Events and Dining

old_bar_beach_festivalWhilst enjoying your stay at Nundoobah Retreat why not visit or even participate in one the the Manning Valley’s many cultural or sporting events.

Bonnie Wingham Scottish Festival
– early June
Festival highlights include: Welcome to Festival Chieftains; Masonic night (Lodge Cowper); Braveheart Poets Breakfast; CWA Shortbread Baking Competition; judging of shop window displays, bowls and golf competitions; single malt whisky night (Wingham Services Club); street parade, followed by Opening Ceremony, Highland Games, bands and dancing, Medieval Warriors in Battle (Central Park Wingham); Wee Dram Pre Ball Cocktail Party and Grand Scottish Ball (Wingham Services Club); Grand Scottish Concert (Wingham Town Hall). Wingham

– early August
The Craftathon in Taree is the biggest craft show on the Mid North Coast. Dozens of stalls, craft suppliers, exquisite craft displays and sales, workshops on the hour each day, demonstrations including fabric dyeing, spinning, silk embroidery, lace making, wood turning and 60 exhibitors from across eastern Australia all under one roof. Taree

Old Bar Beach Festival
– early October
The streets of Old Bar come alive each year with two fun-filled days celebrating their laid-back beach lifestyle and heritage. Indeed the KombiFest element of the festival captures its true spirit. Old Bar

The Manning River Summer Festival
The Manning River Summer Festival is held in January each year. The festival promotes the Manning River and the wonderful area in which we live. It is celebrated in a spectacular way on New Years Eve with fireworks, live music and other celebrations. Taree

Summertime Rough Riding Rodeo –
early January
This rodeo has prize money in excess of $8000. Enjoy saddle bronc, bareback, bull riding, steer wrestling, roping events, barrel racing, Ladies events, junior steer riding and barrel racing. Australian title holders will be competing. There will be a barbecue, hot foods, bar, refreshments available. This event is acknowledged as the best rough riding and spectator facilities on the North Coast. Wingham

The Flair Awards –
The Flair Awards is an annual festival of fashion. The centrepiece of the festival is the awards Premiere Evening flair fashion awardswhich recognises the work of talented designers throughout Australia. The Flair Awards have become one of Australia’s leading regional fashion award events. Designers, both professional and emerging, are invited to submit entries into various categories. A panel of high profile judges from within the fashion industry judge these entries. Tickets for both the Premiere Evening and the Preview Evening are available on the Flair Awards website. Taree

Wingham Akoostik Music Festival –
mid October
concertThis two-day celebration of original music performance is held in Central Park in Wingham. The Festival has pulled off a massive coup in signing adult-alternative singer Wendy Matthews as the headline act for 2010. The event is outdoor, family friendly and alcohol free and promotes original music composition from emerging and established artists, and develops the town of Wingham as a cultural place. Wingham

Wingham Big Boys Toys Show
– mid October
Cars, motorcycles, boats, archery, fishing, shooting, hot rods, trucks, tools, model trains and planes and anything in between that would interest big boys and girls will be on display at the Wingham Big Boys Toys Show. For the more adventurous there will be circle work and gymkhana style events, as well as a burnout pad for the smoke freaks. A Demolition Derby finishes off the day and there is plenty of food and drinks to keep everyone happy. Wingham
For a full list of events and more detail on those listed above, please visit the GTCC Events Calendar.


Dining Recommendations

Two Hans Japanese Restaurant in Centrepoint Arcade Taree is a must for those looking to experience Asian fusion and authentic Japanese cuisine.

The Bunker Bar & Bistro (Ph: 6559 3450) overlooks the private Championship Golf Course “Tallwoods” in Hallidays Point. About a 25 minute drive from Nundoobah, The Bunker offers a fine dining experience, with superbly-prepared food in a lovely setting. Licensed.

delicious breakfastThe Bean Bar Cafe and Restaurant (Ph: 6550 0022) on Pulteney Street (opposite the Taree Council building) overlooks Queen Elizabeth Park and the Manning River. De’s personal favourite (you will likely run into her sipping a morning coffee), the Bean Bar offers a cafe menu by day and tapas or a-la-carte by night. Licensed.

Fish Fish Fish (Ph: 6552 2116) on Victoria Street in the centre of Taree offers excellent local seafood. Eat in (BYO) or take-away and dine from your cottage’s outdoor table and chairs setting overlooking the Dawson River.

The Royal Hotel (Ph: 6552 1242) in Taree’s main street has a lovely courtyard at the back overlooking the Manning River. A great spot for a refreshing ale.

Il Colosseo (Ph: 6552 6289) is Taree’s authentic Italian restaurant. Just down the road from Fayes Twin Cinema, it’s the perfect choice for dinner before or after a movie. Relatively inexpensive food in a charming atmosphere. BYO.

Bent on Food (Ph: 6557 0727) in the heritage town of Wingham, just a 10 minute drive from Nundoobah,is a multi-award winning specialty food store and cafe. In their words, they “do a mean breakfast” as well as lunch and treats. A must if you visit Wingham.

