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NSW Silo Art Road Trip Itinerary: How and Where to See Them All

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Over the last few years a wonderful thing has been happening around Australia. Silos in big and small towns have been given a mega mural makeover, and people have been coming from far and wide to see them.

While I would one day like to do a road trip that’s big enough to see them all I’ve started out by visiting all of the ones in NSW. I wanted to see all of the silo art along the way of course, but I also wanted to take some time to see places in my own state that I hadn’t seen before.

My NSW silo art road trip buddy was my mother, Joy, and as we live in Northern NSW we went from North to South. But if you’d prefer to start down the other end of the state you can take my suggested itinerary, flip it and reverse it.

If you’ll be flying into NSW and hiring a car, I’d suggest starting your silo art road trip in Tamworth.

As at the time of writing there are currently eight NSW silo art works and if you’re short on time you could see them all in three days by going from Tamworth to Gunnedah on day one, Gunnedah to Portland on day two, then Portland to Harden-Murrumburrah on day three.

Mum and I took it a little easier and did them all in four, and then took our time road tripping back up the state and seeing more of the places we drove through relatively quickly on the way down.

NSW Silo Art Road trip planning Navman

The great thing about the silos is they’re not only bringing new visitors to the towns the silos are in, they’re also taking people to some lovely places along the way.

To help you choose your own adventure I’m going to share places to eat and sleep at every silo location, as well as some stand out spots along the road.

If you can go nice and slowly you’ll be able to enjoy them all, and if you’re a little shorter on time you can adjust the recipe to suit. I’ll include the time and distance so you can figure out what works best for you.

And if you can only do some sections, you can use the table of contents below to jump ahead to any part of the trip. Ready to see some silos and a whole lot more in between? Let’s go!

Tamworth to Barraba Silo Art

92km. 1hr 9mins

Get a happy snap in front of the Big Golden Guitar in Australia’s country music capital before hitting the road on your big silo art road trip.  

Tamworth may not have a silo of its own yet, but you can see a smaller mural on the side of a water tank on the Oxley Lookout. Unfortunately the piece by Damon Moroney and James Moulton is the hardest one to see on this whole road trip and you need to head up a steep and uneven walking track to reach it and then take photos through the wire fencing. Don’t worry, the silos that are coming up are a whole lot easier to see.

Our first NSW silo art is just outside of Barraba, and along the way you’ll pass through the historic town of Manilla. You won’t need to stretch your legs yet but stop anyway so you can see some of the beautiful old buildings and do a spot of vintage shopping at The Manilla Folder.

Manilla Bank of NSW image Amanda Woods

Then keep on driving along the Fossickers Way (less romantically known as the B95) and just before you reach Barraba you’ll see it on the left. Three huge portraits of a water diviner by Australian street artist Fintan Magee.

The silos are privately owned by Simon and Amanda Koopman and there’s a spot beside the road in both directions where you can easily pull over to gaze up at them and take photos.

When he was chosen to paint the Barraba silos, Fintan visited the town in early 2019 to get a feel for the project ahead and speak to the locals. At the time the town was trying to cope with one of the worst droughts Australia has ever seen, and Fintan was inspired to show a water diviner searching for water.

Barraba NSW silo art, image Amanda Woods

Apparently Fintan wasn’t thinking of Prince Harry at the time, and this is not in any way related to a surprise second installment of the Oprah interview. But I can definitely see Harry giving divining a go and enjoying being back in Australia with Meghan.  

Taste

Unless you live nice and close to Barraba you’ll be starting your journey with a night in Tamworth. And if you’re a steak lover that means you have a chance to enjoy some local Jacks Creek Beef.

The winner of the world’s best steak producer for two years in a row and the world’s best fillet steak in 2017 raises Wagyu and Black Angus cattle on a farm at Willow Tree south of Tamworth. At the Workshop Kitchen in the Powerhouse Hotel you can tuck into a premium cut of Jacks Creek Beef with the unique smoked flavour that comes from cooking over a wood fired grill fired up with Pilliga Western Red Ironbark.

