While it was the discovery of gold in the 1850s that gave impetus to Uralla, a little town near Armidale in northern NSW, it was the violent death of 'gentleman' bushranger Captain Thunderbolt that provides the historical colour.
Thunderbolt, or Frederick Ward to give him his rightful name was the last of the dinkum bushrangers and plied his trade for seven years without anybody getting killed.
That is, until 1870, when police bailed Ward up at Uralla and killed him in a furious gun battle. He was 35. You can see a statue of Ward in town and his grave at the cemetery while you're admiring the many lovely local historic buildings.
A must to visit is the New England Brass and Iron Lace Foundry where much of the district’s, and Sydney’s, iron lace was produced from 1872. This working museum still employs the original tools and traditional methods in shaping the iron.
Birdwatchers should trek to the Dangar’s Lagoon bird hide where, in the early morning and late afternoon especially, they will be rewarded with close encounters with the local waterfowl.