Paperdolls is an emporium in Walcha where you can buy quirky goods

BAGS OF FUN: Stock up for the cold days with goods from Paperdolls House. Photo SHUTTERSTOCK
BAGS OF FUN: Stock up for the cold days with goods from Paperdolls House. Photo SHUTTERSTOCK

YOU will need to take three laps of Paperdolls shop before seeing everything on offer, according to owner Janelle Archdale.

"We're an emporium with something for everyone," Janelle says.

Paperdolls House, in Derby Street, Walcha, has grown into a popular retail destination since opening seven years ago.

If you're in search of a gift, or in need of warm feet this winter, there's the latest range of children's and adults' gumboots.

Team them up with a winter throw and felt hat, also sold at Paperdolls.

"We sell everything from furniture to candles, local food produce and menswear," Janelle says.

Paperdolls is one of several crafty shops in Walcha, often referred to as the gateway to the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.

Businesses, shops and eateries line the town's busy Fitzroy and Derby Streets, also the address for the Walcha Gallery of Art.

Walcha is known for its Open Air Gallery with more than 50 sculptures.

Begun in 1996, the "gallery" showcases sculptures such as "Barrow" (James Rogers, 1999) "Rung out" (Plum Henry, 2013) "Bong Tree Island" (Marcus Tatton, 2013) and "Olympia" (Sallwa Hourani, 2007).

Walcha is the go-to place if you need to cart fertiliser, feed or grain, according to Brian Smith, owner of Brian Smith Timber Transport.

This family owned company has been hauling logs and other bulky goods across NSW since 1989.

"We also have four bulk tippers where we can transport fertilisers, grain and other, similar goods," Brian says.

The transport business is all part of this thriving town, with a population of about 1500.

Walcha is well serviced with two schools and a pre-school.

St Patrick's Primary School is about 65 kilometres south of Armidale and has as its motto, "Growing in wisdom and faith".

While in Walcha browse through metalsmith Erika Syrjanen's shop, the Antipodean Tynker, which she started several years ago and which features hand-made motorcycles in a steampunk atmosphere.

Stop at the Royal Cafe, an ideal stopover for motorcyclists or the Commercial Hotel, which has been renovated and offers comfortable accommodation.

For anglers, Riverside trail offers unique wilderness access at the Apsley River, about an hour east of Walcha.

Here you can hook Eastern Australian bass/perch, among other fish.

There's a vintage shop selling wares from yesteryear and the popular Pioneer Cottage Museum, holding a number of local artefacts and items of significance.

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