Trips & Journeys

Dubbo to Nyngan

Experience the diversity of the Outback

Seven Days | 1146km
By | 5th April 2016

Located in the heart of Central NSW, the city of Dubbo is one of the most easily accessible destinations in the state. Dubbo is just a five hour drive from Sydney and is very well serviced by train and air transport. As such, it is the perfect starting point for an adventure through NSW's unique central and northern regions.

Along this seven day round trip itinerary, some of Inland NSW's most fascinating sites and attractions take centre stage. The road will take you north towards the Queensland border, past some of the state's most spectacular national parks and state forests, and through a collection of iconic Outback towns. This itinerary truly does allow for variety of experiences, so be sure to take your time and really soak up this genuine Outback adventure.

Day One


Spend your first day exploring the exciting city of Dubbo. If you have the time, you can easily spend a few days here - the zoo alone will require two days to thoroughly explore. However, if a day is all you have, then be sure to wake up early, because you have a lot see and do!


Hire a bicycle and ride around the incredible Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Step back in time with a trip to the Old Dubbo Gaol. If you're made of steelier stuff, be sure to take the spooky night tour.

Explore Dubbo's flourishing foodie scene with a bite to eat at Westbury Thai, Two Door Tapas and Wine Bar, Press Cafe, or any of the many other fantastic eateries popping up around town.

Take a stroll through the peaceful Shoyoen Japanese Gardens.

Jump in a canoe and take a paddle down the Macquarie River.


After a busy day exploring, relax at the tranquil Walls Court for the night. Located 12km south of Dubbo, Walls Court is a beautiful property offering old fashioned hospitality in a charming setting. 

Day Two

Dubbo to Coonabarabran
1 hr 43 mins 158km

When you're ready to move on from Dubbo, head out north along the Newell Highway towards the town of Gilgandra, then continue north-east to charming Coonabarabran.


Stop in at the Goonoo State Forest for a wander or perhaps a picnic.

Stretch your legs in Gilgandra and visit the Gilgandra Rural Museum.

Explore the incredible Pilliga Forest, and see the Sculptures in the Scrub and the Sandstone Caves.

Take in the night sky from the Siding Spring Observatory.


Nestled in a beautiful valley between the forest of the Pilliga and the foothills of the Warrumbungle Range in the wonderful Barkala Farm. Staying here is like stepping into another world, with its fascinating European-inspired eco-architecture, gorgeous natural surrounds, extensive native gardens teeming with birds, and little vistas, hideaways, and unexpected highlights wherever you look.  This farm is also the home of Pilliga Pottery and Bush Cafe, which is well worth your time.

Day Three

Coonabarabran to Walgett
2 hrs 57 mins 232km

This next leg of your journey will take you north-west to Coonamble then up the Castlereagh Highway to Walgett. The road zigzags through a fascinating pocket on the state, and uncovers a slew of hidden gems.


Take some time to explore the Warrumbungle National Park, which boasts an impressive landscape and an abundance of native wildlife.

Stop in at Coonamble and visit the unique Nickname Hall of Fame.

Enjoy a little fishing on the river, with Murray cod and Yellow Belly being the predominant catches.


Situated on the banks of the Barwon River, Caloola Bed and Breakfast is a working property offering a much needed respite from city stresses. Enjoy a spot of bush walking or wildlife spotting, or simply relax beside the river and take in this charming pocket of the Outback.

Day Four

Walgett to Lightning Ridge
51 mins 77km

The drive from Walgett to Lightning Ridge is a short one, but it takes you into a historically rich region of NSW. Welcome to black opal country. Since the precious gem was first discovered in Lightning Ridge in the 1870s, this character rich town has attracted the attention of travellers from far and wide. While the black opal is somewhat elusive these days, Lightning Ridge still offers a range of exciting attractions, and is an absolute must-see on any Outback adventure.


Enjoy a relaxing soak under the stars at to the Artesian Bore Baths.

Browse through some of Lightning Ridge's many opal shops, or take a tour of one of the town's famous opal mines.

Visit the Chamber of the Black Hand to see over 700 sandstone carvings and paintings, all located 12m underground.


Experience the beauty of Lightning Ridge from your accommodation at Fossickers Cottages. Relax in stunning surrounds and bask in a landscape that was once a great inland sea.

Day Five

Lightning Ridge to Bourke
3 hr 25 mins 309km

Head on back the way you came to Walgett, then head west along Kamilaroi Highway to Bourke. You're now entering the heart of the OUtback, with Bourke the inspiration for the term 'the Back of Bourke', owing to it's remote location. As such, this is the perfect place to truly appreciate the vastness and serenity of the Outback. 


Stop in at Brewarrina to stretch your legs, and visit the historic Barwon Bridge, opened in 1889.

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.


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 Six

Bourke to Nyngan
2 hrs 8 mins 204km

Head south-east down Mitchell Highway towards the town of Nyngan.


Gaze upon the newest addition to Australia's collection of 'big things', the Big Bogan.

Learn the story of Nyngan with a trip to the Nyngan Museum.

Experience the world of sheep shearing at the Mid-State Shearing Shed Museum.


Housed within the historic Bank of NSW building in the heart of Nyngan, Beancounters House is a charming hotel and cafe offering luxurious accommodation and top quality coffee and meals.

Day Seven

Nyngan to Dubbo
1 hr 48 mins 166km

Complete the circuit today by heading on back to Dubbo. You can power on back to Dubbo if you still have a few items you need to tick of the city's to-do list, but it's well worth your while to take your time and stop in at the various towns dotting this section of the Mitchell Highway.


Enjoy a spot of bird watching in Trangie, where the nearby world famous Macquarie Marshes attract an abundance of birdlife.

Soak up the aviation history in Narromine with a trip to the Narromine Aviation Museum.