Explore the Manning Valley

beach_smallRich in fine arts and handcrafted product, the Manning Valley has a wide range of natural attractions. The Manning River itself is extremely rare, being Australia’s only river delta system with two river entrances, located at Harrington and Old Bar. Visitors can boat, ski or fish on 150km of navigable waterways.

From forest walks to natural swimming holes, beaches, local craft galleries, cosy tea-rooms and fine restaurants, the Manning Valley has a wealth of delights to offer its visitors.

See below for Maurie and De’s personal recommendations. Or visit the Manning Valley’s official tourist website.



For the beach lovers, Saltwater Beach and Wallaby Point are only a 20 min drive from Nundoobah. Saltwater Beach and lagoon has a great picnic/BBQ area and facilities if you want to make a day of it.

A 30 km drive north-east of Nundoobah is Crowdy Bay National Park, a rugged coastline of cliffs, rockpools, beaches and forests. Crowdy Head is one of the park’s great surfing beaches and an excellent place snorkellingto go for a long beach walk. Crowdy Head is a working fishing village and has a great fish co-op for lovers of seafood. Diamond Head, the highest point in the park, is an absolutely stunning spot – a must for the avid snorkeller – with a camping ground and BBQ/facilities.

Hallidays Point, known locally as Blackhead Village, is a 30 minute drive from Nundoobah Retreat and has one of the best surfing beaches in the area. The small shop opposite the main beach sells take-away food and also has a liquor license. Enjoying a glass of wine in the nature reserve adjoining the beach is thoroughly recommended.


On The River

Brimbin Reserve, 10 minutes from Nundoobah by car (or 30-45 minutes by kayak, row boat or water bike) is a beautiful nature reserve set on 50 hectares overlooking the Dawson River. The Reserve has significance for the local Biripi people, the name “Brimbin” coming from the Aboriginal word “Borembit” meaning stringybark, a tree that features in the area. There are picnic and BBQ facilities, and two lovely walking tracks.

The village of Harrington is at the northern mouth of the Manning River, just south of Crowdy Bay. This is the fisherman’s dream, offeringlighthouse estuary, beach and breakwall fishing. There are a number of picturesque walking trails – the breakwater is a must. Harrington is also an excellent spot for indulging in fresh local seafood. A visit to the riverside Harrington Pub (Ph: 6556 1205) for lunch (or a casual beverage or two) is definitely a worthwhile expedition. Or experience the true Irish atmosphere of Harrigan’s Irish Pub (Ph: 6556 0555). Alternatively, pick up some fresh oysters or prawns from Stones Oysters (Ph: 6556 3222) on Harrington Rd at Coopernook.

Manning Point, on Mitchell’s Island just south of the Harrington Inlet, is swans on the riverhome to Manning oysters. There is estuary, beach & river fishing and a good surf beach. Dolphin-watch from a balcony table at Manning Point Marina while enjoying a Devonshire tea, lunch or dinner outdoors in a tropical garden setting.

Just a 15 minute drive north of Nundoobah is the historic oyster-farming village of Croki, another great fishing and swimming stop. The long breakwall is good for fishing or a just a stroll.


The Countryside

Wingham, just a 10 minute drive north-west of Nundoobah, is a peaceful, charming little river town. Laid out in traditional English style, Wingham has many fine examples of Federation and Victorian architecture. Wingham Brush represents part of the last 10 hectares of sub-tropical floodplain rainforest in NSW. A raised boardwalk starts at Farquar Street and guides you through this rare nature spot, featuring giant Moreton Bay figs and flying foxes. Lunch or high morning tea at Bent on Food is highly recommended (see ‘Dining Recommendations’).

Newby’s Lookout, about 30 kms north of newby's lookoutNundoobah, offers a magnificent view over the Manning Valley. A great place for observing sea eagles, wedge tail eagles and other birdlife.

Waitui Falls
on the road to Hannam Vale (about 35 kms to the north from Nundoobah) is a Forestry waterfall and swimming hole with a picnic area and facilities. On the way, stop at Moorland Cottage waitui falls(Ph: 6556 5248) on the Hannam Vale Road for a homemade devonshire tea.

Ellenborough Falls is about a 40 minute drive from Nundoobah via Wingham. These falls are a spectacular site (see gallery) as they plunge from plateau level into a vertical walled box gorge 160 metres below. Walk to the bottom (but save some energy for the hundreds of steps back up). BBQ’s, picnic tables, drinking water and facilities are provided.

Dingo Tops Forest Park
, although a little further away (approx 50 kms from Nundoobah via Wingham and Wherrol Flat), has a couple of fantastic walking trails through virgin hardwood and rainforest stands. Many native trees border these trails, including some large red cedars. There is a picnic site.

The Comboyne Plateau, also a bit of a drive from Nundoobah (approx. 1 hour) is a beautiful piece of countryside; a cultivated English landscape on the top of a mountain. cowsThe gravel road to get there has many twists and turns (not for the faint-hearted) but the experience is well worth it.  The peaceful village of Comboyne has delicious lunches, treats and coffee. Real country fare surrounded by green rolling hills.


