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Since being forced to stay within Australian waters during pandemic, travelling around our own backyard became increasingly popular.

I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors but since 2020 I have done a whole lot more camping, jumped in the car for more road trips and explored a lot more of NSW than I would’ve if I had the option to travel outside of the state.

Something that increased in popularity was a road trip to follow the Australian Silo Art Trail.

If you’ve driven through some of the small rural towns in NSW there is a high chance you have seen water towers and silos painted with huge murals.

Barraba, Dunedoo, Grenfell, Gunnedah, Merriwa, Murrumbah Mills, Portland, Quirindi and Weethalle all boast such silos.

The first to be painted in Australia was in WA in 2015. The silo in Northam was painted by artist Heesco Khosnaran who has since painted six other silos including Weethalle, Grenfell, and Gunnedah in NSW.

It was that first silo in WA that started the Public Silo Trail in the west. Over three years six silos were painted, proving to be a gamechanger for the perception of the regions and increased the number of visitors who didn’t just drive through the towns, but stopped.

A trail was created in Victoria and then in NSW with the first silo painted in July 2017 in Weethalle in the state’s central west. The painting on the silos is a tribute to the rich agricultural heritage of Bland Shire with a shearer, a grain farmer and a small flock of sheep on the 21 metre high, 31 metre wide silos.

Weethalle was the ninth silo to be included in the Australian Silo Art Trail.

ATCF 37 Silo 2

Silos in Quirindi in the Liverpool Plains was the most recent in NSW to be painted. It was completed in December 2022 and portrays Aboriginal stories about how certain animals worked with the indigenous community as helpers and protectors.

Artist Peter Ryan created the image with Keira Sloetjes and Kate Rutter making it the 56th silo to be included on the Australian Silo Art Trail.

The sheer size of the artwork is honestly something that needs to be seen to be believed.

The Merriwa silo art was the first one I saw in the flesh. The GrainCorp silos are painted with an image of sheep wearing red socks in a canola field.

If you aren’t familiar with Merriwa, sheep wearing red socks might seem a little strange… but every year on the June long weekend, the town hosts the Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces. It’s an event that raises money for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and District Volunteer Rescue Squads. The red socks came from a sponsor who couldn’t donate money but instead gave red socks.

The committee wasn’t sure what to do with the red socks. Part of the festival is the annual running of the sheep down the main street, so someone suggested they put the socks on the sheep, and it’s happened every year since.

The mural was painted by David Lee Pereira and the silos became the 29th to be included on the Australian Silo Art Trail.

The silos at Gunnedah, Barraba and Dunedoo are just as impressive.

Not only are the silos impressive to look at, but the towns also boast many hidden gems that you can spend the day exploring.

From lunch at the famous Merriwa bakery, to the Horton Falls National Park at Barraba and bush walks and picnics at historic cement making town Portland.

For maps and details on the silo art trail in NSW, and across Australia head to:

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