Moree, New South Wales

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New South Wales
Moree (1).JPG
Main Street, Moree
Moree is located in New South Wales
Coordinates29°27′57″S 149°50′02″E / 29.46583°S 149.83389°E / -29.46583; 149.83389Coordinates: 29°27′57″S 149°50′02″E / 29.46583°S 149.83389°E / -29.46583; 149.83389
Population7,383 (2016 census)[1]
Elevation212 m (696 ft)
LGA(s)Moree Plains Shire
State electorate(s)Northern Tablelands
Federal division(s)Parkes
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
26.8 °C
80 °F
12.5 °C
55 °F
583.0 mm
23 in

Moree /ˈmɔːr/ is a town in Moree Plains Shire in northern New South Wales, Australia. It is located on the banks of the Mehi River, in the centre of the rich black-soil plains. Its name comes from an Aboriginal word for “rising sun,” “long spring,” or “water hole.”[2]

Moree is a major agricultural centre, noted for its part in the Australian cotton-growing industry which was established there in the early 1960s. The town is located at the junction of the Newell Highway and Gwydir Highway and can be reached by daily train and air services from Sydney. It is situated in the Moree Plains Shire. At the 2016 census, the town of Moree had a population of 7,383.[1]

Moree is home to artesian hot spring baths which are famous for their reputed healing qualities.[3]


The Weraerai and Kamilaroi peoples, whose descendants are still in the town, were the early inhabitants of the area.[4] Major Thomas Mitchell went to the district at the request of the acting governor after the recapture of escaped convict George Clarke who told of a great river called the Kindur in 1832. Clarke had been living in the area to the south with the Kamilaroi from 1826-1831. Squatters soon followed in Mitchell's wake establishing pastoral runs, among which was 'Moree' (1844), from a Kamilaroi term believed to mean either 'long waterhole' or 'rising sun'.

In 1851 James and Mary Brand arrived and built a general store on the banks of the river in 1852. A post office was added the following year. The family sold up and moved to the Hunter Region in 1857 but James died in 1858 leaving Mary with six children so she returned opened another business and in 1861 she opened the town's first inn.[3]

Moree was gazetted as a town in 1862 with land sales proceeding that year. A court of petty sessions was established in 1863, and there was a severe flood in 1864. The first constable arrived and a police station was set up in 1865. The first church (Wesleyan) was built in 1867 when the town had a population of 43.[3]

As closer settlement proceeded agriculture emerged as a thriving industry on the fertile flood plains. Banking began in 1876 and the first local newspaper was set up in 1881, at which time the population was 295.

The town became a municipality in 1890. During 1894 construction of the heritage listed Federation-style lands office commenced and ended that years with the completion of the ground floor. The second storey was added in 1903. In 1895 the Great Artesian Basin which sits under Moree was tapped and yields over thirteen megalitres of water every day. The bore was sunk to 3,000 ft (910 m) deep in order to provide water for agricultural pursuits but was proved unsuitable for this purpose. The railway line and service from Sydney arrived in 1897.[3]

Wheat cultivation increased after World War II with a flour mill built at Moree in 1951 and the first commercial pecan nut farm was established on the Gwydir Highway east of Moree in 1966. The Trawalla Pecan Nut Farm is the largest pecan nut farm in the southern hemisphere, growing about 75,000 trees. In 1994 the Gwydir Olive Grove Company was established when two Moree families started producing olive oil from olives grown in the area.[5]

Moree was one of the destinations of the famous 1965 Freedom Bus ride, an historic trip through northern NSW led by Charles Perkins to bring media attention to discrimination against indigenous Australians. It brought racial segregation in rural Australia to the attention of urban Australians, in particular at the Moree Baths and Swimming Pool as well as pubs and theatres, where Aborigines were refused entry. At the Moree swimming pool, after a confrontation with the council and pool management, it was agreed that indigenous children could swim in the pool outside school hours.[6][7][8]

In 2007 the Moree Plains Council announced plans for a $14m upgrade to the hot thermal baths.[5]

Floods have affected parts of Moree in 1955, 1971, 1976, 2011 and 2012[9][10] although much of the populated areas were and remain flood free.

Moree Lands Office, Frome Street

Heritage listed sites[edit]


Moree experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) with slight semi arid influence. In summer temperatures above 40 °C or 104 °F are common while in winter temperatures below 0 °C or 32 °F are also common. The highest recorded temperature recorded in Moree was 47.3 °C (117.1 °F) on 3 January 2014 and again on 12 February 2017.[15] Typical of humid subtropical climates rainfall is more common in summer than in winter.

