The indigenous Kamilaroi people were the original inhabitants of the district. The first European settlement was a sheep farm established in 1834. By 1851 a settlment named MacDonald River had been founded around the farmhouse. In 1854 the settlement was renamed Bendemeer after a line in the poem 'Lallah-Rookh' by the Irish writer and poet Thomas Moore. In 1864 the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt (Fred Ward) committed one of his first robberies here, holding up the northern mail coach. Bendemeer is principally a hub for the local sheep and cattle farmers.
Bendemeer is in the Tamworth Regional Council Local Government Area.
Visitor information centre
- Tamworth Visitors Information Centre, 2 The Ringers Road, Hillvue (at The Big Golden Guitar), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Su 9AM-4PM, closed Good Friday and Christmas Day.
Bendemeer is at the junction of the New England Highway/A15 and the Oxley Highway/B56.
Bendemeer is 51 km north-west of Walcha via the Oxley Highway/B56 westbound.
Driver rest areas
- 1 Kyabia (18 km south of Uralla, right hand side). Light vehicle access. Picnic tables. Wheelchair accessible. Shelter. Litter bins. No toilets.
- 2 Muswell Hill (33 km south of Uralla, right hand side). Light vehicle access. Heavy vehicle access. Picnic tables. Shelter. Litter bins. Toilets.
- 3 Rotary/Lions Park (2 km south-east of Tamworth, left hand side, just past the Colonial Inn Motel). Light vehicle access. Picnic tables. Barbecue facilities. Wheelchair accessible. Shelter. Emergency phone. Litter bins. Toilets.
- 4 Federation Park, Kootingal (18.5 km north-east of Tamworth, right hand side, just before the intersection with Betts Lane and Dorothy Avenue). Light vehicle access. Picnic tables. Shelter. No litter bins. No toilets.
- 5 Moonbi (21.5 km north-east of Tamworth, left hand side, corner of Park Avenue and Gill Street, next to the Moonbi Museum). Light vehicle access. Picnic tables. Barbecue facilities. Wheelchair accessible. Children's playground. Shelter. Litter bins. Toilets.
- 6 Glen Ayr (23 km north-east of Tamworth, left hand side). Light vehicle access. Picnic tables. Wheelchair accessible. Shelter. Litter bins. No toilets.
- 7 Moonbi Lookout (28 km north-east of Tamworth, left hand side, turn left into Moonbi Lookout Road. Southbound drivers: turn right onto W Carangaroo Road, cross the northbound lanes of the New England Highway and continue ahead onto Moonbi Lookout Road). Light vehicle access. Picnic tables. Litter bins. Toilets.
Tamworth Buslines run Bus Route 444 M-Sa between Tamworth and Bendemeer. This is a regional bus service, not a coach service - pay the driver with cash as you would a city bus service, exact fare preferred. One-way fares between Bendemeer and Tamworth are $5.90 for adults and $2.90 for children (4-15) and concession holders.
The service departs from the bus stop at the Atrium Centre in Kabel Avenue M-F 9:50AM and arrives at the bus stop in Caroline Street 10:33AM; departs from the bus stop at the Atrium Centre in Kabel Avenue M-F 1:20PM and arrives at the bus stop in Caroline Street 2:03PM, and departs from the corner of Brisbane Street and Kabel Avenue M-F 3:50PM, the departs Tamworth Railway Station M-F 3:55PM, and arrives at the bus stop in Caroline Street 4:49PM.
The bus does stop in front of the petrol station/caravan park - don't forget to tell the driver.
The service departs from the bus stop in Caroline Street M-F 7:20AM and arrives at the Tamworth Railway Station 8:13AM; departs the from the bus stop in Caroline Street M-F 10:35AM and arrives at the bus stop at the Atrium Centre in Kabel Avenue 11:18AM; and departs from the bus stop in Caroline Street M-F 2:03PM and arrives at the bus stop at the Atrium Centre in Kabel Avenue at 2:44PM.
The bus does stop opposite the petrol station/caravan park - hail the driver.
- Tamworth Buslines, 21 Hume Street, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Download a timetable and map here. See the fare rates here.
- 8 Bus stop - Bendemeer, Caroline Street (outside the old shops).
Bus stops in Tamworth
- 9 The Atrium Shopping Centre (Kabel Avenue entrance), Kabel Avenue (opposite the cricket ground).
- 10 Corner of Brisbane Street and Kabel Avenue (next to Ray White, opposite the cinema, diagonally opposite the swimming pool).
- 11 Tamworth Railway Station, Marius Street (corner of Marius Street and Brisbane Street).
Crisps Coaches run between Brisbane and Tamworth via Bendemeer. Bookings are required - phone or use the website to secure your seat.
Note that the times given are Australian Eastern Standard Time/Queensland Time (GMT+10). From the first Su in Oct to the first Su in Apr New South Wales is on Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time (GMT+11), so adjust arrival/departure times for stops in New South Wales by adding 1 hour.
Also note that services may be adjusted or cancelled at little or no notice due to Covid-19 lockdowns, natural disasters, or changes in operations, so please confirm with Crisp's before departure.
- Crisps Coaches, 78 Grafton Street, Warwick, Queensland, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Office: M-F 7:45AM-5:30PM, Sa 11:30AM-12:30PM, 11:30AM-12:30PM 4:30-5:30PM. See full timetables and book online here.
