Trips & Journeys

Balranald to Bourke

Explore the natural beauty of the NSW Outback

Five Days | 990km
By Outback Beds | 5th April 2016

The NSW Outback is a veritable smorgasbord of natural wonders; in every diverse pocket of this vast landscape, you'll find a slew of national parks, pristine lakes forests and more. Along this six day itinerary, which cuts through the heart of NSW, you will find many of the state's most incredible sites, all of them offering the curious travellers something unique to marvel at.

Your starting point is the southerly town of Balranald, located 35 minutes from the Victorian border. Those travellers coming from Sydney will reach Balranald in around eight hours and 50 minutes if driving along the Sturt Highway, while those coming in from Melbourne will find Balranald four hours and 50 minutes along the Calder Highway. If beginning the journey from the other end, Bourke lies 762km north-west of Sydney and 917km south-west of Brisbane. You're really in the depths of the incredible NSW Outback now.

Day One

Balranald to Mungo National Park
4 hrs 6 mins 164km

Start your Outback adventure in the riverfront town of Balranald. After spending some time exploring its history steeped streets, head north along Balranald Road towards the incredible Mungo National Park

DO

While in Balranald, explore the Discovery Centre, the Art Gallery, the heritage trail, the Ben Scott Memorial Bird Trail, and a range of other historic sites.

Just east of Balranald is Yanga National Park, one of the state’s newest national parks. Discover the fascinating chapters of our natural, pastoral and Aboriginal heritage, visit the woolshed that boasted one of the biggest waiting rooms in the country, or head out on a tour of the wetland or the original drop log homestead.

STAY

Located near Mungo National Park, Mungo Lodge is a unique outback property committed to eco-sensitive management. Accommodation options range from luxury cabins to camping and caravanning, with an in house restaurant, bar and lounge open to all guests. Mungo National Park is a destination to savour, and Mungo Lodge ensures a truly unforgettable experience.

Day Two

Mungo National Park to Bindara on the Darling
6 hrs 53 mins 199km

Begin the next day by exploring  the Mungo National Park. Mungo National Park is the heart of the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area, one of Australia’s richest archaeological finds. The archaeological treasures of Mungo Man and Mungo Woman were found at Mungo National Park and are carbon dated to over 40,000 years old. These human remains indicate that Aboriginal people inhabited the area during this time, and make this the oldest known site of human occupation in the southern hemisphere. This national park is truly one of a kind, and exploring its secrets is an absolute must.

When you feel ready, leave Mungo and start making your way towards Bindara on the Darling, your accommodation for the evening. 

DO

Gaze upon the awe-inspiring Walls of China. The Walls are essentially a 26km stretch of ancient sand dunes that comprise a series of ‘lunettes’ – moon-like shapes and pinnacles - and are to be seen to be believed.

Pay a visit to the mighty Go Gol sheep station, established in the mid 1800s.

STAY

Experience the Outback in all its peaceful and majestic glory with a stay at Bindara on the Darling. Located south of the Kinchega National Park, Bindara offers the ideal place to relax and unwind, with a wide range of native wildlife and bird species calling this area home. Indulge in a spot of fishing in the river, explore the property's historic buildings, or simply relax around the communal campfire.

Day Three

Bindara on the Darling to Nelia Gaari
3 hrs 45 mins 125km

From Bindara on the Darling, head towards Menindee. This route cuts through a truly stunning and unique pocket of the NSW Outback, as it takes you past the Menindee Lakes System and the famous Darling River. As such, Menindee feels like a lush oasis, one which incites relaxation.

After a day of exploring this region, continue heading north east to Nelia Gaari, a fantastic station stay on the banks of the Darling River. Secluded and bursting with Outback charm, Nelia Gaari is the ideal place at which to recharge the batteries and indulge in a little restful solitude.

DO

Explore the incredible Kinchega National Park, which contains the historic Kinchega Woolshed.

Visit the mesmerizing Menindee Lakes, which when full holds 3.5 times the water of Sydney Harbour. As such, this area is a haven for water birds, and a paradise for bird watchers.

Cast a line in the river, and have a go at catching yabbies and shrimp.

Explore the natural surrounds, which are rich in bird life and bush walking opportunities.

STAY

Spend the night by the Darling River with accommodation at Nelia Gaari Station. Offering authentic bush hospitality, this station stay provides an incredible Outback experience.

Day Four

Nelia Gaari to Wilcannia
2 hrs 83km

The next day, head on up to the town of Wilcannia, and make your way to the extraordinary Paroo-Darling National Park. Located in the Murray-Darling Basin, this park sets itself apart due to the presence of the Paroo River wetland system, which is one of the most important wetlands in NSW.

DO

Enjoy a spot of bird watching or bush walking at Peery Lake, located in the northern reaches of the park.

Sit down to a relaxing picnic on the banks of the Darling River. Be sure to bring a fishing rod!

STAY

Experience the real Australian Outback with a stay at Warrawong on the Darling. Located just 3km from Wilcannia, Warrawong offers beautiful scenery, unspoilt tranquility, spectacular sunsets and an abundance of wildlife.

Day Five

Wilcannia to Bourke
4 hrs 25 mins 420km

For the last leg of your journey, head on over to Bourke. You'll probably need to at least two nights here, as there is not one but two national parks on your doorstep. Take the time to truly appreciate this incredible landscape: this is about as quintessentially Australian as it gets!

DO

Explore the Gundabooka National Park and visit the Belah Shearers' Quarters.

Stop in at the Toorale National Park, located 80km west of Bourke.

STAY

Spend the night at the picturesque Food and Huts by Mt Oxley station stay, located 40 minutes from Bourke. This fascinating property showcases some truly spectacular views, as well as an abundance of wildlife, like wedge-tailed eagles. Bird watchers, bush walkers and photographers alike will relish a trip to this beautiful family owned and run farm.