Trips & Journeys

Bourke to Broken Hill

Explore the heart of the NSW Outback

Six Days | 804km
By Outback Beds | 5th April 2016

The NSW Outback is vast and expansive, filling the western regions of the state. A trip through this iconic pocket of Australia is an absolute must for any traveller's bucket list and, if you're strapped for time, it is completely achievable in only six days (though if you have the time, you could easily spend months experiencing this unique landscape). 

This particular journey begins in Bourke, a famous Outback town in the heart of NSW. Bourke lies 762km north-west of Sydney and 917km south-west of Brisbane, meaning getting there is half the adventure. For those wanting to fly in, Regional Express Airlines operate daily flights to Broken Hill from Sydney and Adelaide, with QantasJetstar and Virgin Australia also connecting daily to Mildura for those coming from Melbourne. Car and campervan hire is then only too easy.

Day One

Bourke

Spend your first day getting acquainted with the town of Bourke. Located in a remote pocket of NSW - so remote, actually, that the town's geography lead to the coining of the term 'the Back of Bourke' - Bourke is a town steeped in authentic Outback charm. In fact, the town's peculiarities have even famously attracted the likes of bush poet Henry Lawson and artist John Murray. Set on the banks of the Darling River, this town boasts an exciting aura made up of historical, cultural and geographical significance.

DO

Explore nearby Gundabooka National Park, and experience the rich Aboriginal heritage.

Visit the Back O'Bourke Exhibition Centre to get a deeper understanding of this historic landscape.

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.

Day Two

Bourke to Louth
1 hr 48 mins 121km

The next day, jump back in the car and head down the Wilcannia Bourke Road to Louth. Established in 1859, Louth is a small Darling River township with a reputation for staging a great party. In fact, Henry Lawson once remarked that Louth was 'a place that loved a drink, a party and a punt'. That fun loving spirit survives today, with the annual Louth Races attracting visitors from far and wide. This town promises big skies and unique personalities, with a hisorty still palpable throughout the streets.

DO 

Visit the impressive 'Celtic Cross', a polished granite 24 feet high monument in the cemetery that was constructed by Louth’s founder, Thomas Matthews, as a memorial to his wife Mary, who died in 1866.

Enjoy a cold beer at Shindy's Inn.

STAY

Continue a further 40 minutes west of Louth to find your bed for the night. Trilby Station is an authentic Outback station set on the banks of the Darling River. The family owned and run property offers accommodation ranging from riverside camping and caravan sites to rooms in the shearers' quarters, with self-contained cottages also available for those after a little more privacy.

Day Three

Louth to Tilpa
47 mins 65.6km

Next stop: Tilpa. This quirky little town is just a short drive from Louth, and while boasting only a small population, it offers plenty of personality. This quintessential Outback town offers the chance to truly immerse yourself in an authentic Australian landscape, making it the perfect place to stop for a night or two to recharge the batteries.

DO

Visit the famous Tilpa Hotel, which is made entirely from corrugated iron and whose walls are covered in graffiti displaying the dry wit of the bush.

Try your hand at a spot of fishing on the Darling River.

Admire the town's Boer War memorial, the only one to include a commemorative to Harry 'the Breaker' Morant.

STAY

Spend the night at Kallara Station, a charming station stay situated on the banks of the Darling River, just 12km from Tilpa. This family owned property offers opportunities for bush walking, bird watching, fishing, four-wheel driving, and relaxation.

Day Four

Tilpa to Wilcannia
5 hrs 273km

Continue the rest of the way to Wilcannia, and experience a remote town steeped in history. This rough diamond of the Outback was once a bustling river port, and today serves as a fantastic base from which to explore the Paroo-Darling National Park.

DO

Wander the town streets and marvel at the wonderful examples of colonial architecture.

Visit the Courthouse Cafe and Gallery for a Ploughman's Lunch and a look at some incredible Australian art works.

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 White Cliffs
58 mins 93km

Just a short drive north of Wilcannia you'll find utterly unique town of White Cliffs. Born through the discovery of precious crystal seam opal in the 1890s, the White Cliffs opal field's diggings create an incredible lunar appearance. Add in the fact that many residents lie underground in opal mined homes called 'dugouts' - a necessity due to the high summer temperatures - and you could be forgiven for thinking you're walking on the moon!

DO

Visit opal showrooms and have a go at fossicking for opals yourself. Be sure to visit the Red Earth Opal Cafe.

Make the trip to the incredible Peery Lake and the Mound Springs.

STAY

Goodwood Station offers accommodation for RVs, campervans and campers, as well as self-contained accommodation in the newly refurbished Shearers Quarters. Located in the heart of the outback, Goodwood Station Stay provides an authentic slice of station life.

Day Six

White Cliffs to Broken Hill
4 hrs 23 mins 251km

The last leg of this journey will take you past one of NSW's most historic national parks. Take your time and explore this Outback gem, or else make your way straight to Broken Hill, the capital of the Outback. Either way, this is a fabulous way to spend your last day on the road.

DO

Explore the Mutawintji Nature Reserve or the Mutawintji National Park, which contains one of the best collections of Aboriginal rock art in NSW.

Walk the streets of Broken Hill and uncover a slew of incredible art galleries and museums, such as the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery, the Living Desert Reserve, the Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum, and more.

Delve into Broken Hill's burgeoning foodie scene, with a bite to eat at either the Silly Goat Cafe and the iconic Bells Milk Bar.

STAY

Finish the journey with a stay at Imperial Fine Accommodation. This historic hotel harks back to a time of mining prosperity, with the interior and exterior boasting an air of decadence and opulence. This is the perfect palce for weary travellers to recuperate after a long - but unforgettable - journey.