Woodburn/New Italy - Known as ‘the travellers rest’.
Well-known by regular travellers of the Pacific Highway, Woodburn is a delightful and peaceful town on the banks of the Richmond River. While few people know the story of its exciting past, today it is known as ‘the travellers rest’, a wonderful place to stop, stretch and relax.
The river has always been an important part of life in Woodburn. In early days large vessels, small craft and ferries, which for 100 years were the only means of traversing the region, were built here. When the roads were merely tracks, the river was the highway, alive with sailing ships, ocean steamers and riverboats. Today, the river is an excellent focal point for recreational water sport activities.
New Italy is a small community located just 15km south of Woodburn on the Pacific Highway. Settlement was established in 1882 when Italian immigrants from the region of Veneto in northern Italy took up a conditional purchase farm of 40 acres. By the mid-1880s, about 50 holdings of an aggregate area of more than 3,000 acres were under occupation, and the Italian population of New Italy has increased to 250. It was a small farming community growing fruits and vegetables including grape vines. In the late 1950s the regional significance of the settlement began to be recognised and the Bicentennial Museum was opened in 1989.