Local Arts and Crafts

Tinonee, just 15 minutes from Nundoobah, is the arts and crafts centre of the Manning Valley. Memories Cafe & Craft (Ph: 6553 1143) is a national trust listed house overlooking the Manning River, selling Manning made crafts and wonderful food. Open Sun 8am – 4 pm, other days from 10am – 4 pm.

The Deep Water Shark Gallery (Ph: 6553 1093), between Tinonee & Wingham, is well worth a visit. The gallery is owned and operated by Russell Saunders, an elder of the Biripi people, who is responsible for the magnificent carvings and other examples of Aboriginal art around Nundoobah Retreat. Ask Russell to demonstrate his skill on the didgeridoo or ask to meet his daughter Rachel, whose carvings and artwork are also on display.

Artisans Retreat, just minutes from Tinonee at Mondrook, has a gallery displaying and selling artworks, including wood carvings, glass works, metal sculptures, silk paintings and jewellery. A beautiful setting, surrounded by green dairy country. There’s also a cafe.

Manning Regional Art Gallery (Ph: 6592 5455), located in Taree, welcomes visitors to view and occasionally purchase some of our regions finest art. The Gallery curates more than 12 exhibitions each year. Hours as at 2011: Wed to Sat 10am – 4 pm. Sun 1pm – 4pm.

The Other Side Gallery Tea House
(Ph: 6553 8890) overlooking Ghinni Ghinni Creek (15 minutes form Nundoobah) displays beautiful artwork and makes a mean honeycomb and butterscotch pancake. Resident portrait artists work and teach in the upstairs studio. A real treasure.


Other Ideas

HorseridingClarendon Forest Retreat
(Ph: 6554 3162), about a 30 minute drive from Nundoobah,  offers scenic trail rides for beginners through to experienced riders. You can request a guided private ride for couples. The 40,000 acre property takes you through endless rainforest in the heart of the Kiwarrak Forest.

Manning River Aero Club (Ph: 6553 9301) offers a number of different joy flights over the Great Lakes and Manning districts.

The National Motor Cycle Museum (Ph: 6554 1333) in Nabiac, 20 minutes from Nundoobah, is a private museum with a collection of over 700 motorcycles, many of which are extremely rare. Also on display are old toy motorcyles and motorcycle memorabilia. $12 entry for adults.

Boating and Fishing

manning_river_sunset_smallIf you own a boat, bring it along and make use of Nundoobah Retreat’s private boat ramp. Exploring the Manning by boat gives you access to a treasure trove of riverside cafes, beaches, islands and hideaway picnic and fishing spots. There are 150 km of navigable waterways.

The Manning River is the only double delta system in Australia with two river entrances; one at Harrington and the other at Old Bar. A number manning river at dumeresq is.of rivers and creeks branch off the Manning, including the Dawson River, the Lansdowne River, Scotts Creek, Ghinni Ghinni Creek and Cattai Creek.

The Manning Valley tourist website lists many reserves and picnic areas on the river. Maurie will happily add to that list with some local ‘secrets’ and provide you with a navigation map.

You can access a number of townships and picturesque villages by boat from your Nundoobah doorstep, including Taree, Harrington, Manning Point, ski boatCroki, Coopernook, Cundletown, Tinonee, Wingham, Mitchells Island, Oxley Island and Dumaresq Island, among others.

A real favourite with Maurie and De is the trip to Manning Point by speed boat. 30 minutes worth of beautiful wide river, arriving at Manning Point Marina.

A close second is the 20 minute boat trip to the Other Side Gallery and Teahouse on Ghinni Ghinni Creek for honeycomb hotcakes and butterscotch sauce, surrounded by paintings and sculptures created by the resident artists.

The options are endless. For more information see ‘Explore the Manning Valley – on the river’.


fishingThe Manning Waterways offers great fishing, particularly for bass, bream and flathead. If you’re interested in either saltwater or freshwater fishing you will need a recreational fishing license. You can get one online at or visit the Manning Valley tourist website for information about where to purchase one when you arrive.

in particular is a fishing paradise, offering rock and break wall fishing, or the more gentle riverside line drop. Locals claim it’s an excellent spot for jewfish, snapper, perch, bream, blackfish and whiting.

Or try your luck in the Dawson River from one of Nundoobah’s row boats. (They feature a tiny user-friendly propeller to get you home if your arms get too tired!).


golf_smallNundoobah Retreat is in close proximity to a number of excellent golf courses, the closest being only 3 minutes drive away from the retreat.

Taree Golf Club – 121 Wingham Rd Taree –

5 minute drive to 18 hole par 71 course.

– 61 The Boulevarde Tallwoods Village –

30 minute drive to 18 hole par 71 course.

Forster Golf Club
– 1 Strand Street Forster –

25 minute drive to 18 hole par 72 course.

Tuncurry Golf Club
– Northern Parkway Tuncurry –

15 minute drive to 18 hole par 66 course. Voted No. 81 in Golf Australia’s Top 100

Wingham Golf Club
– Country Club Drive, Wingham

10 minute drive to 18 hole par 72 course.

Harrington Waters Golf Course

25 minute drive to 18 hole par 72 course.