The Manning Valley was first explored by John Oxley late in 1818. In 1825 the Australian Agricultural Company selected one million acres of Crown land in the area for growing fine wool and for agricultural purposes. 1827 saw the first land grants where pioneers, with the help of convicts cleared the land.
Although Wingham was established as a government town in 1844, the first town did not appear in the valley until the 1850's, three decades after settlement began. Wingham was the first government town established in the Manning area. The village was proclaimed in 1844, three years after the first land grant, to Mr George Rowley, in the bight of the river above Wingham, now known as Bungay.
The site for the Wingham Township was selected due to its accessibility for river trade. Further upstream navigation was not possible. Wingham became a major port for produce from the Upper Manning.
The Manning River was essential for transport of goods to and from Sydney. The site of Taree was favoured for growth as it was where the settlers had located their valuable shipping port.
In 1913 the North Coast Railway reached Taree ending decades of isolation. As roads improved, development followed. The heritage of Taree is characterised by slow growth prior to the coming of the railway, which greatly accelerated growth and prosperity in the 1920's and beyond. Improved transport enabled industries like agriculture, forestry and dairying to have reliable access to Sydney markets.
Our heritage gives a sense of place, contributing to the specific character of towns such as Wingham, and villages such as Croki and Tinonee and urban areas and rural landscapes.