Tamworth Regional CouncilCommunity profile

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Eastern Highlands

About the profile areas

The 2016 Estimated Resident Population for Eastern Highlands is 5,000, with a population density of 0.02 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

Eastern Highlands is located in the far east of the Tamworth Regional Council area. Eastern Highlands is bounded by Uralla Shire in the north, Walcha Shire in the east, Mulla Mulla Creek and the localities of Ogunbil, Woolomin and Loomberah in the south, and the Peel River and the localities of Nemingha, Tintinhull, Daruka, Moore Creek, Attunga, Halls Creek, Watsons Creek and Warrabah in the west.

Settlement history

Settlement of the area dates from the 1830s, with several townships established in the 1840s. In the 1870s access to townships such as Bendemeer and Woolbrook was improved with the realignment of the 'Great North Road' over the Moonbi Ranges. In the late 1880s, the introduction of the Crown Lands Act gave squatters (pastoralists) better security to the Crown Lands on their runs, and with a higher profitability. It is from this time that large pastoral mansions such as the Retreat, Hanging and Longford began to appear. The population was relatively stable during the 1990s, and then increased slightly between 2001 and 2006 as new dwellings were added to the area. The population and dwelling stock were relatively stable between 2006 and 2011.

Land use

Eastern Highlands is a rural area, with a township at Kootingal and villages at Bendemeer, Dungowan, Moonbi and Woolbrook. Rural land is used largely for agriculture, particularly lucerne, fruit and vegetable growing, with some poultry farming and sheep and cattle grazing.

Major features

Major features of the area include Kootingal Park, Moonbi Park, Bendemeer Sports Ground, Kootingal War Memorial Swimming Pool, Tamworth Paintball, Gravity Hill, Moonbi Lookout, the MacDonald River and a number of schools.

Included areas

Eastern Highlands includes the localities of Bendemeer, Dungowan, Garthowen, Kentucky (part), Kootingal, Limbri, Moonbi, Mulla Creek, Piallamore, Retreat, Weabonga and Woolbrook (part).