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Highlights

Top Eight Walks of Outback NSW

Adventures
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Discover the spectacular NSW Outback on foot.

There's a lot more to see in the NSW Outback than just beautiful flora and fauna. In fact, a trip to the region’s numerous spectacular national parks will allow you to see stunning indigenous art, meet quirky locals, visit heritage homesteads and historic shearing sheds, and so much more. And what better way to accomplish all this than from the comfort of your favourite walking shoes?

Whatever you want to see and whatever your fitness level, there is an Outback bushwalk for everyone. Below are eight breathtaking walks of varying lengths and difficulties that each in their own way will help you uncover the awe-inspiring beauty of the Outback and its incredible national parks.

HOMESTEAD GORGE TRAIL

Just north of Broken Hill, Mutawintji National Park is a uniquely Australian sacred Aboriginal area coloured by the constantly changing Bynguano Ranges, deep gorges, tranquil rock pools and creek beds lined with river red gums.

The Homestead Gorge trail is a leisurely hike along Homestead creek between the rich-red rocky cliffs that shelter ancient Aboriginal rock engravings. If it has been raining, a large ‘mirror-still’ rock hole waits for visitors to admire at the end of the walk. Be sure to keep an eye out for some of the park’s residents, like the endangered yellow-footed rock wallaby, and the fascinating Aboriginal engravings.

Where: Mutawinjti National Park

Length: 3.75km (one-way)

Time suggested: 1.5 hours (each way)

Difficulty rating: Easy

FORESHORE WALK 

Mungo National Park is of great significance to the Ngyiampaa, Mutthi Mutthi and Southern Paakantyi /Barkindji people, whose connection with the land reaches back more than 40,000 years.

With its exquisitely sculpted sand dunes, hardy, gnarled trees, grassy woodlands and age-old lakebeds, the Foreshore Walk leads you across the ancient shoreline of Lake Mungo, climbs onto a low red dune and lets you explore the wooded sand country beyond. The walk offers some shade from cypress pines and mallee eucalypts and is one of the best areas of surviving pine woodland in the park.

While you’re there, look out for one of the most iconic features of the park, the dramatically sculpted clay and sand formations known as the Walls of China, which stretch for about 30km. Follow the markers as the track loops back along the vegetated dune crest which leads back to the Mungo Meeting place and visitor centre. Look out for the thriving kangaroo and emu populations that make Mungo the perfect place to see Australia’s coat of arms up close.

Where: Mungo National Park

Length: 2.5km loop

Time suggested: 1.5 hours

Difficulty rating: Medium

MULGOWN (YAPPA) ABORIGINAL ART SITE WALKING TRACK

50km from Bourke, Gundabooka National Park is a vast area rich in Aboriginal and European heritage that stretches from the banks of the Darling River to Mount Gunderbooka.

The park is significant to the local Ngemba and Paakantji Aboriginal people and you can get a real sense of their enduring culture on the Mulgowan (Yappa) Aboriginal Art Site walking track. Through woodlands, floodplains, sand hills and in rock overhangs, you’ll discover unique Aboriginal rock paintings that depict animal motifs, dancers, hand stencils and hunting tools.

Where: Gundabooka National Park

Length: 700m (one way)

Time suggested: 30 minutes (each way)

Difficulty rating: Medium

NGIYAMPAA WALKING TRACK 

Quiet and remote, Mt Grenfell Historic Site is home to a unique collection of Aboriginal rock art. Among the depictions are dancing figures, kangaroos, emus, and lizards, all from many different time periods by many different artists.

Nowadays, this extensive Aboriginal rock art is protected but can be reached by following the short Mount Grenfell art site walk. For a more challenging hiking trail, Ngiyambaa walking track takes you further into this gorgeous landscape of red dirt, mallee bushland, open grasslands and the rocky rise of Mount Grenfell itself. There are expansive scenic views from the top and along the way there are opportunities to see unusual rock formations and mallee trees.

While you're walking, keep an eye out for red and grey kangaroos and emus that still pace the land like prehistoric sentinels (you'll see them recorded in the rock art along the way). When the weather’s warmer, geckos, snakes, shinglebacks and bearded dragons will emerge to soak up the sun.

Where: Mt Grenfell Historic Site

Length: 3.5km loop

Time suggested: 2 hours

Difficulty rating: Hard

NILLA YANNAGAKANG BILLANA 

Willandra National Park is home to vast, semi-arid riverine plains, grasslands, black box-lined creeks and an abundance of wildflowers, kangaroos and emus, waterbirds, reptiles and frogs.

The walking track Nilla Yannagalang Billana, which means “walking along together” in Wiradjuri, follows the course of the Willandra Creek. It’s an easy walk through black box woodland interspersed with openings of black bluebush shrubland and takes you past historic pastoral infrastructure once relied upon by the homestead, such as the weir and Buttabong Bridge.

Where: Willandra National Park

Length: 5km loop

Time suggested: 2 hours

Difficulty rating: Easy

MOUNT WOOD SUMMIT WALKING TRACK 

Sturt National Park, one of NSW’s largest reserves, protects an enormous arid landscape, incorporating rolling red sand dunes of the desert, the flat-topped mesas, or jump-ups, and the 450 million year old granite tors around Tibooburra.

The isolated rocky peak of Mount Wood stands 120m above the surrounding plains, so a climb to the summit provides stunning panoramic views over the park. Along the rocky walk you may see bandicoots, desert rat-kangaroos and hare-wallabies that inhabit the plains. From the top, you’ll most probably catch a glimpse of eagles and kestrels soaring high above you.

Where: Sturt National Park

Length: 1.5km (one-way)

Time suggested: 1.2 hours each way

Difficulty rating: Hard

YANGA LAKE WALKING TRACK 

Yanga Lake walking track is a beautiful lakeside walk that combines impressive scenic views and superb bird watching. This walk traces part of the eastern shoreline to link some of the most scenic features of Yanga National Park together.

The steep track descends from Yanga Lake viewing deck through majestic river red gums and river coobas to the very shores of the immense lake. Spring and Autumn are excellent times to visit as bird activity is at its peak.

Where: Yanga National Park

Length: 1km loop

Time suggested: 30 minutes

Difficulty rating: Medium

TURKEY FLAT TRAIL 

Murrumbidgee Valley National Park protects part of what is now the largest continuous tract of river red gum forest in the world and the Turkey Flat trail is the ultimate way to see it, taking you through the habitats of countless woodland and wetland birds.

The trail begins at Turkey Flat wetlands, a great place for bird watching - keep your eyes peeled as you might glimpse threatened Superb Parrots, white-bellied sea eagles and sacred kingfishers. You’ll probably spot the odd kangaroo too, and be serenaded by frogs, particularly after rain.

When you reach the junction, turn left or right – your choice – and follow the track. You’ll end up at Middle Beach, which is a great spot to cool off with a swim or picnic.

Where: Murrumbidgee Valley National Park

Length: 3.2km (one way)

Time suggested: 1.5 hours each way

Difficulty rating: Easy