Before heading off in the morning the Terrace Café is vegan friendly and has a separate plant based menu. I love their avocado and beetroot hummus smash and they also have butterscotch banana pancakes if you’re feeling decadent.  

Or you might like to grab a loaded bagel and a coffee at Camp Grounds. Here the main espresso blend is roasted by Floozy, who support female coffee producers and only use traceable, high quality beans.  

When you hit the road you can get a sugar fix at Molly May’s in Manilla where the decadent Ultimate Salted Caramel Shake comes decorated with Jersey caramels, popcorn and pretzels.

Salted Caramel Shake, Molly Mays Manilla, image Amanda Woods

Meanwhile in Barraba you can have a light lunch at the Polkadot Coffee Room or head to the Barraba Bowling club for a Chinese meal.

Stay

Start your NSW silo art road trip in style with a stay at Goonoo Goonoo Station, the 19th century heritage listed pastoral village that has been turned into luxury accommodation outside of Tamworth.

As well as having great steaks, the Powerhouse Tamworth is an old ‘80s motel that’s been given a multi million dollar makeover as it joined the Rydges family. Expect soft beds, art deco touches and Tesla charging stations.

And in Barraba the Playhouse Hotel has ten rooms, all with ensuites, as well as shared lounges and a vine covered courtyard to enjoy a vino in.

Barraba to Gunnedah Silo Art

115km, 1hr 22 mins / 91km. 1hr 15min

On your drive down south to Gunnedah you can go one of two ways.

Back via Manilla will take you over a little of the same ground and is slightly longer at 115km, but it’s sealed all the way. Or if you want all new views you can take a teensy short cut driving via the tiny village of Kelvin but you’ll only shave about 7 minutes off the drive and will spend some time on dirt roads.

Whichever way you go, when you reach Gunnedah you’ll want to go straight to the big maize mill on Barber Street, next to the new bridge that links the Oxley Highway and Warrabungle Street. Here you’ll find the first of four silo artworks by Heesco that you’ll be seeing on this trip.

Gunnedah, NSW Silo art by Heesco, image Amanda Woods

The Mongolian street artist who now lives in Melbourne painted the first silo in NSW in Weethalle back in 2017, then did another one in Grenfell, and early this year put the (almost) finishing touches on this one in Gunnedah before heading down to Harden-Murrumburrah to start on his fourth.  

The 29m-high, privately owned maize mill silos show Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar and lines from her famous poem My Country.

At the time of writing the tiny tower next to the silos still needs to be painted as that section needed a little work before it could become part of the artwork. But even with that blank space it’s a beautiful piece to gaze up at.

In Gunnedah you can also see two murals by Jenny McCracken on the Gunnedah Military Water Tower Museum. The scenes from the Vietnam War show Huey helicopters coming to the aid of solders on the ground, and soldiers standing at attention beside the Long Tan Cross.

In front of the Civic Centre in town you can also see a different kind of street art, with the Rainbow Serpent Water Feature. It took local Kamilaroi women almost 20 years to make this mosaic dream a reality, and last year it won silver for best rural art in the 2020 Australian Street Art Awards.

Taste

The Bitter Suite Café + Wine Bar serves up delicious food with fresh local produce, including a ridiculously indulgent French toast with maple syrup, bacon and ice cream. The café has a lovely feel to it with some interesting sculptures and other creations found around the courtyard.

After a major refurbishment in 2019 the Gunnedah Hotel has new and improved indoor and outdoor spaces including a large beer garden with a children’s play area, and an Italian restaurant called Vita with its own outdoor area.

Vita Restaurant Gunnedah, image Amanda Woods

Former Willow Tree Inn head chef Sonia Marshman has now taken the lead in the Gunnedah Hotel where the menu includes premium cuts from Jacks Creek Beef, Angus cheeseburgers and pork belly pizzas.

