On the New England Highway between Murrurundi and Quirindi, Willow Tree is in a prestigious grazing and farming district up in the Liverpool Ranges at the northern extremities of the scenic and productive Hunter Valley. This is prime thoroughbred country where white rail fences are predominant and regally bred bloodstock is prepared for the sale ring, the racetrack or the mating yards.
It was in the clean paddocks of the Willow Tree area that the first organised game of polo was played in Australia and Quirindi, 16km up the road, continues to hold an annual polo carnival in early August.
To the west of Willow Tree are the Wallabadah Nature Reserve and Ben Hall's Gap National Park. Here the notorious bushranger, who gave the park its name, would occasionally hide out. Hall's father, an ex-convict also named Benjamin, owned a property at Murrurundi and the young bushranger spent his early years there.
The New England Highway, on which Willow Tree sits, takes an abrupt right hand swerve about 2km west of town and then heads for the major city of Tamworth - Australia's beating heart of country music - some 70km away. Turn off the highway and head north-west and about 95km later you'll reach another big country town - Gunnedah.