Dunedoo

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Dunedoo Hotel attracts grey nomads
The two-storey Dunedoo Hotel is an imposing building which serves as a reminder of a prosperous past. PIC: VisitNSW

The New South Wales of town of Dunedoo appears on many grey nomad itineraries courtesy of its distinctive name. It just sounds like one of those places that you should visit.

The community nestled alongside rolling hills and wide valleys adjacent the Talbragar River actually has a lot more to recommend it than the chance to snigger at a few dunny jokes. But that’s not to say that the 800 or so residents of Dunedoo aren’t prepared to use the name to their economic advantage.

A few years ago, a plan was hatched to build a three-storey high ‘Big Dunny’ featuring five-star toilets and a visitor centre. Ultimately, and perhaps wisely, it was decided that the unlikely edifice might not draw in huge numbers of tourists, with one local councillor labelling the idea an ‘embarrassment’.

Instead, Dunedoo – which sits about 60 kilometres north of Mudgee – has decided that the best way to draw in grey nomads and other travellers off the Golden and Castlereagh Highways is to join the burgeoning silo art scene. Work is currently under way to paint the town’s grain silos and in so doing honour champion jockey Hugh Bowman who grew up on a farm just outside the town, and legendary racehorse, Winx.

In actual fact the name, Dunedoo, is derived from Wiradjuri Aboriginal word for black swans, which are often found in the area’s lagoons. Despite its size, Dunedoo’s strategic location and its role as a service centre to the surrounding farming district means it has a surprising range of facilities.

The two-storey Dunedoo Hotel is an imposing building which serves as a reminder of a prosperous past. The town boomed when the railway originally came through in 1910. The heritage-listed station building has now been restored and painted.

Down the main drag of Dunedoo is a single strip of shops, of which the highlight for many grey nomads is the borderline iconic Dunedoo Pie Shop. There are also cafes, bakeries and antique shops. The beautifully landscaped OL Milling Lions Park extends almost the entire length of the main street and hosts sheltered barbecue facilities and a sculpture display of local birdlife.

The Dunedoo Caravan Park is just a short stroll from town and offers well-priced powered and unpowered grassy campsites with clean amenities. There is also free camping at the Mendooran Rest Area, about 35 kilometres northwest of Dunedoo.

Mendooran is actually an interesting little town to visit in its own right. Another spot worth a look is the old silver lead mining town of Leadville, about 30 kilometres to Dunedoo’s south east.

Grey nomads in the area in February might be lucky enough to take in the Dunedoo Show, and the Dunedoo Bush Poetry Festival takes place in March or April every year and includes three days of bush poetry competitions, market stalls and entertainment.

With all this going on, who really needs a big Dunny for an excuse to do Dunedoo?

 

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