Kamilaroi meaning: Swamp Oak
Situated 105km west of Narrabri and approximately 60km north west of Gwabegar, the scenic drive from Narrabri is sealed and takes about one hour, while the journey from Gwabegar is unsealed. Pilliga got its start from the early development of the timber industry.
Gazetted as a township in 1885, Pilliga was once an important centre on the Cobb and Co route, but today is renowned for its Artesian Bore Bath. The area has strong historical ties from the 1830s, when it was settled by the early squatters, to the 1950s when Indian trader, Nabob Allem and his family based themselves in Pilliga and peddled their wares in a horse drawn wagon to the grazing families in the western district. Nabob Allem made quite an impression on the town, as is evidenced in an article printed in the Coonamble Times after his death, beginning “Nabob Allem died last Friday. And the people of Pilliga, HIS people, are mourning his loss. For Nabob Allem was the ‘King of the Scrub’, ‘King of Pilliga’, and unofficial Mayor”.
A wander in the cemetery reveals a fascinating montage of the lives and trials of the past. Of particular interest are the rough–hewn graves of the Indian traders.
When you’ve worked up an appetite the Pilliga Hotel, with adjoining accommodation, or the Pilliga Café are both great places for a meal, drink, or to rest you head for the night.