Stay

The Harvest Lodge Motel has swimming pool and onsite restaurant while the Gunnedah Serviced Apartments have four self-contained apartments around town.

And after enjoying dinner you can also spend the night at the Gunnedah Hotel in their renovated upstairs rooms where accommodation options includes single, queen and triple rooms with private or shared bathrooms.

Gunnedah to Merriwa Silo Art

176km. 2hr 3mins

Travel from Gunnedah to Quirindi, a town that is hoping to join the NSW silo art trail soon with a mega artwork of their own, and as you drive into town pop up to the Who’d A Thought It Lookout for 360° views of the Liverpool Plains below and a small playground for the kids.  

If you’re looking at an old map you might be thinking about taking the short cut between Willow Tree and Merriwa, but that road has now been closed and it could be more than three years before it reopens. So at Willow Tree you’ll join the New England Highway down to Scone before heading west on Bunnan Road towards Merriwa.

Make your way to the silo viewing area on Hacketts Road as you come into Merriwa. The road may be gravel but after looking at the silos you can keep on driving into town rather than having to turn around.

While you don’t usually see sheep wearing red socks, David Lee Pereira’s silo art is a nod to Merriwa’s annual Festival of the Fleeces, which takes places in June.

Merriwa NSW Silo Art, image Amanda Woods

This year is the 30th anniversary of the festival, which includes hundreds of sheep wearing red socks walking down the main street of the town. A slightly odd but fun tradition that started when a festival sponsor sent a lot of red socks to the town one year and the locals came up with an unsual way to use them.  

Taste

If you love a good steak time your lunch break for Graze at the Willow Tree Inn.

This is where Michelin starred chef Ben Davies sizzles with steaks from the best Black Angus steers from the Colly Creek Pastoral Company up the road. Here they take their beef so seriously they have their own in-house butcher and you can see through a window from the restaurant into the dry aging room where the meat is aged for anywhere between 30 days and three months.

The Thoroughbred Scone is worth a stop on a Sydney to Brisbane road trip

Down the road in Scone, The Thoroughbred is a mix of gourmet bakery, café and steakhouse in an old pub from the 1800s, with rooms to stay upstairs.

And after you’ve seen the Merriwa silos and are ready for a bite to eat, the Merriwa Bakery serves fresh sandwiches, wraps and rolls along with minted lamb hot pies and more traditional fillings. And after getting a sweet treat fix there I can now vouch for their salted caramel tarts.

Stay

At the B&B on Bettington you can spend the night in a former bank building that dates back to 1916, while right alongside it you can find the Golden Fleece Motor Inn.

Just remember that with a population of around 1,700 there aren’t a lot of accommodation options in Merriwa, so you’ll want to book ahead to make sure you don’t miss out on a room.

Merriwa to Dunedoo Silo Art

105km. 1hr 10mins.

Keep following the Golden Highway west to Dunedoo. Only around 1,200 people live in this small town in the Warrumbungles and you can learn about the area’s history with a visit to the Dunedoo Historical Society before doing a little shopping at Gateway Gifts.

There’s no way you’ll miss the Dunedoo silo art, which wraps around the silos right there on the main street.

Artist Peter Mortimore’s wife, Carolyn grew up in Dunedoo and joined him as he covered the silos with two of his passions – equine art and Australian landscapes.

Dunedoo silo art, image Amanda Woods
Dunedoo NSW silo art corner angle image Amanda Woods

On one side of the silo you can see Dunedoo jockey Hugh Bowman on the champion Australian racehorse Winx alongside her trainer Chris Waller. On the other the black swans that Dunedoo was named after fly above a local countryside scene.

The Lions Park beside the silos has lovely metal sculptures of local birds to see including barn owls and eagles, and you can also see a model of Neptune, 38 million times smaller than it is in space, as part of the Solar System Drive.

Taste

Grab a bite for lunch in Dunedoo’s White Rose Café or pick up some treats from the bakery and have a picnic on one of the tables beside the silo.

