Wingham – The host town
The heritage town of Wingham is developing a strong reputation as a must for anyone visiting the Mid North Coast.
For those who haven’t been to Wingham before, there is a sense of discovery: a town that has retained its strong heritage values and natural beauty while boasting a range of thriving businesses with a modern edge.
For those who haven’t visited in a while, you will find award-winning cafés, restaurants and boutique stores that have helped Wingham receive favourable coverage in specialist food magazines, tourism brochures and metropolitan newspapers.
Wingham is the oldest town in the Manning Valley, first settled in 1853. Established as a government town, Wingham is built in the English tradition around a town green, Central Park. The park is surrounded by many beautifully preserved heritage buildings, a number of which are listed on the National Trust.
Walking distance from the CBD is the Wingham Brush Nature Reserve, forming the last 10 hectares of subtropical floodplain rainforest in the State. Wander down the nature trails to discover giant Moreton Bay fig trees and one of Australia ’s largest permanent populations of grey-headed flying foxes. The Brush leads down to reveal the mighty Manning River, once the economic lifeblood of the town used to export timber and agricultural products to Sydney. Today, its importance is more of an environmental and recreational one, ideal for boating.
Wingham is surrounded by natural beauty. The abundance of water means the town is green year-round, with natural wonders hiding only a short drive from the CBD. Wingham is the gateway to the jewel of the Manning Valley, the spectacular Ellenborough Falls, one of the highest single-drop waterfalls in the southern hemisphere. A number of other stunning National Parks and peaceful camping grounds are just around the corner.
Despite its strong connection to its historical roots, Wingham is a town looking to the future. With a thriving retail sector, the central business district is set to grow again with the redevelopment of Wingham Plaza, the town’s major shopping centre.
Wingham also offers a smorgasbord of annual events which cater to every taste including the highland pageantry of the Bonnie Wingham Scottish Festival in May-June, the industry showcase that is Wingham Beef Week in May and the captivating live music of the Wingham Akoostik Festival in October.
Come for a day, a weekend or longer – you’ll discover people with heart and soul and a town full of surprises.
Things to see while in Wingham:
Wingham Brush: This nature reserve represents the last 10 hectares of subtropical floodplain rainforest in NSW. The rare rainforest is found walking distance from the town’s central business district. Wander through the walking trails and marvel at the majestic Moreton Bay figs and see the native wildlife including brush turkeys and grey-headed flying foxes. The Brush opens up to the mighty Manning River, perfect for boating, and a delightful picnic area.
Heritage buildings: Wingham boasts a number of well-preserved heritage buildings, many of which are National Trust listed. Take a walk around Central Park and see these Federation and Victorian-style architectural sites.
Wingham Museum: This is the head quarters of the Manning Valley Historical Society and the museum is home to a bursting array of local historical artefacts. Come to the museum to see the jail cell of notorious bush ranger Jimmy Governor.
Ellenborough Falls: This is one of the largest single-drop waterfalls in the southern hemisphere and is the jewel in the Manning Valley’s crown. The magnificent 157-metre waterfall is found a short drive from Wingham and encompasses a picnic area with kiosk and barbecue facilities.
Shopping: Wingham offers a number of boutique shopping experiences covering men’s and women’s fashion, giftware, galleries and craft.
Food: Wingham has developed a strong reputation as the centre for local produce. Award winning cafés and restaurants can be found in the CBD.
Manning River: The river, which passes through town and is the centre of the valley, is great for fishing, boating, water skiing and other leisure activities.