Exploring Barraba and Manilla

Do you have a spare day and want to explore the region? Barraba and Manilla are great places to visit where you’ll find history, art, natural scenic beauty and a few other places worthy of a look.

Day Tripping: Barraba and Manilla

This journey starts at the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre (because of course you cannot start the trip without a picture in front of the Golden Guitar). The friendly team will give you local knowledge and some maps and flyers for your expedition.

Funnily enough it is Manilla Road that will lead you to Manilla and once you arrive, Molly May’s is a café you’ll want to visit for a nice beverage or meal. They stock gourmet groceries, gifts to suit anyone, and speciality brands. This country town café is set apart from the rest with their ultimate shakes – shakes topped with decadent treats or lollies. We highly recommend you try one of these!

Here during the week? Wander next door to next door to see the Manilla Heritage Museum. This museum has various items for you to browse with local history buffs having collected stories, documents, artefacts and memorabilia since 1972 (call ahead to confirm opening times Mon-Fri).

If you would like a longer stay in Manilla, then pop over to the Manilla Weir, where there is a big open park, accompanied by a playground for the little ones, and picnic tables where you can enjoy some lunch whilst hearing the water flow over the weir.

Back in the car and on the road towards Barraba, take a quick stop off the road to take a photo of the amazing Barraba Silo Art on the way. ‘The Water Diviner’ by artist Fintan Magee was unveiled in April 2019 and is known worldwide; when you see the artwork in person, it is no surprise why.

Once you arrive in Barraba, you’ll notice tree-lined streets, heritage buildings and old-fashioned shop fronts calling you in. Interested in history? Explore Barraba’s fascinating Indigenous, pioneering, mining, agricultural, military and social histories at The Nandewar Historical Society Museum (ensure you call ahead to confirm opening hours). Wander across the road to see The Fuller Gallery and Claypan, or see the in house theatre at The Playhouse Hotel.

Walking the main street, you’ll find two, big, colourful art pieces. On the exterior wall of the library, story time comes alive in the work of art that Sydney-based artists Scott Nagy and Janne Birkner completed in 2022. To see one more masterpiece, walk further along the main street, where internationally acclaimed artist Jenny McCracken has depicted the squawking birdlife of the region set to the natural beauty of Horton Falls.

Speaking of, if you don’t mind driving along a dirt road, now is the time to go and see Horton Falls with your own eyes! It may be a tad too cold to swim if it’s not summer, but there is a picnic area, lookout and of course the walk to the beautiful falls. If you are keen for a cool dip, head past Upper Falls picnic area and walk 250m along a dirt walking track to a magical spot upstream of the main falls. This is Upper Falls, where water cascades over small rocky cliffs into a delightful swimming hole.

If you would like the finish off your trip with an amazing view, don’t go past Adam’s Lookout (158 Woodsreef Road). It does have a steep, but short drive up a dirt road and once you get to the top, you will get a clear view of Barraba and surrounds for miles! 

Wow, what a day! Now it’s time to hit the road and head back to Tamworth…but why not stop for one more ultimate shake along the way?!


Looking fore one more adventure? Check out our daytrip to Nundle and surrounds!