Outbound coaches depart Brisbane M and F 10:45AM from the long-distance bus station in Parkland Crescent (outside Platform 10 at Roma Street Railway Station) and arrive at Bendemeer at the caravan park/petrol station 8:40PM.
Inbound coaches depart Bendemeer from the caravan park/petrol station M and F 6:15AM and arrive at Brisbane at the long-distance bus station in Parkland Crescent (outside Platfrom 10 at Roma Street Railway Station) 2:30PM.
The nearest airport with regularly scheduled services is at Tamworth.
Private transport is essential, as there is no local taxi service nor a local bus service for Bendemeer.
The nearest car rental agencies are in Tamworth.
- Moonbi Lookout (13.5 km south-west of Bendemeer via the New England Highway/A15 southbound). Extensive views from the Moonbi Hills from the top of a boulder. See Driver rest areas above.
- 1 Moonbi Museum, Gill Street, Moonbi (19.5 km south of Bendemeer via the New England Highway southbound, between the park and the general store in Moonbi), ☏ . Phone for hours and fees. Showcasing a collection of photographs and implements from the European settlement of Moonbi up to the present day. May be closed due to Covid-19 restrictions - phone to enquire.
- 1 Bendemeer Rodeo, Bendemeer Showground, Selina Street (a short drive behind the petrol station/caravan park), ✉ email@example.com. Held in Mar. Rodeo and campdraft (a sport involving a horse-rider working cattle).
- Bendemeer Arts Show, ☏ . Held late Oct. Annual arts exhibition.
It is advisable to stock up with essentials and medications before departing for Bendemeer as there aren't much in Bendeemer.
- 1 Bendemeer Hotel, Caroline Street (corner of Havanah Street and Caroline Street - entrance in Caroline Street), ☏ . Su-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM. Bistro fare - see the menu here.
- 2 Jade Phoenix (Kootingal Bowling Club), Limbri Road (Station Street) (25.5 km south from Bendemeer via New England Highway southbound, through Moonbi, in Kootingal turn left onto Chelmsford Street, turn left onto Denman Avenue, turn right onto Gate Street, turn left onto Station Street, the Kootingal Bowling Club is on the left), ☏ . W Th noon-2PM 5:30-8:30PM, F Sa noon-2PM, 5:30-9PM, Su noon-2PM, 5:30-8:30PM. Chinese cuisine. See the menu here.
- Bendemeer Hotel, Caroline Street (corner of Havanah Street and Caroline Street - entrance in Caroline Street), ☏ . Su-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM.
- Bendemeer Hotel, Caroline Street (corner of Havanah Street and Caroline Street - entrance in Caroline Street), ☏ . See the rates here. Phone for availability..
- 1 Bendemeer Tourist Park (Bendemeer Caravan Park), 19 Havanah Street (next to the petrol station), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Small store (takes EFTPOs), petrol station, ATM, gas bottle refills and swaps, fishing licences. Drive though sites available. Phone or email for rates and availability.
- 2 Riverside Stay, 912 Watsons Creek Road, Bendemeer (8 km north of Bendemeer via Caroline Street northbound, go around the bend to the left and continue ahead as Watsons Creek Road, Riverside Stay is on the right), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 3-bedroom cottage with queen-size beds, 2 bathrooms, modern kitchen facilities with refrigerator, microwave, oven, cooktop, crockery, utensils. Breakfasts and dinners (advise when booking). Outdoor eating facilities with gas barbecue. Air conditioning and ceiling fans. TV and DVD player. Complete bathroom facilities. Phone or email for rates and availability - bookings essential.
- Bendemeer Tourist Park (Bendemeer Caravan Park), 19 Havanah Street (next to the caravan park), ☏ .
- Public telephone (outside the caravan park/petrol station).
- 13 Public toilets (War Memorial Park), Memorial Drive (off Havannah Street). Open 24 hours. Disabled access
There are no banks in Bendemeer. It is advisable to do any necessary banking and to obtain cash before departing for Bendemeer, and to use EFTPOS whenever possible while there.
- Bank@Post (Australia Post) (Bendemeer Tourist Park). M-F 9AM-5PM. Agent for Commonwealth Bank, Westpac Bank, National Australia Bank
- Cashcard ATM (Bendemeer Tourist Park).
- Australia Post (Bendemeer Tourist Park), ☏ . M-F 9AM-5PM. Agent for Commonwealth Bank, Westpac Bank, National Australia Bank
- Uralla - north-east of Bendemeer: 49 km via New England Highway/A15 northbound (33 min)
- Armidale - north-east of Bendemeer: 71 km via New England Highway/A15 northbound, through Uralla (51 min)
- Walcha - south-east of Bendemeer: 50 km via Oxley Highway/B56 eastbound, pass the Woolbrook Road turn-off on the right, pass the Wollun Road turn-off to Walcha Road on the left, continue ahead to Walcha (35 min)
- Wauchope -south-east of Bendemeer: 213 km via Oxley Highway/B56 Eastbound, through Walcha, continue ahead (2 hr 41 min) Road may be closed due to landslides or poor weather. The Pacific Highway/A1 is 11.5 km east of Wauchope via the Oxley Highway.
- Tamworth - south-west of Bendemeer - 41 km via New England Highway/A15 southbound, through Moonbi, through Kootingal, through Nemingha, continue ahead to Tamworth (33 min)