Stay

As Dunedoo is another small town there aren’t a lot of options, though you could find a bed at The Royal Hotel or the Swan Motel.

Or you may like to continue onto the next leg of the trip and spend the night in Gulgong, which is only 40 minutes down the road, or in Mudgee, which is 1hr 11 mins from Dunedoo.

In the heart of Gulgong you could stay above a historic hotel from the 1800s in the Prince Of Wales Hotel, while the Gulgong Motel has a large swimming pool to cool off in and is just five minute’s walk from town.

Or you can continue on to Mudgee where the The Parklands Resort  is surrounded by 30 acres of manicured gardens, has an indoor swimming pool, spa and sauna and a verandah for every room.

Parklands Resort Mudgee, image Accor

Plane lovers should book a night at Hangar House which is part holiday home, part airport hangar. If you have your own plane you can even fly in and have your plane spend the night with you.

If you’d prefer a whole place to yourself, the Peppertree Terraces has three apartments to choose from in the heart of Mudgee while this big, light and bright Mudgee Country home  sleeps up to 12 people and has a pool and outdoor entertaining area to enjoy.

Dunedoo to Portland Silo Art

186km. 2hr 15 mins.

It may only be around two hours between silos on this next leg, but you’ll want to give yourself a lot more time than that to enjoy a few stops along the way.

First up, Gulgong. The town that used to appear on the old Australian $10 note with local boy Henry Lawson has around 130 National Trust-listed buildings including what the Prince of Wales Opera House, which until Covid hit was Australia’s oldest operating opera house after opening in 1871.

Next you’ll be passing through Mudgee, one of the state’s top spots for great food and wine where you can visit cellar doors including the multi award winning Lowe Wines and the ultra modern cellar door at Logan Wines, and stroll past some lovely colonial buildings as you hop between boutique shops.

Pearsons Lookout Capertee Valley, NSW image Amanda Woods

As you continue to make your way south take a quick break to admire the view over the Capertee Valley from Pearson’s lookout. The lookout is a bit of a sudden turn to the left off the highway after you pass through the village of Capertee, and there’s not a lot of space for cars up there and no where to turn around if you’re in a motorhome.

So if you’re driving an RV you’ll want to grab a spot in the bottom carpark and walk the last bit to the top, but trust me it’s worth it to see the views over the second largest canyon in the world, and one that’s 1km wider than the Grand Canyon.

Then it’s time for your Portland silo art stop at the former Portland cement factory, now known as the cultural and tourism hub The Foundations.

Artist Guido Van Helton met with former cement factory workers and talked to people in the town before deciding on his silo artwork, which features six of the men who worked at the factory, Tommy, Bert, Ernie, Herb and Jack and one of the women, Yvonne Adams.

Portland silo art image Amanda Woods
Portland silo art portrait of Yvonne Adams, image Amanda Woods

At first I didn’t like seeing Yvonne standing all alone on a different side of the silos to the men. But then I was told that she used to look out for all of the men and would watch the gate to make sure they all got out that night. Now her portrait still faces the gate, which I find quite beautiful.

While you can see can see most of the NSW silo art from the main road it’s much better to go into The Foundations and walk around the silos so you can see Yvonne, and also to feel the scale of the artwork as you look up at it. I was definitely feeling tiny as I stood in front of them for the road trip snap below.

Amanda Woods in front of Portland, NSW Silo Art, image Amanda Woods

And I’ll admit I got quite emotional when I heard that Jack, the man who’s looking up, has passed away since the silos were painted. His wife still lives in town and the thought of her being able to come and see his portrait got me all misty eyed.

Before travelling to Portland see if you can time your visit to coincide with one of The Foundations market days so you can step inside the incredible Powerhouse space. The latest updates on market day dates and other special events can be found on The Foundations Facebook page.

It’s also a great idea to join a tour so you can go and see the factory’s rare brick bottle kilns that date back to 1889, and if you like a spot of fishing bring your tackle and rods.

