I arrived in Taree on a Friday afternoon and the raid started to fall so this gave me an opportunity to use my new umbrella as I took a wander around the towns streets. The usual suspects of shops were present along with a larger shopping centre. It soon became apparent that Taree is a town of some size and a hub for the region. But Taree has not always been the business centre of the area, it only overtook the nearby town of Wingham, which was an administrative centre, when the train line arrived at Taree but not Wingham in 1913.
The local Manning River produces over three million oysters a year and to celebrate this a “Big Oyster” was constructed – something that many Australian towns feel compelled to construct (something big, not necessarily an oyster). Unfortunately it was an unsuccessful business venture (referred to as the ‘Big Mistake’ by some locals) and it is now home to a motor dealership. Nonetheless, the Big Oyster is an interesting spectacle but probably not worth diverting too far to see. The Oyster was apparently constructed by the same team behind the Big Prawn at Ballina – we really have some big industries here down under.
Taree takes its name from the word “tareebit” the local native Biripi word meaning tree by the river, or more specifically, the Sandpaper Fig.