Discovering outback NSW
We’ve travelled the world over. We’ve hiked glaciers, seen the Northern Lights and experienced the sights and sounds of cities across the globe.
Despite our travels, destinations in our own backyard beyond the black stump or the back o’ Bourke are a mystery.
Well, that’s about to change.
Now is the time to travel Australia and experience what our beautiful country has to offer. Outback NSW has been devastated by drought, ravaged by fire and now crippled by the effects of COVID-19 on the economy.
But outback NSW is recovering. The Darling River is flowing for the first time in years. The Menindee Lakes are filling. Birds are returning, fish are being released and the locals are eager to welcome you.
Outback NSW is ready and waiting… and you won’t be disappointed.
Here’s our guide to help you start planning your outback adventure.
See The Darling River Run and buy a beer from Josh
In April 2020, the Darling and Murray Rivers met for the first time in years. Together they form one of the world’s largest river systems, so this was a pretty big deal.
Drought-breaking news aside, now is the time to follow the Darling River Run for a number of reasons.
For starters, it’s a legendary drive following the river through spectacular scenery, filled with Aboriginal and colonial history. And with full rivers and lakes – the World Heritage-listed Menindee Lakes to be specific – the scenery, birdlife and sunsets are at their peak.
As they were in the midst of lockdown when the rivers met, celebrations were low-key… but the beer is now flowing and everyone is welcome. As Josh, the publican in Pooncarie said, “There’s only so much a town of 40 can drink.”
Our Travel NSW 4WD journey follows the Darling River Run and calls into Pooncarie so we can buy a beer from Josh.
Share a cuppa and a conversation
It’s one thing to buy local… and it’s another altogether to understand how the locals really live. That’s why Visit My Farm was set up.
Farms across the whole country and all corners of outback NSW invited visitors to learn about life on the land.
Over a few hours – and perhaps more than one cup of tea – the farmer will show you some of the amazing and innovative things they are doing to improve, protect and future proof their lands and our food supply.
You could find yourself on a farm with alpacas to emus, sheep to shiraz, and milk to meat. The farms all vary in size, products and activities, with farm tours, animal interactions, tastings and even accommodation on offer at some farms.
Mungo is a truly special place that really leaves its mark on you. Beyond the spectacular scenery, Mungo is a place of significant spirituality.
It is the world’s oldest burial ritual site where over 40,000 years ago people gathered to farewell their friends.
Remains found in the 1960s are proof that Mungo is the longest continually inhabited place on Earth.
If you can time your visit to see the full moon rise over the Walls of China rock formation, you won’t be disappointed. Stay at Mungo Lodge to enjoy the sky all night… there is plenty of time for sleep later!
Our Travel NSW by 4WD tour visits Mungo National Park for the full moon with a stay at Mungo Lodge.
Food Heaven in the Riverina
If you’re looking for a place to stay for a week or so, the Riverina is the place. It’s Australia’s food bowl, so settle in for a feast.
Farms and vineyards dominate the landscape with fresh produce and artisanal delights filling the shelves and kitchens.
You can stroll through markets for picnic supplies, and book in for fine dining.
Visit a farm to learn about horticulture and viticulture, get hands-on with cooking classes, and pick your own produce. Balance your stay with local history, outback pubs and excellent walking trails.
Go back to Bourke
In 2013 Bourke was more dangerous per capita than any country in the world. That was until the Aboriginal community, which made up a third of the population, took a radical approach.
They diverted funds from building prisons to projects to keep people out of them.
The result was a dramatic reduction in crime… and the money saved has now been invested back into the town.
This is a Cinderella story of a wonderful town to visit and explore outback NSW. One of the most popular activities in Bourke is a cultural walk, led by local Aboriginal people who give a personal insight into their connection with the land and the history of the region.
Bourke was a thriving centre of early colonial settlement, so there’s lots of that history to discover as well. The misguided search for an inland sea… the heroism of the local women and the outback life that inspired Henry Lawson.
For a true outback experience, join a campfire dinner under a coolabah tree with music, poetry and storytelling all about the Australian outback.
Join us on our 4WD journey around NSW which will take you to Bourke to enjoy a campfire dinner and cultural walk.
Outback Art Silos
The thing about outback NSW is there is a surprise waiting around every corner. And often those surprises are the last thing you would be expecting.
Like the Art Silos that brighten the landscape of regional towns around the country.
While the Art Silos aren’t unique to NSW, you will find five of these innovative and creative masterpieces across the state.
Combined with the 35 wheat silos, 60 water towers and many streetscapes around Australia, they make up the world’s largest art gallery. And set against the backdrop of our sunburnt country, they are a sight to behold.
Each silo tells a story. They are inspiring to the viewer… and form their own inspiring story of what can be achieved when you dream big and take a chance.
When you join our backyard journeys, you will have the chance to see the Art Silos as part of a guided tour. Or contact us to discuss your own tailor-made Art Silos journey.
Supporting the communities of outback NSW
Our regional communities have been doing it tough. Life in the outback is not for the fainthearted.
Our backyard journeys take you to the best of remote Australia, to support these regional communities. Talk to the locals, understand their lives, and spend money in their towns. You will be so much richer for the experience of exploring our phenomenal country and all it has to offer.