Over the past few years The Foundations have been stocking one of the dams on the site with more than 3000 fingerling trout that have grown into healthy fish that you can catch and release.

Taste

Along with all those tempting cellar doors in Mudgee there are some rather lovely spots to stop for lunch.

At Alby & Esthers café and wine bar you can enjoy local seasonal dishes in a stone terrace that dates back to around 1873 or its vine-covered courtyard. Over at Eltons the original 1896 Eltons Pharmacy building is now a top spot to try regionally sourced food, wine and craft beer. While if you’re more in the mood for fine dining the Pipeclay Pumphouse at the Robert Stein Vineyard includes paddock to plate salami, pork rillettes and pork terrine from local free-range pigs.

In Portland The Coronation Hotel has started a new chapter after its new owners bought it from an ad in Gumtree when they were looking to move out of the city. Their menu continues to expand and includes a mighty good chicken schnitzel.

Stay

If you’re looking for budget friendly accommodation, The Coronation Hotel has above the pub rooms starting from $45 a night.

As the owners have kept the original structure of the rooms there are no ensuite options, and as the women’s toilets and showers are across a short open air covered walkway from your room you’ll want to have something warm to put on for a nip to the loo in those colder months.

Unfortunately there are no other accommodation options in Portland itself so you may want to spend the night before in Mudgee, or do as we did and drive 12km to the small town of Wallerawang for a night at the Black Gold Motel.

Here owners Robert and Linda Cluff have taken the Old Wallerawang School that dates back to 1881 and transformed it into a mix of suites, cabins, villas and rooms. The Black Gold Motel also has a spacious and comfortable restaurant called the Crib Room with hearty meals including gluten free and vegan options.

Or you could get a jump on the next section of the drive and head 42 minutes down the road to Bathurst.

On our road trip we spent a couple of nights in Bathurst, one in a lovely home called the Ivy Lodge, and the other in a holiday park.

It had been a while between holiday park stays for me, and apart from loving the way some of the NRMA Bathurst Panorama Holiday Park cabins looked like old miners huts I felt like a big kid as I repeatedly zipped around the water slide into the pool. They also have a huge bouncing pillow and mini golf to keep big and small kids entertained.

Bathurst NRMA Holiday park, image Amanda Woods

In the past I’ve also loved staying at the beautiful Bishops Court Estate, an award winning boutique hotel in a two story Victorian mansion.

And after taking a tour around the recently renovated and reopened Victoria Hotel Bathurst I’m looking forward to spending a night in their light and lovely pub accommodation on a future visit. And hopefully being there for one of their Pawchella dog friendly festivals in the backyard.

Portland to Grenfell Silo Art

210km. 2hr 30 mins

Watch the countryside change as you go from driving up and down mountains to the landscape flattening out around you.

As you pass through Bathurst motor racing fans should indulge in a lap of Mount Panorama, while sticking to the speed limit of course, before paying a visit to the National Motor Racing Museum. And if you’re like me and a sucker for pretty crystals then a visit to the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum is a must to see a stunning display of crystals as well as a T.rex skeleton and other fossils.

At Abercrombie House you can explore a Tudor Gothic mansion from the 1870s with 52 rooms, seven staircases, 29 fireplaces and a beautiful ballroom where they host high teas on Sunday afternoons. Check their website for upcoming events including night tours in case you can time your visit right.

Abercrombie House, Bathurst, image Amanda Woods

As you continue down the Mid-Western Highway keep an eye out for the sign to Carcoar, around 40 minutes outside of Bathurst. One of the most beautifully preserved and restored historic villages in Australia, Carcoar has Georgian style terraces and convict built stone stables to admire, and in winter you can often look up at a snow capped Mount Lachlan, which is 1,220m higher than the Blue Mountains.

From Carcoar it’s another 40 minutes to Cowra, where you can see the multi award winning Cowra Japanese Gardens and take a stroll around five hectares of gardens designed to reflect the Japanese landscape by designer Ken Nakajima.

Then it’s 40 minutes more to the west to reach the town of Grenfell.  

