Liverpool Plains

The Liverpool Plains is an agriculturally, ecologically and geologically diverse region covering approximately 1.2 million hectares located in north western NSW. The region is bounded by the towns of Tambar Springs and Premer in the west, Mullaley and Gunnedah in the north and Quirindi in the east. It is bordered to the south by the Liverpool Range, a spur from the great dividing range heading westward from Murrurundi in the upper Hunter Valley towards Coonabarabran.

The range reaches elevations of 1300m towards the western edge where The Coolah Tops National Park encloses spectacular scenery. This range was the primary source of the basalt derived sediment which deposited over millions of years to form the Liverpool Plains.

Agriculture

These soils have a high clay content and are naturally very fertile with an ability to store water like a sponge. Rain which falls during the fallow period is absorbed and stored in the soil profile, held against gravity. This moisture is then accesed by the next crop to be grown in the rotation, reducing the reliance on in-crop rainfall. It is these characteristics of the soil, coupled with vast amounts of high quality underground water and an idilic climate, which make the region one of the most productive and reliable cropping regions in Australia, consistently achieving yields above the national average. The main crops grown include wheat, barley, chickpeas, faba beans, canola, sorghum, sunflowers, mung beans, maize, soybeans and cotton.

Livestock production also forms an important part of the agicultural production and takes place mainly on the ridges and hills interspersed throughout the floodplains. This consists mainly of beef cattle and sheep for both wool and prime lamb. The two major supermarkets source a considerble portion of their NSW requirements from the Liverpool Plains region not to mention butchers and restaurants throughout the state.

Ecology

Prior to european settlement, the region was home to a variety of ecosystems from vibrant grasslands on the plains to woodland communities on the slopes and ironbark and pine forest on the sandy ridges. There are still remnants of many of these communities today interspersed amongst intensive agricultural production. Many such communities are being actively managed today to maintain the diversity of the native flora and fauna. The Liverpool plains is also home to the koala, Gunnedah claiming itself as the koala capital of the world. All this leaves the Liverpool Plains not only as a productive agricultural region, but one of breathtaking natural beauty, well worth a visit.