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My Countrytown: Emmagen Rain – Murwillumbah, NSW

18 April 2023 | 10:14 am | Mallory Arbour

To get to know Emmagen Rain a little better, we’ve asked what she loves about Murwillumbah.

(Image: Supplied)

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Regional towns are in our blood here at CountryTown! From Ballarat to Toowomba, Bendigo to Tamworth, we love the pubs, the people and the places that make Australia tick. But most of all, we love the amazing country musicians our regional centres produce, like Emmagen Rain.

Raised in Murwillumbah, a small eclectic town of about 8,000 in Northern NSW, the rising talent first came to prominence as the youngest artist ever to appear on the television series, The Voice Australia. Additionally, she won the People Choice Award at Tamworth’s Country Music Festival Busking Championship 2018, picked up the 2020 win at Tamworth’s Coca Cola Battle of the Young and was a finalist in the Gympie Music Muster 2022 NAB Talent Search.

The 15-year-old singer-songwriter recently released her debut EP, Pretty Little Bandit. From contemporary country sounds to pop driven tracks For You (which has exceeded over half a million streams and counting) and Try To Forget You, Emmagen has been earmarked as one to watch.

Emmagen says, “Pretty Little Bandit is essentially one long sequential story. Writing songs is my favourite thing to do, and every track is a part of my songwriting journey.”

To get to know Emmagen Rain a little better, we’ve asked what she loves about Murwillumbah.


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1. Bunjalung Nation

The Bundjalung are the traditional owners of the region and part of the oldest surviving continuous culture in the world. Murwillumbah was named in about 1870 from the Bundjalung word meaning ‘camping place’. The Bundjalung people have a deep connection to the land and natural environment and the language and culture is being actively taught today. Living in Murwillumbah, it’s easy to understand why there are six seasons in the seasonal calendar not four, these are Yirrimbu or wet season (Jan to March), Guyumbu or Mullet Season, (Mar- May), Waringu or Cold Season (June - July), Yarrgehmbu or Windy Season (July - Aug), Gagabalingu or Goanna Season (Sept - Oct), Moogerahmbu or Storm Season (Nov - Dec). Changes of season are influenced by rainfall and animals not specific dates.

2. Wollumbin (Mount Warning)

Murwillumbah sits in a volcanic valley, surrounded by mountain ranges. The most significant mountain is Wollumbin (meaning cloud-catcher in Bundjalung) and is a volcanic plug from the extinct volcano. It contains sacred sites where ceremonies and initiation rites are performed. The summit is declared Aboriginal Place under the National Parks and wildlife Act and The Bundjalung people follow cultural traditions that forbid uninitiated people from climbing the mountain.

3. Tourism & Attractions

Murwillumbah is home to the world class, Tweed Regional Art Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Olley’s famous home studio that features original windows and doors from her original Sydney home is a permeant exhibition. The new rail trail is bringing a stack of cyclists to town, it connects Murwillumbah to Byron Bay and cuts through amazing rural countryside. Murwillumbah also has a thriving coffee shop, flea and farmers market and vintage shopping scene. It’s also home to temples and alternate lifestyles like the Hare Krishna communities and since 2002, the British version of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here has been filmed here.

4. Agriculture

Apart from tourism, Murwillumbah’s major industry is agriculture. This region is known for producing a wide range of different crops like sugarcane, bananas, dairy and avocados which many local farmers have switched too recently and is now one of the largest avocados growing regions in Australia. Murwillumbah has an annual Banana festival, it’s the second longest running banana festival in the country and will celebrate its 70th birthday in 2025.

5. Architecture

The final perk of Murwillumbah that I’ll be talking about is its diverse styles of Art Deco architecture and nostalgic atmosphere that the buildings showcase. Local coffee shops and barber shops in town are embracing this architectural style by decorating with Art Deco furniture, art and exposed brick walls. Murwillumbah has many beautiful heritage Queensland-style buildings and homes that date back to the early 1900s and many of the buildings have been well-preserved. In addition to its historic buildings, Murwillumbah also has modern buildings that feature contemporary designs. This towns architecture reflects its diverse and evolving identity.


Keep up to date with Emmagen Rain on her Facebook page here.