While there are some signs pointing you towards the silo art in Grenfell they’re very small blue ones so not easy to spot. To make things easier follow the larger signs to the historic railway station, then make your way along West Street to the silos.

Another NSW silo artwork by Heesco, the Grenfell silos show farming and nature scenes from the surrounding Weddin Shire, adapted from images by local photographer Denise Yates.

Grenfell NSW Silo art by Heesco, image Amanda Woods

The grain silos that date back to 1926 are owned by Grenfell Commodities who commissioned the artwork after seeing what Heesco created on the Weethalle silos (where we’ll be going next).

While we arrived in the afternoon and thought the silos were beautiful, according to the locals we chatted to it’s even better in the early morning when the sunrise hits it and makes those colours shine even brighter.  

As well as being able to walk right up to these silos, they had something we hadn’t seen before. Something I think would be a great thing to have at all of the NSW silo art stops. A visitors’ book.  

Grenfell silo art Visitors book, image Amanda Woods

The book we added our names to had only been started four months before and already had 72 pages filled with comments, with 12 entries to most pages (so that’s 864 comments to save you trying to do that one in your head). I don’t know how many books have been filled since Heesco completed the artwork in March 2019, but I love the idea of silo art road trippers being able to share some thoughts and leave their own mark before travelling on.

Taste

Grab a seat in the garden courtyard, or inside by the fire in those colder months at The Hub in Bathurst, where you can tuck into a healthy Big Buddha Bowl or indulge in a Sweet Potato Rosti with a mug of their own Hub blend coffee from local Fish River Roasters.

Then wander two doors up to Legall Patisserie where pastry chef and owner Philippe Legall, who moved from the South of France to Bathurst more than 30 years ago, creates sweet treats you just have to have. Even if you can’t fit another bite in take some of those lemon tarts for the road.

And if you’re spending the night in Bathurst book a table at Dogwood. We didn’t have anything like Dogwood when I went to uni in Bathurst and that makes me sad. Because it’s awesome.

Created by Evan Stanley who has worked at some of Australia’s best cocktail bars and was named ALIA Australian Bartender of the Year before moving to Bathurst, it’s where you can tuck into classic American dishes including crispy Southern style chicken and smoky North Carolina style BBQ pork while sipping some of those mighty fine cocktails.

Down the road in Carcoar a fine dining treat awaits at Antica Australis.

Awarded a Chef Hat for 2021 by the Australian Good Food Guide in its first year of business, this slow food locanda is only open on weekends and doesn’t accept walk-ins so you’ll need to time your trip right and book ahead to secure a spot at this table.  

Meanwhile in Grenfell, Unwind has you covered for lunch with pies and sausage rolls, homemade cakes and slices, while their Friday night dinners are inspired by different corners of the globe. Check the Unwind Facebook page to see if you could be eating Indian, Mexican, Vietnamese or another tasty dish.

Or if you’re more in the mood for classic pub fare in Grenfell head on down to the Criterion or the Albion Hotel.

Stay

While I’ve already shared some Bathurst suggestions there are a couple of lovely options along the way in the village of Carcoar.

Hargans Cottage is the creation of Belinda Satterthwaite, the woman behind the gorgeous Tomolly store that used to be found in Millthorpe and now has a new home in Carcoar. Once a local mechanic’s house the cottage is now a lovely light filled getaway with luxury linens, handmade ceramics and other Tomolly style touches.

Meanwhile the Stoke House Carcoar was built back in 1846 and while some original elements remain, some more modern touches were introduced in 2014 when the latest refurbishment took place.

And when you make it to Grenfell, the heritage listed Grenfell Hall is now an elegant B&B with three rooms with queen beds, including this rather dramatic number.

Grenfell Hall bedroom

Grenfell to Weethalle Silo Art

162km. 1hr 45mins

As you keep on heading west those long, flat stretches of road get longer and flatter.

This is cruise control country. And sometimes wild emu country. So keep an eye out for both sides of the Australian coat of arms as you drive along these roads.