Climate data for Moree Aero
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 47.3
Average high °C (°F) 34.0
Average low °C (°F) 20.2
Record low °C (°F) 10.8
Average rainfall mm (inches) 81.0
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 7.2 6.8 6.1 4.1 5.1 6.7 6.0 4.6 5.3 6.7 8.0 8.7 75.3
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[16]


In January 1910 floods in the Moree district caused numerous washouts of the railway to Moree. An unknown number of livestock were drowned, and at least four people drowned in the Moree area.[17][18]

In January 1946 a flood cut the township in two, and several hundred homes were flooded.[19] The flood waters affected the local power station which caused a blackout. The floods also damaged roads and railway lines in the region.[19] The Gwydir River bridge at Moree was also damaged.[20]

In February 1955 the highest recorded major flood affected Moree, with a record flood peak of 10.85 metres (35.6 ft). Most of the central business district of the town and 800 homes were flooded.[9]

In February 1971 a major flood affected the town, with a flood peak of 10.35 metres (34.0 ft). Four hundred people were evacuated and the township was isolated for two weeks.[9]

In February 1976, another major flood hit Moree, with a flood peak of 10.60 metres (34.8 ft). Nearly three quarters of the buildings in north Moree either had floodwater surrounding them or water in them, which included the central business district.[9]

In February 2001, another major flood peak was recorded in Moree. There were a few houses with over floor flooding. Before the flood, nearly 250 millimetres or 10 inches fell at Moree Airport within 48 hours.[21]

In November 2011, major flooding flooded parts of Moree, with a peak of 10.21 metres (33.5 ft). People were urged to evacuate from parts of north Moree and houses were flooded. Nearly 225 millimetres or 9 inches of rain was recorded over 72 hours with 112 millimetres (4.41 in) falling in the final 24 hours of rainfall.[22] Moree and numerous other shires were declared natural disaster zones.[23]

In February 2012, major flooding again occurred in Moree. Peaking just 10 centimetres (3.9 in) above the February 1976 floods at 10.69 metres (35.1 ft), the floods inundated hundreds of houses in and around Moree. the floods were the second highest ever recorded in Moree. Nearly the whole of north Moree had water in the streets with just a few still out. The whole of north Moree was told to evacuate the day before the flood peak including the nearby villages of Yarraman, Gwydirfield, Bendygleet, Pallamallawa and Biniguy.[24][25] Some of the lower parts of south Moree became inundated with flooding. All of north Moree were urged to evacuate as it was expected then to be the worst flooding in 35 years. No fatalities were recorded.[10][26] Nearly 190 millimetres (7.48 in) of rain was recorded at the Moree Meteorological Station in the 72 hours before the flood.[27]

In March 2021, heavy rainfall affected North and East NSW causing major flooding, On the 23rd of March, Moree received 150mm, this was the second-wettest day on record for any month behind February 1888. Flood levels on the Mehi river reached 14.2 metres or 46.6 feet on the 25th of March. (0.4m below the 1955 record of 10.85 metres or 35.6 feet[28] The total rainfall for March 2021 was 263.4 millimetres or 10.37 inches[29] as against an average of 62.8 millimetres or 2.47 inches [30]

Other significant floods have occurred in 1864, 1890, 1921, 1949, 1950, 1956, 1974, 1984, 1998 and 2004 and 2021.[9][31]


Moree is served by the Moree Champion newspaper, owned by Rural Press, which is published on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Radio stations 2VM and 98.3 NOW FM also broadcast from Moree. The NOW FM transmitter site is located on Mt Dowe, whilst the 2VM transmitter is located 5 kilometres east of Moree on the Gwydir Highway. Both stations are owned by the Broadcast Operations Group and broadcast weekday breakfast and afternoon programs.

Prime Television's Tamworth station also had a news bureau in Moree, but it was closed down in 2000 due to budget deficiencies.[citation needed]

The closest television networks shown in Moree are PRIME7, 9NBN and WIN Television and they get broadcast from Tamworth.


Moree railway station April 2018

Moree Airport is served by regional airline Fly Corporate with regular services to and from Brisbane[32] as well as regular Qantas airline services to Sydney.[33] The now defunct Brindabella Airlines provided a service to and from Brisbane up until 27 January 2012.

