Wilcannia is an Outback town located in the central west region of NSW. The area the town occupies is the homeland of the Barkindji people; a group who once occupied the length of the Darling River from Bourke to Wentworth. Wilcannia was first settled by Europeans after the exploration of the Darling by Major Thomas Mitchell, with original settlers taking up ‘runs’ that were millions of acres in size. Today, the town offers a fascinating insight into Australian and indigenous history.
In the 1890s, Wilcannia was Australia’s third-largest inland port town and known as the ‘Queen City of the West’. The thriving town had 13 hotels and a diverse population of 3000 made up of English, Irish, Scottish, Portuguese, Chinese, German, Afghans, and the Australian-born sons and daughters of early settlers and convicts. From 1859, the river was plied by paddle steamers, which travelled as far up as Bourke. This bustling legacy is apparent today on streets lined with historic architecture, best enjoyed by walking the town’s heritage trail.
There is comfortable and unique accommodation available in and around the town, including camping grounds, caravan parks, stations and even an underground hotel in the nearby town of White Cliffs. Come see this fascinating pocket of the NSW Outback for yourself.