Along the way you’ll pass through West Wyalong where you can learn about the town’s gold mining heritage at the Wyalong Museum in the old courthouse, and pick up a brochure from the Visitor Information Centre to do a self guided tour of the heritage buildings along the streets.

When you reach the tiny village of Weethalle (that’s pronounced with-alley) you’ll see the silo that started them all in NSW.

Weethalle, NSW silo art, image Amanda Woods

The ninth to be painted in Australia, the Weethalle silos were the first in NSW and they were also Heesco’s first silos when he completed them in July 2017.

You can’t miss the silos as they’re right there on the main street and when you get out of the car you can walk up to these ones as well. As they’re still being used to this day you may even see them at work when you visit.

Weethalle silo sheep, image Amanda Woods

The silos were painted in memory of the late Bob Fisher, a local man who gave a lot to the Weethalle community, and are a tribute to the area’s wool and wheat industries. As well as showing the shearer and the farmer with his wheat, I love the way Heesco turned that tiny balcony section into a holding pen for the sheep.

The Weethalle silo art also featured in a stamp series I wish I’d known about and snapped up at the time. In fact the stamps were so popular they were named Australia Post’s favourite stamp series for 2018.

Australia Post Silo Art Stamps, image Amanda Woods

Taste

No stop to Weethalle is complete without a visit to the Road Kill Grillz where you can find yourself chatting with locals as you tuck into a burger named after them.

Owned and operated by Linda and Danny, the Road Kill Grillz has your classic road house options as well as a selection of specials named after the locals who love them including the hot chilli kransky known as the Flaming Lloyd.

Road Kill Grillz Weethalle sign, image Amanda Woods

And as some of the truck drivers who know this route well will tell you they also serve fresh vegetables including real mashed potato rather than those frozen veggies a lot of other places serve up.

Across the road at the old railway station you can find The Whistle Stop Arts and Crafts and have a bite to eat in their tearoom. Even if you’ve filled up at the Road Kill Grillz it’s worth popping over to meet the volunteers and to pick up a Weethalle tea towel and other souvenirs.

Whistle Stop Weethalle, image Amanda Woods

Stay

Weethalle is a tiny dot of a place with a population of just 284, so if you want to spend the night you’ll need to book ahead to make sure you get one of only four rooms above the pub at the Royal Hotel.

The rooms have a communal bathroom and a shared kitchenette with a kettle, toaster, fridge and microwave. You won’t find the Royal Hotel online, so you’ll need to go old school and call them direct on 02 6975 6291.

If you’re road tripping in an RV or going #vanlife style you can get a powered site at the showground with views of the top of the silos in the distance for $10 a night. 

Or you could simply spend the night in front of the silos themselves as there’s plenty of room for caravans and vans.

Weethalle to Harden – Murrumburrah Silo Art

216km. 2hr 33min

And now we make it to the final leg of our NSW silo art road trip and you have two ways to travel over to the twin towns of Harden and Murrumburrah.

If you want to stick to main roads you can head back to West Wyalong and then start making your way down. Or you can do what we did and take the secondary road option down to Barellan and then across, which only adds around ten minutes to your journey.

By going this way you’ll get to see one of Australia’s Big Things, the Big Tennis Racket the town of Barellan which pays tribute to their local tennis star Evonne Goolagong Cawley.

Big Tennis Racquet, Barellan NSW, image Amanda Woods

You’ll also get to visit the tiny town of Ardlethan, which lays claim to being the home of the kelpie and has some sweet shops to visit including Ardlee Outback Gifts where you can pick up some locally made presents for friends, or just for yourself.

And both ways of travelling will take you through Temora, where you can visit the Temora Aviation Museum and see an impressive collection of military aircraft including the only flying Gloster Meteor F.8 in the world and the only Australian built Vampire flying in the country.

If you can time your visit right you’ll also be able to see these warbirds take to the skies. Check the museum’s upcoming events page as well as the Warbirds Downunder Airshow site to see when the next event will be taking place.