Moree railway station is situated on the Mungindi line, 665 kilometres (413 mi) from Sydney.[34] The station opened in 1897 and currently marks the northernmost point of passenger services on the line, a daily NSW TrainLink Xplorer DMU to and from Sydney.[35]

NSW TrainLink operate a coach service from Moree to Grafton.[36] Crisps Coaches operate a coach service from Moree to Warwick with connections to Brisbane and Toowoomba.[37][38]

Notable people[edit]



  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Moree (Urban Centre)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 3 December 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Moree | New South Wales, Australia | Britannica".
  3. ^ a b c d Readers Digest Guide to Australian Places, Reader's Digest (Australia) Pty. Limited, Surry Hills N.S.W., 1993, ISBN 0-86438-399-1
  4. ^ a b "Moree". Australian Heritage. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  5. ^ a b Tourism Moree, Moree,2007/2008
  6. ^ Curthoys, Ann (4 September 2002). "The Freedom Ride – Its Significance Today" (PDF). Australian National University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 8 September 2007.
  7. ^ Stone, Gerry (21 February 1965). "Violence explodes in racist rown". The Australian Freedom Rides/Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 8 September 2007.
  8. ^ wiliam, Sydney Australia. "Charles Perkins: Freedom Rides".
  9. ^ a b c d e "What happens in Moree town floods?" (PDF). State Emergency Services NSW. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  10. ^ a b "North NSW facing worst floods in 35 years". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 February 2012.
  11. ^ NSW Environment & Heritage (30 August 2007). "Commonwealth Bank (former)". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  12. ^ NSW Environment & Heritage (19 October 2010). "Moree Courthouse". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Moree Baths and Swimming Pool (Place ID 106098)". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  14. ^ Department of the Environment and Energy (20 October 2013). "National Heritage Places – Moree Baths and Swimming Pool Complex". Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Climate statistics for Australian locations". Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Climate statistics for Moree Aero". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  17. ^ "The Floods". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 21 January 1910. p. 7. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  18. ^ "Fatalities in Moree District". The Singleton Argus. NSW: National Library of Australia. 18 January 1910. p. 2. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  19. ^ a b "Towns Still Cur Off". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 24 January 1946. p. 1. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  20. ^ "Floods Now Receding". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 25 January 1946. p. 3. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  21. ^ "Moree Ap climate, averages and extreme weather records".
  22. ^ "Moree, NSW – November 2011 – Daily Weather Observations". Archived from the original on 22 March 2012.
  23. ^ "More NSW shires declared disaster zones". The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 November 2011.
  24. ^ "Flood Evacuation Order North Moree". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  25. ^ "Evacuation order issued for Moree, North Moree, Pallamallawa and Biniguy".
  26. ^ "National – Live feed". news. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012.
  27. ^ "Moree, NSW – February 2012 – Daily Weather Observations". Archived from the original on 22 March 2012.
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ Archived 10 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ "Moree | Fly Corporate". Fly Corporate. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  33. ^ "Flights to Moree". Qantas. Retrieved 8 September 2007.
  34. ^ Moree Railway Station. Accessed 1 April 2008.
  35. ^ "North West timetable". NSW Trainlink. 7 September 2019.
  36. ^ "North Coast timetable". NSW Trainlink. 7 September 2019.
  37. ^ Moree to Brisbane Crisps Coaches
  38. ^ Moree to Toowoomba Crisps Coaches
  39. ^ "Mary Brand Park". Visit NSW. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  40. ^ "Iconic Hut Burns Down". Moree Champion. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  41. ^ "Grave Photo Link". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 8 September 2007.
  42. ^ "Guest Editorial: Associate Professor Gail Garvey | Lowitja Institute". Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  43. ^ "AIS boxing cohort named as Commonwealth Games team members". Australian Sports Commission. 11 August 2011. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  44. ^ Chris Monckton (26 March 2012). "Hammond qualifies for London Olympics". Moree Champion.
  45. ^ Wilder, Gabriel (1 April 2011). "Aboriginal matriarch a bedrock of community". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  46. ^ "Been there, done that, Peter Who? predicts that rookie could prove an inspired selection" by Peter Hanlon, The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 December 2010
  47. ^ "'Artesian Bore, East Moree' by Kerry and Co". Powerhouse Museum. Retrieved 12 August 2021.

External links[edit]