On the eastern road coming in from Yarrowitch and Wauchope is "Strainer Post" by Stephen King and was carved from grey box. It is a tribute both to the timber itself and the industry that has played such a key role in Walcha's history.
Walcha is a small country town on the northern tablelands of New South Wales, also called New England Tablelands. Settled since 1845, sheep and wool have dominated the district's economy with diversifaction to fat lambs, beef cattle and timber in later years.
It is where I was born and grew up, as did my mother, grandfather and great grandfather although a few miles out of the township of Walcha on a property was home for me, it was a wonderful experience having a such a caring town close by.
Art has become a huge feature of the town with 41 pieces being constructed throughout the town. At the entrance to Walcha, on the four major roads that come into town, are great signposts that catch the attention of people that they are coming into town that says - there may be something a little different about this town.
In the centre of town is a wonderful seat that goes around the corner and is called "The Cocktail Lounge" made by Stephen Killick out of stringy bark , blue gum and tallowood. Also note the pillars carved by John Turier out of tallowwood and ironbark.
In the central roundabout is "Song Cycle" by James Rogers (a local Walcha artist) and made from steel and represents the cyclic nature of provincial life. A melody is suggested in the shapes and lines, a melody that keeps coming back on itself.
Walcha is such a small town that it has been said 'that if you blink you miss it' but tourists are now taking detours to look at the wonderful art in this small country town which of course helps all the local businesses.
The Apsley river runs through the centre of Walcha and you can see in the above picture where recent rains slightly flooded the river but because of the levy banks, built many years ago after the town was flooded a few times, it didn't do any harm and possibly only good.
On both sides of the river is a path that has been constructed, enabling a showcase for many of the art pieces plus they have also made innovative animal shapes in the concrete paths making it a lovely interesting walk along the river bank.
The iconic Australia Kookaburra that belongs to the kingfisher family of birds and who has the most wonderful laugh.
Not all, but some of Australia's special indigenous animals.
With this clever seat you can sit in the sun or out of it and below is the seat looking from across the river.
This piece of art was done by Mike Nicholls and called "The Big Picture" and ideas behind this sculpture was to frame the perspectives of both sides of the Apsley River and made of stringybark.
Walcha hasn't changed hugely in 50 years but the art work has certainly added a new dimension to the town.
"The Generation Stick" by Stephen King who is one of the local talented artists, whose idea for the open air art gallery which works so well in Walcha. This sculpture is made of stringbark and represents the continuum of life through DNA and generational rhythm.
"Rainbow Serpent" by Gordon Hockey
This mosaic was made by indigenous artist Gordon Hockley with the collaboration of the local indigenous people. It has been placed overlooking the mill-hole, home of the legendary rainbow serpent.
"The Weather Sign" by Stephen King.
This sculpture was one of the first ones in Walcha and is made of local yellowbox and steel with the fountain depicting the reliance of a rural community on the weather, and the signs and stories that try to bring some certainty to the indifferent and fickle nature of the weather. Sub-zero temperatures on winter nights transform this into an ice sculpture...... and yes it does get cold, very cold in Walcha, not like Mongolia but it sometimes feels colder.... in Walcha that is, not Mongolia.
"Toll Gate" is a sculpture by James Rogers at the northern entrance and celebrates the shape and rhythm of the word.
In the centre of town is "The Citizens" by Andreas Buisman which is carved and polished columnar basalt crystals sourced from a local property and represents locals catching up with each other as they go about their business.
Another lovely seat is called "All Aboard"... surprise, surprise and was made by David Waters from blue gum.
"The Throne" by Stephen King & Stephen Killick was made from one huge tallowwood log, facing directly east it is a place where some locals do their early morning yoga breathing.
"The Bridge" was carved from stringy bark by David Waters, Stephen King, Mike Nicholls and many others and goes over a little gully that is fed from a spring further up and is mostly dry but with rain becomes very boggy, very quickly.
On the side of the bridge is hands depicting someone holding on for grim death.... or that's how I see it.
Middle Street Bridge mosaic by Stephen King and Myfanwy Gullifer depicts an eclectic stream of water life, this was created using ceramic tiles made by Walcha Central School art students and set into the top of the footpath wall on the new bridge spanning the Apsley River.
A wonderful ceramic octopus in the wall.
I think this one may be a mermaid but there were many fish and small amphibian type creatures depicted.
"The Board" by Stephen King is carved from stringybark and this art piece travelled extensively before coming back to Walcha including Bondi and Cottesloe Beach, Perth.
This very friendly Australian magpie came to see what I was up to in his territory and was very inquisitive. He was very cute and must have sat with me for over 15 minutes, just chatting away.
"The Family" by Tom Deko from Papua New Guinea is a figurative work made from oil drums representing the artists love of family and village life.
"The Warrior" by Tom Deko is made of steel and is a rendering of traditional New Guinean imagery.
"Up & Down" by Myfanway Gullifer, a local artist is a mosaic pieced together from porcelain pieces.
The setting of the mosaic in the street scene.
Couldn't find the information of this one so think it is relatively new. It is in the front yard of one of the B&B's in Walcha.
On the western road coming from Tamworth and Walcha Road is a sculpture by Nigel White called "True born native man" and made of tallowwood.
As mentioned there are over 40 registered pieces of art work in the town but the locals have also got in on the act and this wonderful emu with other ornaments were there for the public to enjoy in somebodies front yard.
"The Black Cockatoo" by Ross Laurie, another local artist, is the sign for the southern entrance to the town and is carved from tallowwood and was created to keep a watch over the Walcha district.
Five hours from Sydney, five and a half hours to Brisbane, it is certainly worth taking the time to stop and discover all the art pieces, as I haven't shown them all to you, allowing you to discover some for yourselves, if you ever get the chance to go to Walcha rather than up the coast road or the New England Highway.