From Temora it’s just over an hour’s drive to Harden-Murrumburrah, the colonial gold rush twin towns that are also the birthplace of the first Australian Light Horse regiment in 1897.

Learn about the creation of the first light horse troop at the light horse memorial, and see a statue of Bill the Bastard, the legendary horse that went from being unrideable to carrying five men at a time out of the Battle of Romani in 1916.

And of course this is where you’re going to see the most recent silo art in NSW.

When mum and I were doing our silo art road trip we were lucky to see Heesco at work on the historic Murrumburrah Mills.

I’ve always been fascinated by the way street artists create mega murals, and had a great chat to Heesco about how it all works. But as this one is a very big story already I’ll be sharing that interview in another post to come.

The mills date back to 1865 and were quite advanced for their time, introducing some new concepts to milling production and creating a thriving industry for the town.

Heesco’s work shows scenes from the mill’s past, and while I’ve yet to see the finished product myself, mum went back a month or so later and snapped the photos below so I can share just how beautifully it turned out.

Harden Murrumburrah NSW Silo Art image Amanda Woods
Harden Murrumburrah NSW Silo Art detail, image Amanda Woods

There’s so much that blows me away about these silos, including the way Heesco managed to work with corrugated iron as well as the shape of the silos.

Needless to say it was a very special way to end our silo art road trip and one that we’ll always remember.

Taste

Just a few doors up from the silos, the Light Horse Hotel celebrates its 160th birthday this year, but thanks to a renovation in 2018 it feels fresh and clean while still retaining nods to its history.  

While I’ve heard good things about their pub food, unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to eat at the Light Horse as we visited on a Monday and Tuesday, and soon discovered that pretty much everywhere to eat in town is closed on those days.

If you’re coming into town on those days too bring something you can make in your accommodation if you’ll be staying self contained, or do what we did and head to the Harden Chinese restaurant where you can find all the country town Chinese classics.

The vintage style Jackson’s Bakery and Café in Harden is a great option for brunch or lunch and has a huge courtyard where you can sit in the sun or under the shade of an umbrella.

While we stayed on the Murrumburrah side, we ate over on the Harden side and quickly spotted something a little odd. They may be twin towns but they have their own opinions on how cars should be parked. Once you’ve crossed from one into the other you’ll see cars going from being parked rear to kerb to face in so check the other cars or the sign if there are none about to know which way to park in these towns.

Stay

If you’d like to break up this last leg of the journey, plane fans can spend the night at the Temora Aviation Museum in the Skylodge , a three bedroom cottage that you can either book by room or take over the whole home for your family or friends.

Or if you’re more of a train person, you can also sleep in one of two self contained train carriages at the Country Carriage Bed and Breakfast.

A stone’s throw from the silos in Murrumburrah, the Light Horse Hotel has lovely comfortable and clean rooms above the dining room and bar, while right next door the Heggaton artHouse is a former 1800s doctors surgery that’s been turned into self-contained apartments.

Heggaton artHouse image Amanda Woods

There are three apartments in the Heggaton artHouse and when we stayed we were able to enjoy a glass of wine in the back garden with our neighbour and feel right at home. And even though our section was a one bedroom apartment, thanks to the sofa bed mum and I could have a bed to ourselves before starting the day with a little breakfast whipped up in our kitchen.

And then it was over. Well, sort of.

After seeing all of the NSW silo art we then took our time slowly traveling up north again, taking different routes and visiting new towns on our way home.

And as we did I just kept thinking how grateful I was for the people who had made the silo art happen. From the individual owners and town committees who raised the money to the artists that created these incredible pieces that we can all go and see.

So I’d like to end with a big thank you to everyone involved in the silo art works, and to all of the lovely people we met along the way. There’s nothing quite like an Aussie road trip and thanks to the silos we now have a very special new way to enjoy one.

Amanda Woods and mum Joy Woods on NSW silo art road trip

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