Greener Pastures

Robyn Pitman-Williams — 5 August 2021
Sick of the same old views? Perhaps it’s time to pull up stumps for the tranquil beauty of the Gwydir Shire

In Parts 1 and 2 of our exploration of Gwydir Shire, we checked out some of the history and attractions that make the shire so popular with visitors. With such beautiful scenery and lively, welcoming towns, it is highly likely visitors to the region will be tempted by a permanent tree change. After all, who wouldn’t prefer to trade in traffic for extra time at home, and swap concrete jungles for sweeping natural views? 

The tree change is proving increasingly popular among Australians of all ages. According to CoreLogic, since 2005, 80 per cent of those seeking a tree change have been under 50 years of age. Rural living is on the rise, and with the tranquility and increased quality of life available in country areas, this is hardly surprising. 

Perhaps one of the biggest motivators for aspiring tree changers is the prospect of a larger property, especially with the opportunity to sell at city prices and buy a larger property at a lower price. Metropolitan housing blocks are usually a great deal smaller than rural blocks. Many people who make the move cite the ability to create amazing gardens and have animals as one of the biggest benefits of a tree change. To see some properties on offer, the Gwydir Shire website has links to the region’s real estate agents for those interested in enjoying a more relaxed lifestyle.


Most of us know the pain and inconvenience of commuting. Cold, early mornings and grey, late afternoons spent sitting in traffic, just wishing we were already at work or home. The beauty of Gwydir Shire is that while some of the towns are a distance from one another, the traffic rarely reaches city levels. And even if you do have to travel a longer distance, the amazing rural landscape offers commuters a view that city-dwellers on highways envy. The ability to travel to work and back, perhaps even in the same town, is one of the major motivations for tree changers. For retirees, there’s the freedom to live in and explore beautiful regions without having to travel long distances.


Attractions aren’t just for tourists. When you live in Gwydir Shire, the weekends and holidays will never be dull, with staycations taking on a whole new meaning. Got a spare day? Check out the Horton Falls or the Warialda Museum. Seeking adventure? Head to the Copeton Dam on horseback or with your canoe. 

If you’re seeking peace and natural beauty, you can virtually head anywhere in the Shire. The North Star golf course and polo grounds are popular, as are Cunningham Park and Junction Park in Bingara.  


Gwydir Shire is home to a number of events, from horse racing to festivals and working dog trials. Enjoy the rural environment by attending a campdrafting event, or if you’re after something even more unique, head to the bucking bull competition at the Gravesend Rodeo in February. 

Events in Gwydir Shire offer fun for the whole family. At Christmas, the kids can have their photo taken with Santa at the Bingara Christmas Carnival, while the adults can enjoy the Bingara Cup Calcutta.


The picturesque Gwydir River runs through Bingara and is a popular place to hike, canoe, ride on horseback, fish, or simply sit and enjoy the serenity. Nor is beautiful scenery is not in short supply in Gwydir Shire — from the Kwiambal National Park 60km from North Star, to Rocky Creek Gorge and Glacial Forms in Cobbadah, a landscape of wonders awaits exploration. Copeton Dam is both a fishing paradise and a good place to relax and enjoy nature.

As a city-dweller, it’s easy to feel like just a number. The small and large towns in Gwydir Shire have a friendly and welcoming atmosphere that is difficult to find in the city or suburbs. Bingara and Warialda are the largest towns in the Gwydir region, and still manage to retain the friendliness and warmth that are characteristic of small-town living.


Making a tree change to Gwydir Shire isn’t that difficult. In fact, it’s proved such a popular move that the folks at the Shire Council have appointed a Tree Change Concierge. The Shire’s website also features helpful information, such as lists of real estate agents and other ‘need-to-know’ facts for aspiring tree changers.

Life seems to get busier and busier, with little time for peaceful reflection or outdoor recreation. Fortunately, life in Gwydir Shire provides the perfect antidote to this. Check out Gwydir Shire today and buckle up for new adventures! 





Gwydir Travel Destination Treechange New South Wales