small village at the base of Nooloiga, or Haystack Mountain,
Old Bonalbo is quietly nestled between Bonalbo and Urbenville
on the Clarence Way. The site of the original Bonalbo
village, the “Old” was added to it’s
name in the early 1900’s when a new settlement also
called Bonalbo was built on the banks of Peacock Creek
some thirteen kilometres away.
Old Bonalbo began life in the mid
nineteenth century when the first ceder cutters arrived
and the some vast landholdings were established. Today
none of these sprawling cattle stations remain intact.
The emerging villages took the name of the largest landholding,
Bunalbo Station, taken up by John McLean in 1840. The
name Bunalbo being a corruption of the Githabul word
meaning ‘place of bloodwoods’.
cattle grazing is the main agricultural activity. The
Dairy industry, once the major activity of farming families,
has undergone many contractions and changes over the
years. Currently a number of large efficient dairies
operate in the district. Industry deregulation has necessitated
increased efficiency and productivity, and an emphasis
on a clean and chemical free product.
Evidence of the emerging Upper
Clarence Hardwood Timber Plantation industry can be
seen around Old Bonalbo. The very first plantation established
by NSW State Forests and a landholder as a joint venture
project is to be found at Upper Duck Creek. As a result
of continued industry restructuring, only two timber
mills remain in the Upper Clarence, at Woodenbong and
Urbenville. As major employers they are an essential
part of the rural community.