It was once said that the route from Wallabadah to Willow Tree, which crosses creek flats and streams flowing from the hills, was a popular site for bushrangers. Bushrangers are said to have preyed on the lone travellers and coaches as they made their way along the uncertain steeply graded roads, fleeing with their booty into the hills where they could safely hide. No risk of high jinx for today’s traveller though – the steep trip is a smooth eighteen kilometer run on highway bitumen.
The township of Willow Tree is a centre to the rural areas of Warrah and Mount Parry. This area is the country through which Sir Edward Parry travelled in 1832 when he came to look at land for the Australian Agricultural Company (AA). Willow Tree stands on land subdivided in 1908 from the AA Company.
The township developed with the advent of the railway line in 1877 and from subdivisions of part of the great Warrah estate into small farms. In 1879 the name of the railway station changed from Warrah to Willow Tree and today it is the gateway village to the fertile Liverpool Plains.
Due to its situation at the junction of the New England and the Kamilaroi Highway, Willow Tree is a popular stop for travellers. Its offering of food and coffee is quite surprising in such a little town – the traveller can find everything from a simple sandwich to fast-food, easy toasties to gourmet wraps and home-made pies to fine dining at Graze, the restaurant at the Willow Tree Inn. Together with gift shops and attractions like the Kamilaroi, a Highway a People display at the Liverpool Plains Visitor Information Centre, the full-sized historic sunshine header and agricultural display as well as the play-ground, it really is the perfect stop for the weary traveller, whether travelling with family, in groups or alone.