Collarenebri has long been an important crossing at the Barwon River with the shallow rocks providing an easy route for the pioneers of New South Wales who settled here. It was so popular that a hotel was established near its banks and named the 'Settlers Arms'. It was 1860 and five years later and the infamous bushranger Captain Thunderbolt 'entered and searched' the hotel, presumably making off with the takings. Thunderbolt was later shot and killed by a police constable at Kentucky Creek.
The Barwon River has always enjoyed a reputation for great inland fishing and this is evidenced by the strong history of the local aboriginal people - the Kamilaroi. The Barwon River is rich in aboriginal artefacts and sites of cultural significance. Collarenebri has an indigenous cemetery with an interesting interpretation of white burial traditions. While there are many traditional burial sites around Collarenebri the 'Old Aboriginal Cemetery' has graves decorated with stones, melted glass, bottles and ornaments of personal meaning to the deceased
The word 'Collarenebri' is derived from Gamilaraay or Kamilaroi, the tribal name for the local aboriginal people. It translates as a 'place of many Coolabah tree blossoms which is appropriate as even though the Collarenebri district is typical grazing country consisting of brown grasses and low shrubs the river zone is alive with native eucalyptus trees.
With a population of 767 Collarenebri isn't a huge metropolis but it offers all the casual traveller could want. There is some history in the older buildings although fire wreaked havoc in the early days and the town has lost some of it's colonial character. Collymongle Station has trees with indigenous carvings marked in the bark that hold significance for the local aboriginal people.
It's primarily cotton, sheep and cattle country but if you've got some of the 'stone sickness' then gemstones such as topaz and agate can be found here.
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