Photo: Bourke: Dunes of the Desert, Visit Sturt National Park
Established around a small fortification built by the early European settlers in the 1830s, Bourke became an important centre for servicing the pastoralists and miners that followed soon afterwards. Its central position also helped establish the early trade and transport on the Darling River from the surrounds to points east.
Now the gateway to the Outback region in the north west of the state, there is a visitor information centre that can help plan your exploration of the town and surrounds. Phone 02 68721321.
Visit the Back O’ Bourke Exhibition Centre to get an understanding of the history of the region, the people that live and lived here and the thrilling and poignant stories of the Outback.
After seasonal rains, Culgoa NP explodes in colour with wildflowers. The rest of the year it is the reddish tinged browns and yellows, with billabongs (water holes), red river gums and rivers marking the landscape.
History dates back tens of thousands of years here, Aboriginals occupied this region and much more recently, pastoralists who managed to eke out a succesful living. Diverse wildlife also manages to survive the harsh conditions during the summer heat.
Gundabooka has been occupied by the traditional owners of the land, the Ngemba people, much longer than the world has kept written history (5,000 years). There is a rich Aboriginal cultural heritage here, as well as the early colonial settlers.
Rising above the sand, floodplains and grassy woodlands is Mt Gunderbooka, with multitudes of birdlife and along the rivers. Camping is available.
Mutawintji NP has an amazing collection of desert wildlife, including goannas and wallabies. The scenery is what the desert regions of the Outback are known for, solitude, with the peaceful landscape stretching far beyond what the human eye can see.
The deep gorges, carved out by waterways over many thousands of years harbour life. There are paintings and rock engravings that depict Aboriginal beliefs and understanding of their surrounds.
Boasting one of the best surviving Aboriginal rock art collections in the state, tours are available to give you deeper insights into their meaning and significance. If that doesn’t rock you enough, the scenery of this ancient land will.
The wetlands of the Paroo-Darling NP harbour has abundant and biodiverse life with thousands of birds recorded after seasonal rains. The waterways, Peerly Lake and the Murray-Darling River system allows for fishing and canoeing.
The park is renowned for its beautiful scenery and historical sites.
This dry landscape has endless dunes of the red sand desert and granite towers more than four hundred million years old. Camping is available.
It is important to inform Local Information Centres (including automotive clubs) of your plans to explore remote areas. Inform them of where you plan to go, when you leave and when you plan to arrive. Take any advice they give you about the local conditions and learn as much as possible about surviving in the Outback as possible before setting out. These are only handy hints, aquiring as much knowledge as possible can save your life.
East of Broken Hill, Cobar is the town that earned the name ’Copper Town’. See Cobar, NSW.
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