Maybole, New South Wales, Australia
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Back in 1972 I spotted the sign. On a professional adventure, I was driving a new liquid carbon dioxide road tanker up the main inland highway from Sydney to Brisbane. There at the roadside was a sign pointing to Maybole. Unfortunately I could not find a place to park my bulky roadster for a closer look. However, later in my sojourn down under, I passed that way again when on an interstate move with my family, and managed to pull into the roadside for a photo of the sign. Sadly, time did not permit further exploration.

On my return to meet up with former workmates in 2010, Barrie had contributed to my itinerary by offering to take me up to north New South Wales with the aim of looking over his bushland property and to attend the Glen Innes Celtic festival. We followed much of the same route north, although I could not remember where to look. The road was vastly upgraded, but I kept looking for that sign.

 1972 Jill and Kirsten at Maybole Sign

We got to the bushland property without sight of it. Having done a traditional walkabout, we moved east over to Glen Innes and the festival - sporting my Douglas kilt of course. To expand our knowledge of the Glen Innes attractions, we visited the information centre.  On the wall was a large scale pictorial map, and there, 20 miles or so to the south was a red marker dot, and the name - Maybole.  Discussion with Dorothy in the centre provided road directions, and Barrie aided and abetted my quest by heading down the following day.  Sure enough, the sign on the main highway had disappeared, but we kept going up the hilly dirt roads.  Perseverance brought us to a direction sign pointing rewardingly to......... Maybole!  So, on we travelled, with Barrie's little car raising lots of dust in rolling hills of the high dividing range.  

Bumping along, I kept looking out for the elusive Maybole.  Then came another sign, this time pointing back the way we had come!  All we had passed were a couple of remote farms.  So, where was Maybole?   We stopped at the entrance to one of the farms, and I went to the buildings to seek information.  No luck - the farm house was derelict.  Meanwhile Barrie who had stayed with the car managed to get the attention of a rare passing driver who turned out to be the district postman.  From this source of local knowledge came confirmation that we had been as close as it gets to Maybole.   It was a lovely rural area, and we had enjoyed the run, but Glen Innes called again for another event

Next day, we visited the Glen Innes community museum, contained in a former hospital building.  It was well set out and maintained.  We had been told about a couple of historic farm tractors at the museum, but saw no trace of them.  A word with the curators led to a very helpful archivist coming out of her office and taking us to a locked shed to see our tractors.  I took the opportunity to quiz her about the elusive Maybole, and she responded by confirming my fears that Maybole community was no more.  

That was not the end of the quest, as our museum friend confirmed that Maybole had once boasted a recognisable population and even a primary school.  The school was recorded as having existed from 1887 to 1925.  A card was produced and photocopied for me. (See below)  It also transpired that Dorothy from the information centre actually lived up in the very area, in the adjoining 'parish' of Ben Lomond.  Does that make sense?  Directions were given on how to reach Dorothy's place through the surviving village of Ben Lomond.

 Maybole school and area historical notes

 School in Maybole 1887-1925

 Former site of Maybole school

On the following day, when finally departing from Glen Innes, we diverted up through Ben Lomond, and beyond to seek out Dorothy.  Eventually we found her and husband John at their lonely home, aptly named ‘Silent Grove’.  We were made welcome and out came more facts about Maybole.  The school had been removed and partly used in the construction of a farm building, but we could find its site next to two tall pine trees.  Dorothy copied a document relating to local schools for me. (above)  In the area were the remains of a private cemetery.  Apparently only the name 'Wright' could be discerned on the graves

With our further information, we drove back to our previous scene of exploration.  Eventually we saw the two tall pines, but no trace of the former school.  We did not attempt to find the graves as time was pressing to continue our journey back south.  The scenery was beautiful in the remote and silent range of hills.  One of our contacts had confirmed that the range was formerly volcanic.  There was also a tale that there was a distinct "bowl" shape at Maybole, and even a hint that some had confused the derivation of Maybole through the phonetics.

Celebration at Maybole The Pines

Maybole Creek

We headed back towards the highway, again passing through the village of Ben Lomond. The tale of Maybole could not be closed without noting our further observations. Partly spurred on by my railway years, we stopped and walked over to the former railway station that we had been told was once the highest in Australia. The rails were still in place, though overgrown. Pleasingly though, the station building seemed to have been preserved, and on the platform sign was the legend "Ben Lomond - 4,473 feet above sea level"! So, if our highest Scottish mountain Ben Nevis is only 4,400 feet, how did Ben Lomond grow this high?

Back in Sydney, I did what I should have done before the journey north. On Googling ‘Maybole Australia’, there was the map location and a couple of photos of the area and sign. There was a comment from Ann Williams (see story below) confirming that she too had found the site but "there wasn't much there".

The two photos above were taken by Ann Williams on her trip to Australia. Click on the images to view full size.

I did visit the Maybole area and although I took photos, there wasn't much there. Didn't get any more information on how it came to be named. The local information office at Glen Innes was very helpful but not when it came to information about Maybole. Its a farming area and very brown. Not like our lovely green fields. They're very proud of their Scottish ancestory and there's a lot of tartan and all things Scottish all over the place. ...Ann Williams


Maybole NSW is actually a locality on the border of Inverell Shire and Severn Shire, in the New England area of New South Wales. Its very sparsely populated and has no significant features that can be readily identified. It is very much off the beaten track. There is no cultivated farming in the area, but a few buildings are visible scattered across the area.

I've been unable to locate much detail about the history of the locality or why it was named Maybole, but I have been told that Maybole operated a primary school during the years 1887-1925. The operation was patchy, at times it was only a part-time school, and was classed as a provisional school for much of its operation, which meant that its enrollment was less than 15 students.

I'm sure that it must somehow be connected to our town. I can't find any other Mayboles in the world, apart from the place in Victoria which we already know about.  Ann Williams

View another more detailed map of Maybole, New South Wales


Maybole (locality) is approximately 16-18ks North West of Ben Lomond on the Great dividing range. Height would be approx. 1391 metres. Silent Grove Farmstay Bed & Breakfast is 7k from Ben Lomond on the Maybole road and that is our height. It has very steep hills and is usually a high rainfall area. In the months of June, July and August, at 1,000mm, there are light to moderate snowfalls in winter which last a day or two with overnight minimum temperatures dropping to minus 8c or on occasions slightly lower. The area grows prime lambs, merino and cross bred sheep and cattle. There are also feral deer, pigs and goats in the area. Shooting is not allowed. Rabbits and foxes are also a problem. There was a school in the area opened in 1887and closed 1925. There was a post office but I am not sure when this closed.  Dorothy Every

Aerial Photo of Maybole, New South Wales, Australia.

Photo taken November 2001 at an altitude of 4,947 meters.


Longitude 151 36' 49",

Latitude -29 54' 13"


Click on photo right to view a bad patch of seeded nodding thistle on a property near Maybole, in eastern Inverell Shire.  Nodding thistle favours the cool, New England areas. Nodding thistle (Carduus nutans L.) is a serious problem noxious weed on grazing properties. Unless controlled, it takes over large areas thereby reducing stock carrying capacity. Animals avoid grazing near the plants because of the sharp prickles.

 For more about the area about Maybole see the website for Glen Innes
There's also another Maybole in Australia! See Maybole Cottage, Alexandra, Victoria, Australia