gulargambone Creek, dress up for the horse races and dress down for the dog races. There are cricket matches in the paddock at Wingadee Station and black tie balls in the betting ring at the Coonamble Racecourse.
There is a variety of sporting groups, two well-equipped gyms and three swimming complexes in the shire.
The wide open spaces of the region are for riding and there are motocross, quad and road bikers along with equestrian events. Race meetings, pony clubs, polocrosse and the largest combined rodeo and camp draft in the southern hemisphere is held in Coonamble in June each year.
New residents are always welcome in Coonamble Shire, with official events and welcome packs extended to newcomers.
House prices in Coonamble range from $50,000 for a two-bedroom timber cottage to $500,000 for a four-bedroom brick home. Homes in Coonamble are usually detached dwellings with two to four bedrooms and vary from new or well-maintained homes with acreage and spacious older style homes on large blocks to smaller traditional cottages looking for love. Units and apartment blocks occasionally become available.
The median house price in Coonamble is $170,000 and $155,000 for a home in Gulargambone. The average weekly rent is $170 per week. There are also blocks of land available for development for residential, commercial and industrial purposes. Residential blocks range from $10,000 to $30,000; industrial blocks range from $28,000 to $70,000.
The Coonamble LGA’s prosperity is built around its diversified agricultural income and rural industries which includes two large beef cattle feedlots.
Coonamble Shire has a robust and resilient business sector, comprised of almost 700 primarily small to medium enterprises. This encompasses transport, earthmoving, construction and all the relevant trades, automotive, retail and hospitality, plus locally-owned professional services such as a large veterinary clinic, real estate, accountants, and solicitors.
Coonamble District Chamber of Commerce is very proactive, leading joint marketing campaigns, creating affordable opportunities for business skill development, and other activities in the interests of the local business community.
Self-employment is a good option for this area with affordable commercial premises, land availability and a supportive business community. New opportunities abound across a variety of business sectors for those with good ideas, sound skills, and a strong work ethic. Coonamble Shire Council and other agencies provide advice and assistance to start-ups or businesses relocating to the area.
Childcare and education is a strong sector in the Coonamble region. There are three preschools, two childcare centres and a number of playgroups in town.
There are three primary schools, one central school, and a high school in the Shire which have a focus on student wellbeing and fostering individual achievement and a track record of producing resilient, independent learners. There are also opportunities for extra-curricular activities.
Vocational training and higher education are available locally through the Coonamble campus of TAFE and other registered training organisations.
Both Coonamble and Gulargambone have multi-purpose health service centres, along with the Coonamble Aboriginal Health Service. There is a pharmacy and aged care accommodation, four doctors in private practice and a dental surgery.
Coonamble’s MPHS includes a radiography department, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and a renal unit. Coonamble also has disability services, along with fitness and recreation opportunities.
Coonamble Courthouse and Police Station plus three private legal practices provide legal and justice services. The Rural Fire Service, Local Lands Service and a range of other state government agencies are also based in the town.
Business services include two banks, post office, and finance brokers. Coonamble also has an independent weekly newspaper and a community-owned radio station.
Coonamble Shire has a range of exciting events:
- Coonamble Rodeo and Campdraft
- Gulargambone Gold Cup Races
- Coonamble Gold Cup Races
- Coonamble Greyhound Carnival
- Quambone Polocrosse Carnival
Coonamble is a great central location to explore the region’s attractions such as the Coonamble Nickname Hall of Fame, Museum Under the Bridge, Riverwalk, Nakadoo Horse-Drawn Tours and Outback Arts Gallery.
Gulargambone features attractive murals, sculptures and the iconic ‘two eight two eight’ cafe & gallery which includes an accredited Visitor Information Centre.
Go to Quambone to visit the smallest operational library in NSW and the nearby Macquarie Marshes.
For more information about Coonamble, visit www.visitcoonamble.com.au