Outback New South Wales
Covers a vaste area from west of Dubbo to Broken Hill near the South
Australia border. From Wentworth in the south west near the borders of
New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia north to Camerons Corner
in, whats known
as, the corner country at the point where New South Wales, South
Australia and Queensland meet.
There are several places of major historical interest within the area
as well as interesting places to visit from easy access places to four
wheel drive country only.
Some of the areas that are of most interest include Wentworth, Cobar,
Lightning Ridge, Broken Hill, Bourke, Brewarina, White Cliffs,
Balranald and, off course, Cameron Corner for 4wdrivers.
Wentworth in the far south west of NSW is an old river port situated on
the river banks where the Murray and Darling rivers meet. In the past
it was a significant inland for the boats that plied up and down the
Murray and Darling Rivers carying produce and supplies in and out of
The main street has been tastefully restored and the town has several
well maintained parks and gardens. The junction of the two rivers is a
short distance out of town where there is an observation platform from
which to observe the scenery.
Cobar is a copper mining area where mines were first established around
1870. East of the town is what was once the richest copper deposit in
the state, the Canbelego mining area. There is an excellent vantage
area south east of Cobar at Fort Bourke Hill where the present day open
cut mines can be observed.
The town has several museums that will be of great interest to those
interested in the past of the area and at the Commonwealth
Meterological Station a short distance out of town you can see weather
baloons being released.
Lightning Ridge - Still today Lightning Ridge is home to opal mining
and, in particular, the famous black opal. It is a town that many have
come to and gone from hoping to make their fortune mining.
Visitors to Lightning Ridge have several options to view the opal
mining process from visiting tradional opal mines to watching the
processes of cutting and polishing the stones. For those that want to
try their hand a finding a stone of their own do a bit of fossicking,
which is very popular in the area.
Lightning Ridge, Burren Junction and Walgett each have hot
artisan bore baths where you can relax and unwind. There are several
smaller towns in the vicinity that make interesting places to visit,
so, if you can, try and spend several days in the area.
Broken Hill - The home of the late artist, Pro Hart, Broken Hill is
often known as the Second City of the Arts. It has been home to other
well known artists and is, today, home to 'The Big Picture' which is
the worlds largest landscape on canvas.
Perhaps Broken Hill is best known as being the start of and home to the
the mining giant BHP. The company was originally established to extract
some of the regions mineral wealth. Broken Hill is also home to the
Royal Flying Doctor Service and the School of The Air, that broadcasts
school lessons to children living on remote properties.
There is much to see in the area with its mining museums and tours of
the open cut and underground mines. On the outskirts of Broken Hill are
The Pinnacles, an area of rocky knolls. Much of the area surrounding
the Pinnacles has restricted access because of mining leases but there
are good vantage points nevertheless.
A little north west is the old mining village of Silverton
with its excellently restored buildings. Silverton was the centre of
attraction for mining before Broken Hill was settled.
If you are into bush walking then visit The Living Desert and Sundowner
Trails, to the north of Broken Hill. Here you can observe the natural
fauna and flora in a semi-desert environment.
Bourke - Fort Bourke, not far from the present day Bourke, and was
established by Sir Thomas Mitchell in 1835, although Charles Sturt had
passed throug the area in 1824.
Adjacent to the Darling River the town became a popular area for
pastoralist who stared settling in the area in the 1850's. In its
heyday Bourke was a major river port where tens of thousands of bales
of wool were loaded on the river ports for transportation out of the
area. The phrase Back of Bouke, which is still used today, was coined
in the early days as Bourke was regarded as being at the extremities of
civilisation, beyond which little was known.
Today the river still plays a major role in the economy of Bourke as it
is the major water source for the cotton farms and orchards.
Summer months can bring searing heat to the area which make autumn and
spring pleasant times to visit.
There is lots to do and see in Burke, simply go walking and observe the
beautiful, old, colonial buildings or why not take a trip on the
Darling River on a paddle boat and if you feel like a drive go out to
Mount Gundabooks National Park and see the Aboriginal rock art. Mount
Gundabooks is about 50 km of of town.
If you happen to be around in May you can experience a truely outback
event with the Bourke Show, whilst September see the staging of the
Yamma Festival, a celebration of indigenous culture.
Brewarina - was for thousands of years an Aboriginal
meeting place when 10's of thousand used to gather from time to time,
is situated on the Barwon-Darling River. Some 800 km NW of Sydney
Brewarina is a true outback town. The first european explorers passed
through the area in the 1840's but the town was not established until
1863 when it became a pastoral centre.
As with so many town along the Murray and Darling river system,
Brewarina became a loading port for wool produced in the area. Cobb and
Co, of stage coach fame, also made the town a regular resting point.
Whilst in town enjoy the historical buildings, visit the Aboriginal
Cultural Museum or simply go fishing.
White Cliffs - Fancy staying in an underground hotel ? well this is the
place to do it. First settled towards the end of the 1800's White
Cliffs was a popular opal mining spot where, as with Lighning Ridge,
many came to seek their fortune, few made it though.
The landscape today, which is very flat and dry, is literaly a mass of
abandoned opal mines, many of which today are home to the local
Whilst in town give fossicking a go, you never know your luck, meet the
locals at the only pub in town or simply explore the area.
Balranald - situated on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River towards the
south west of the state and a little north of the border with Victoria.
Balranald is where one of the main access roads from NSW to South
Australia, The Sturt Highway, crosses the Murrumbidgee. The town has
all of the modern conveniences, including a small airport.
Visited by explorers in the early 1800's it was not until 1851 that the
town was settled. Today Balranald is often used as a base for those
visiting the Mungo Nationbal Park some 150 km or so north of the town
which is World Heritage Listed. The area is a very popular fishing spot
due to its close proximity to several rivers.
Cameron Corner - situated in the extreme north west corner of New South
Wales, in an area known as The Corner Country, is an area ideally
accessable by four wheel drive. There is a page on this website that describes the area and the
Australian 4x4 Travel and Australian 4x4 tag Along Tours run relaxed
4wd tag along tours to many desert regions in the Outback and Centre,
these trips also include visits to several of the old and iconic
destinations. Contact Australian 4x4 Tag Along Tours on (02) 4739 8034.