Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968), Australians most loved poet spent a great deal of time on her brothers’ local properties from 1905 (the year she wrote her best-known work, ‘My Country’, which is thought to have been inspired, in part, by the local landscape) until the late 1930s. Each year school children are encouraged to submit poetry for the Dorothea Mackellar National Poetry Competition for Schools.
Gunnedah Shire is a truly diverse agricultural area supporting both winter and summer cropping, cattle, sheep and pigs. It is the largest industry in the Shire, utilising an area of approximately 402 500 hectares, including about 117 300 hectares of cropping. Wheat is still the most widely grown crop followed by sorghum, barley, maize and sunflowers. Cotton is also a significant summer crop with the quality of cotton grown in the area equivalent to the best in the world. This natural fibre crop injects over $35 million into the local economy. Cotton gins are established at both Boggabri and Carroll. Other important crops include oats, canola, soybeans, mung beans, chickpeas and safflowers. With sales every Tuesday, Gunnedah Saleyards is one of the largest in NSW with about 120 000 head of cattle sold annually.
Gunnedah residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to lifestyle! With galleries and museums for everything, from art to transport, Gunnedah is home to a thriving cultural scene. The modern theatre complex not only houses the cinema complex, but also attracts many theatrical and musical performances. All of these activities have stimulated strong art, musical and dramatic societies.
For those seeking more active pursuits, there are many sporting activities to choose from. Gunnedah has an 18-hole golf course, a heated swimming complex, world-class gymnasium and numerous well-maintained ovals and playing fields. Gunnedah is well recognized in the region as a town which has excellent Sporting Facilities and caters for the majority of sports.