Originally occupied by the Biripi Aboriginal people, Taree gets its name from the native word "tareebit", which means ‘tree by the river’, or more specifically refers to the Sandpaper Fig. Despite the first official land grant being made to William Wynter, who settled in the area in 1831, it took a long time for Taree to take off. With Taree’s neighbour Wingham the highest navigable point on the river further upstream, it stole the spotlight as the administrative centre of the region. But like many river towns, the opening of the Martin Bridge across the Manning River in 1940 proved a major turning point for the township to flourish.
Today, Taree is the major commercial centre of the Manning Valley. A wander through the town, including the CBD, still nods to its historical roots. Many beautiful historic buildings are still standing, including the Taree Public School, St Pauls Church, Taree Court House and St Marys Catholic Church. The Taree Heritage Walk offers a self-guided tour of the highlights of the city, including both man-made and natural places of significance to the town’s existence.
Taree is also home to the Manning Regional Art Gallery, and the Manning Entertainment Centre – the region’s cultural hub showcasing everything from amateur theatre to national performing arts productions. If you happen to be around on the third Saturday of the month, be sure to wander through The Hub Community Markets, where friendly locals congregate around the 80 stalls offering clothes, fresh produce, artwork and all the unique finds you can expect of a country market.
One of the best things about Taree is its location and the access it provides to the entire sprawling Manning Valley region. Get a map and discover the tranquil waterside expanses of the Brimbin Nature Reserve, the Coorabakh National Park (home to Ellenborough Falls), and the gorgeous Tapin Tops National Park. For more blue and less green, don’t miss the long glistening shores of Diamond Beach, the coastal villages around Wallabi Point, or Crowdy Head Lighthouse – an ideal lookout for whales and panoramic ocean vistas.
Of course, to see the best of the region, a set of wheels is a must. If you’d prefer to arrive by bus or rail though, hire cars are available in Taree. Just book your Taree hotel and you’re all set for a wonderful holiday in the peaceful Manning Valley!
Hotels in Taree start at AU$82 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.