Up the Newell Highway and nestled in the gutz of the huge Pilliga State Forest you will find Pilliga Pottery. An oasis in the middle of the largest remaining native forest west of the great divide.
I had no idea what to expect as I was just going on a recommendation of a fellow traveler. I met Jodie at the Warrumbungles and we planned to meet up there for a few days of fires, wine and possibly a wheel-throwing workshop.
What an amazing place established by a couple of German backpackers back in the early eighties. They had also gone to the Warrumbungles and on their first night looking up at the stars they loved it so much they decided to settle in the area. Bought the huge farm and went to work building it up to what it is today; an organic Barkala farm stay, massive pottery studio and awesome café with the best food, coffee and freshly made sourdough bread daily. YUMMO! I was in heaven.
There is a very European atmosphere there and the whole place is eco friendly. Water is collected in huge tanks, solar powered and all the buildings are architecturally gorgeous made of locally sourced timber and mud bricks from the block. Some of the houses are available to stay as well as a massive unpowered campground that we basically had all to ourselves.
I felt like I was on a commune with all the wwoofers*, paid staff and extended family members all working and playing together. So peaceful and art farty. The gardens are laden with beautiful sculptures and pottery and ponds and bridges and interesting gadgets. Even the drop dunny was a work of art. So much love and care in every artifact on the block. I’m just gonna upload some photos to do the talking.
*Wwoofers willing workers on organic farms