The villages of Barraba and Bingara are situated in the western New England area of New South Wales, Australia.  They are typical Australian small rural towns which have preserved an element of their character from the 19th century.  Both Barraba and Bingara support a growing, unobtrusive, well supported tourist trade.

Several self-drive geological tours have been developed in the picturesque country about Barraba and Bingara.  The tours place the geological history of the area into context, and involve excellent exposures of rocks ranging from deep sea, through shallow marine to shoreline and then to rocks formed on land in a glacial landscape.  One tour passes through the diamond-bearing strata to the west of Bingara, and visits the Ruby Hill garnet-bearing igneous intrusion.  Both tours pass through areas which were mined for gold during the 19th and 20th centuries, and alluvial gold can still be panned from many local creeks.

Tour 1 is a round trip of 45 km which passes eastward of Barraba to the derelict Woodsreef asbestos mine.  There is the option of returning via the outgoing route, or by passing southward through the gold mining village of Crow Mountain.  The tour  passes across the Peel Fault, a major crustal fracture with vastly different rocks present on opposite sides of the structure.  Unusual serpentinite (serpentine) rocks occur along the fault.  The tour demonstrates some of the different rocks on either side of the Peel Fault and formally ends at the Woodsreef Common  gold fossicking and camping area. The tour was upgraded in September 2007.

Tour 1 can be downloaded here as a  1.09 Mb  PDF document.

Tour 2 is a round trip of 130 km (see map below) which commences at Barraba, travelling northwest through Upper Horton to Caroda, then heading eastward to Bingara, and finally swinging south through Upper Bingara to Barraba.  This tour passes through some beautiful, very scenic countryside.  The geological sites visited include road cuttings and several short walks.  This tour demonstrates the shallowing of the Devonian to Carboniferous ocean, with the continent emerging and progressing into a time of glacial activity.  You will also pass along the edge of the Bingara diamond field, visit the Upper Bingara gold field, and fossick for garnets at Ruby Hill.  The tour was upgraded in September 2007.

To assist fossickers in the Bingara area, check out our mineral occurrence maps.

Tour 2 can be downloaded here as a  1.85 Mb  PDF document.
Download all kml files as a single zip file. Unpack the zip file, double click on a kml for a particular tour and it will display the route or sites in Google Earth if installed.

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