There are many great things to do and see when you are in the area.
Wingham, first settled in 1853, is a heritage town clearly evident with its many National Trust listed Federation and Victorian buildings that surround the town square. The Chinese gardens at the entry to Wingham hold historical significance, as it was the site of the original Chinese market gardens. Today the gardens form part of Chrissy Gollan Park which is a peaceful spot to break your journey and have a picnic.
Best selling Australian author Di Morrissey's book "The Valley" is based on the pioneering characters and places of the Manning Valley and is largely set in and around Wingham. Di was born in Wingham and spent many of her childhood years there visiting her beloved "poppy" who was the stationmaster at Wingham during the years after the Second World War.
Those wishing to follow in Di's footsteps and explore the heritage buildings of the town or research family history then a visit to The Manning Valley Historical Museum located alongside the town square in Farquhar Street is essential. The Museum, open 7 days between 10am and 4pm, houses one of the most extensive collections of historical memorabilia on the NSW North Coast. You can also pick up a copy of the Wingham heritage map for exploring the town's heritage buildings.
Right opposite the Historical Museum is Bent on Food Cookery School where you can broaden your culinary horizons with weekend cheese making workshops along with a range of classes on weekdays, evenings and weekends to suit both the novice and accomplished cooks. Asian cookery, Middle Eastern cuisine, pasta making and children's workshops are just a few of the classes on offer..
A major attraction in this heritage town is Wingham Brush Nature Reserve located close to the town centre off Farquhar Street. This rainforest remnant is part of the last remaining 10 hectares of floodplain rainforest in NSW. Giant Moreton Bay figs dominate the Brush along with one of the largest permanent maternity populations of grey headed flying foxes in NSW, birds and native marsupials. Located alongside the Brush is an aquatic areas including parkland, picnic, barbecue and boat ramp facilities.
There is plenty to do in the region, why not take in a class at Artisans on the Hill in the beautiful Mondrook just a short picturesque drive down the road from Wingham. Artisans workshops are many and varied and include woodturning, candle making, precious jewellery making and much more. All are "hands on" and you WILL create your own masterpiece on the day. There are some workshops scheduled for specific dates and times. These can be viewed on the Artisans events calendar
All Artisans workshops are limited to small numbers, and most can be scheduled for a time to suit you. There is also great accommodation available if you would like to organise a weekend or midweek package.
Why not visit Honeycomb Valley where you'll find a a menagerie of much-loved animals (sheep, alpacas, dairy goats, ponies, bunnies and more), Sun Ovens for solar cooking, orchard, vegetable patch, bushtucker, our "Hens on Holidays" chickens who live in caravans and the cutest cows you'll ever see. You'll probably also find some HelpX and Wwoofers, gorgeous green frogs, edible wild mushrooms, honey and native bees, drop bears and a sheep who thinks he's a dog. Honeycomb Valley is also a farmstay and they have just the two cottages so you won't be mowed down by crowds...just by friendly animals. Why not stay for a weekend and come up and do a cooking class at Bent on Food Cookery School while you are there.
After departing Wingham and on route to the famous Ellenborough Falls on the scenic tourist drive 8 is the tiny village of Marlee where you can break your journey and enjoy locally grown wines that depict their own regional uniqueness from Red Tail Wines featuring Merlot, Semillon, Verdelho and Colombard. Open 7 days from 11am to 4pm, just follow the tourist drive 8 signs for 13kms from Wingham along the Bulga Road, then turn left 200 metres past St Mark's historic church.
After leaving Red Tail Wines at Marlee continue on Tourist Drive 8 to the small village of Elands, and home of Ellenborough Falls. Total travelling time from Wingham is 50 minutes and once you arrive you will be impressed by the spectacular 200 metre single drop waterfall, one of the highest in the southern hemisphere. Enjoy the Falls from the viewing platforms or take the timbered stairway to the base of the Falls with rest stop seating along the way. There are barbecue facilities and a food kiosk that operates on weekends, public holidays and during school holiday periods.
The beautiful rural locality, just a 10 minute drive north of Wingham along Comboyne Road is quaint and full of community pride, which is evident with its tidy towns status. The focal point of activities in this small village is now and has been for 100 years its community hall. The original hall, completed in 1907, was demolished in 1948 and another erected. The existing heritage classified building, opened in 1952, has a rich and diverse social and cultural history, as did its predecessor. The war memorial adjacent to the hall was designed by prominent architect JT Chambers and erected in 1921 in memory of Corporal John Wollard to "keep green the memory of the local lad who gave his life for Empire, King and Country." The strong sense of community pride at Killabakh is showcased annually with the "A Day in the Country" at Killabakh Hall which has been held on the first Saturday of November for the past 20 years. This exhibition, demonstration and sale of arts and crafts as well as fine food attracts thousands of people from near and far. For more information visit the Day in the Country website.
Accommodation styles in Wingham and the surrounding hinterland include motels, hotels, a refurbished historic guesthouse and nearby B&Bs and farmstays. (information and photo courtesy of Greater Taree City Council)
Try http://www.manningvalley.com/ for visitor information.
If you prefer the beach visit LJ Hooker at Hallidays Point and tel them your dreams, they may be able to help you out.