Travelling Australia - Journal 2015c
|15 May 2015
We spent the day around Bingara. Bingara is fairly small (population in 2011 was 1,093) on the Gwydir River. The township was founded in 1840 and gold was discovered nearby in 1852. In the 1880s copper and diamonds were discovered and Bingara developed rapidly to become, briefly, the main producer of diamonds in Australia.
Bingara is renowned for a pleasant climate and has a high proportion of retired residents. 54% of the population is aged 55 or over, while the national average is 26% of the population of that age.
Bingara has a modest, but complete, shopping area. Many buildings, bearing construction dates nearly a hundred years ago, have been recycled but are still in use. There are very few empty shops. The town is a popular tourist stop and has gone to some lengths to welcome caravans and motorhomes. The township is well known as a birdwatching centre and the information centre distributes information on bird-watching routes in Bingara and nearby townships.
In the morning we drove up to the HF Batterham Memorial lookout overlooking the town. Unlike many local lookouts we have seen which mostly represent wishful thinking this was a genuine lookout reached by a narrow, and very steep, bitumen road. The view from the top was superb with the town spread out below.
15 April 2015 - page 2