A great way to discover an area is to set out on foot and gain a sense of place, There are a number of self guided tours you can follow on the Mid North Coast. Many of these are heritage walks while others showcase culture and art in ways that equally tells wonderful stories giving an insight into our community.
Myall Riverside Art Walk
The art walk is a community project established in 2003 and continues to be developed by local artists. Art installations are located in a trail along the waterfront at Marine Drive, with a few over in Hawks Nest. The installations donated by local artists vary from murals, sculptures and mosaics and all have relevance to the local environment and community. New additions to the project are unveiled and celebrated on the last Saturday of October at the Myall Riverside Art Festival.
Get the Art Walk brochure from the Bulahdelah or Tea Gardens Visitor Information Centres.
Stroud Heritage Walk
Stroud was established 1824 as the centre for the extensive holdings that were granted to the Australian Agricultural Company, the first company formed to develop fine wool and crops for the English market. Many of the town’s early convict built structures still exist. Visitors can learn of this fascinating past by following the Stroud Heritage Walk that highlights nearly 30 historic colonial buildings including Quambi House built in the late 1830’s as a school and school masters residence, The Stroud Court House, now a museum and St Johns Anglican Church. All buildings are well signposted. Visit Stroud Newsagency or Crafty Friends in Cowper St. to obtain your free copy of the walk.
Wingham Heritage Walk
Dating back to 1844 Wingham is a very picturesque town laid out around a traditional English village green. It was the first government town on the Manning River, established at the upper limit of navigation. Today there still remain many examples of its late 19th century architecture with a very intact streetscape around the village green. The Wingham Heritage Walk focuses on this area but also takes you to Wingham Brush, a precious remnant of rainforest. The full walk is approximately five kilometres. The heritage walk brochure is available at the Manning Valley Historical Museum in Farquhar Street, Wingham and the Manning Valley Visitor Information Centre at 21 Manning River Drive, Taree.
Kendall Poets Walk
The great Australian poet Henry Kendall lived in the Camden Haven from 1874 to 1881 and found much of his inspiration for his works from its landscape. The small town of Camden Haven was renamed Kendall in 19891 and to further celebrate this poet there is now a Poets’ Walk in Kendall. The poets musings and those of other local poets can be found on a series of power poles that around the town. There are 30 in a very reasonable distance with the walk also taking you past many heritage and character buildings and other public art. Copies of the walk are available at the iKew Visitor Information Centre.
Remembering Our Convict Heritage Walk
You can rediscover the convict and colonial past of Port Macquarie by following its newly developed Port Macquarie Heritage Trail. Named after Governor Macquarie in 1818 the town was one of the first settlements outside of Sydney. Port Macquarie is one of the oldest penal settlements outside of Sydney. The first convicts arrived in 1821 and it remained a place of banishment until 1847, although it was opened to free settlers in 1830. The town quickly grew with this convict labour. The signposted Heritage Trail takes in 13 locations including the local museum, the historic Court House, the Maritime Museum, convict built St. Thomas Church, Roto House, Lake Innes Ruins and the Douglas Vale Homestead and Vineyard. Walk focused on convict heritage
Pick up a brochure from the Glasshouse Visitor Information Centre or download from http://www.portmacquarieinfo.com.au/media/ebrochures/16/ConvictHeritageBrochure-18022602.pdf
Coffs Coast Arts & Culture Town Trail
This trail is divided into three parts starting from Harbour Drive and extending to the nearby town of Sawtell as well as popular public spaces such as Coffs Creek and the Jetty and Marina area. To complete the whole trail will require a bike or car but the city centre trail can easily be walked. The trail takes in the two major art galleries, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery and the Bunker Gallery. It features over a dozen pieces of dramatic public art representing all aspects of the areas landscape, heritage and lifestyle. The full trail can be downloaded at http://www.coffscoast.com.au/coffs-town-cultural-trail
A range of heritage trails of communities on the Mid North Coast have been prepared by various Councils.
For walks of Cundletown, Harrington, Tinonee and Taree http://www.gtcc.nsw.gov.au/Page/Page.aspx?Page_Id=1562
For ten different walks in the Macleay Valley including Bellbrook, South West Rocks and Gladstone see http://www.kempsey.nsw.gov.au/heritage/publications.html
Herons Creek History Trails
Discover the simplicity of times gone by when you visit one of Australia’s original “timber towns” and discover it all on these newly-opened group of Heritage Trails. Follow your choice of Pioneer Way, Village Way, Cedar Way or Great North Way – or all of them! – and retrace history. With over 30 signposted points of historical prominence, your footsteps will follow the great heritage of Herons Creek from the 1800s onwards. http://www.heronscreek.com.au/index.php/heritage-tourist-trail
Gloucester Mosaic Walk
This easy walk through the heart of Gloucester depicts the history of Gloucester from the earliest days to present time through a series of mosaic art pieces. Some are on the footpath, some murals on building walls and others decorate local street furniture and meeting places. The Walk begins outside the Visitor Information Centre where you can pick up you trail guide. 27 Denison Street Gloucester. Telephone 02 6538 5252
Gumgali Track - Korora Lookout in the Orara East State Forest.
Gumbaynggirr Elders granted permission to tell the story of Gumgali along the 400-metre walk to Korora Lookout through art, sculpture and sound. The walk involves an entry statement followed by large sculptural elements by John van der Kolk. The first sculpture uses timber and metal to tell the story of Gumgali, showing the whole coastline, Gumgali the goanna and the hunters. Weighing in at half a tonne, the three-metre tall sculpture was crafted from local Brushbox timber. The second two-metres tall postcards sculpture has three small windows to create perfectly framed vistas of the coastline at different eye levels. The Ironbark piece is a unique way for the Instagram generation to instantly frame and share their Gumgali experience with the world. At the Optus and Telstra buildings artists have used spray art to tell the story and at the end of the track there is an audio installation
For more information visit. http://interpretivedesign.com.au/portfolio/interpretive-projects/interpretive-visitor-experience/
All of these walks are available in brochure form from the respective Visitor Information Centres and Councils.