Boggabri Historical Museum
Open: By appointment
Phone: (02) 6743 4112
This fascinating time piece found in Boggabri’s second Main Street, Brent St, traces Boggabri’s evolution. With three main streets and the town’s relocation due to flood Boggabri is a truly dynamic town. The Museum complex houses exhibits of precious memorabilia donated by Boggabri’s residents, past and present. A self walk Heritage Trail reveals many interesting highlights of the progress through history since Beggary’s early beginnings. A brochure is available from the Whitehaven Coal office in Merton St or at the Museum in Brent St.
A waterfall significantly more impressive than its name suggests, Dripping Rock is a growing tourism hotspot. A short walk from the carpark reveals a small, serene rock pool set at the base of a towering semi-circular cliff and surrounded by a lush melaleuca forest. Water seeps through sedimentary rock to drip down the 50m high wall, but cascades down into the rock pool after good rain. This is an idyllic sport for a picnic or to sit and listen to the hypnotic splash of water, melodious birdsong and wind in the trees. You can also swim in the pool on a warm day and walk along a small ledge running the length of the cliff, where you can shower in the refreshing spray.
Dripping Rock can be difficult to find and the road is 4WD only, so please pick up a map from the Visitor Information Centre or Boggabri Museum.
You will pass through a number of gates on the way to Dripping Rock and are asked to please leave them as you find them. Please take care and drive slowly, as you may also encounter livestock.
Exiting the carpark behind the Visitor Information Centre, turn right and follow the highway over the Narrabri Creek Bridge. Drive through the first roundabout and over the railway line. At the next roundabout, take the second exit following signs to Gunnedah and continue on this road. Start your odometer here.
• After approximately 51km, just past Gin’s Leap, turn Left onto the Manilla Road.
• After approximately 2km, at a T intersection, turn Right
• Continue for approximately 13km until you reach Blair Athol Lane (SR154). Turn left.
• After approximately 4km, you will reach a T intersection. Turn Right onto Dripping Rock Road (SR27).
• After approximately 11.5km you will reach a closed gate. Continue through this gate (remembering to close it afterwards) for just under 2km to the Dripping Rock carpark.
NOTE: At the far end of the carpark clearing, the road appears to continue uphill, however this road is NOT suitable for driving. Do NOT attempt to drive this road as it is VERY dangerous and you will get stuck.
• Leaving your car, walk up the road that continues uphill at the far end of the carpark.
• To reach the top of Dripping Rock: Continue following this road to the top.
• To reach the Dripping Rock waterhole: Keep an eye out for a pathway diverting off the road approximately 100m past the carpark. Follow this path through the trees for approximately 400m until you reach Dripping Rock.
• At times, the path may become less obvious, however by sticking close to the creek, and following the sound of the water, you will come to Dripping Rock.
Boggabri Gin’s Leap
This striking rock face, towering over the Kamilaroi Highway outside Boggabri, has been known by many names over the years. Local Aboriginals knew it as “Cooloobindi”, whilst it was known as “Bullaballakit” in the era when Sir Thomas Mitchell was exploring the Namoi Valley. In Cobb and Co coach days, it was known as “The Rock” and now it goes by “Gin’s Leap”. And you thought Prince had identity issues!
The widely accepted origins of the current name follow the tragic death of a pair of ill-fated young Aboriginal lovers, a modern day Romeo and Juliet. The young girl, promised to an elder of her tribe, the Kamilaroi, ran away with a young aboriginal man from another tribe. Hotly pursued by Kamilaroi tribesmen, the lovers jumped to their deaths from somewhere along the top of this rock.
A Mr “Baldy” Adams obtained a grant of land in the vicinity of Gin’s Leap to build a hospital but he changed his plans and in 1854 the structure opened for business as a hotel known as The Rock Inn. This became a vital stopover point and renowned landmark over the next 20 years until its closure around 1875, after the hotels were built in Boggabri. Parts of an old outside lamp from the Inn is housed in the Historical Museum in Boggabri.
Mr David Grover, his wife Maria and family operated the Rock Inn for many years. Maria (nee King) and her two sisters Charlotte and Elizabeth all arrived in Australia on board the "Fanny", a convict ship, in 1832.
Gin’s Leap stands as a silent sentinel over the grave sites to the right. The four people buried in the vault are Mrs Russell, her 2 year old son, John James and Mr David and Mrs Maria Grover.
Mrs Russell, the 21 year daughter of Mr and Mrs Grover, had an unfortunate accident involving the handling of bulk spirits in the cellar of an Inn in Mungindi one evening, with them igniting from an open slush lamp. Mrs Russell and her son received fatal burns in the inferno which resulted.
Word was brought back to the Grover family of the tragedy by a man on horseback. A horse team set out to meet the coach carrying the bodies back home to Boggabri.
Twenty five years later, Mrs Grover was buried next to her daughter and grandson in November 1891, and then Mr Glover in October 1892.
From the original grave site, which was situated some 200 metres west of the present site, the bodies were transferred to the present vault which was constructed by a tradesman of Danish ancestry, Mr Christy Hansen in 1895.
The small headstone to the left of the vault belongs to Maria Grover’s niece MaryAnn Meins (daughter of Charlotte and Edward Meins), who died January 17, 1858, aged 19 years. MaryAnn was buried in close proximity to the old Rock Inn, but with reconstruction of the road some years ago, the headstone was relocated to its present site. Unfortunately some damage occurred to the headstone in so doing.
There is a picnic area and interpretive sign at the site.
Gin's Leap is located 50kms South East of Narrabri on the Kamilaroi Highway towards Boggabri.
Other attractions in the area
Barbers Lagoon and Barbers Pinnacle
Local landmarks Barbers Lagoon and Barbers Pinnacle take their names from George “The Barber” Clark, a runaway convict who inhabited the area from 1826 to 1831. Clark had been sentenced to farm work in Singleton in 1925, following an armed robbery conviction. He later escaped and lived in the north west with the Kamilaroi people, who seem to have regarded him as one of their own returned from the dead. Clarke took two Aboriginal wives and wandered the plains stealing cattle. He was caught by the authorities and hanged in 1831.
Barbers Lagoon and Barbers Pinnacle are located on the Manilla Road, just north of Boggabri, after crossing the Iron Bridge. Barbers Lagoon is marked by a plaque on the right and notes the approximate location of Clarke’s hut and stockyards. The striking outcrop of rocks on the left, called Tangulda by the Kamilaroi Aboriginal people, is Barber’s Pinnacle.