History of Gunnedah


Rotary Club of Gunnedah West acknowledges the Kamilaroi Aboriginal Nation as the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work, and in doing so, we pay our respect to all Elders past and present as well as to the young Indigenous leaders of tomorrow.


Gunnedah is 456km North West of Sydney and 264m above sea level. The population of the town and district is 15,000. Local Government: Shire of Gunnedah; Federal Electorate of Parkes - Member: Mark Coulton, National Party; State Electorate of Tamworth - Member: Kevin Anderson, National Party.


The first European explorer to view the district was Oxley in 1817. Next was Cunningham in 1827, who passed a little to the east of Gunnedah on his way north. Mitchell followed in 1837, reaching the Peel river where Oxley crossed it somewhere near Carroll Gap and passing Gunnedah on the northern side of the river.


The first European settlers arrived soon after the explorers. No records are available as to the exact year, but it is known that one, John Johnston, established a holding on the site of Gunnedah in the 1830s. It is interesting to note that his run was called Gunnedah many years before the town was surveyed. Notice of approval for the design of the town was first published in the Government Gazette of 26 November, 1856 with the Council being elected on Monday 16 November 1885.