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THE LIVING OUTBACK - Remote New South Wales
The 'Outback' is a vast region west of the main towns along the central section of the state, well west of the Great Dividing Range, and bordered
by the South Australian, western Queensland and western Victorian borders. It is
made up mainly of small settlements servicing large sheep and cattle properties, agricultural farms and mines. There
are a few large towns including Bourke, Broken Hill, Cobar and Wentworth however, most are comprised of a few houses, a
pub, petrol station, some accommodation, and takeaway food.
These remote settlements are the backbone of Australia's tourism and primary production. Without essential services
there would be little travel to these fascinating regions which include some major national parks and a rich history of
exploration and adventure since early settlement in Australia. As you drive these outback roads you can marvel at the
early explorers and settlers who traversed this countryside on foot, sometimes with horses or camels, sleeping under the
stars to rise and press on the next day.
Mining has opened up some of the region. Broken Hill and Lighning Ridge are mining towns. Menindee is a popular destination and,
after rains, the lakes attract thousands of birds. The area is part of the vast Murray Darling catchment area with the Darling
and Murrumbidgee Rivers joining the Murray River along the southern border and flowing west to the sea in South Australia.
In earlier days paddle steamers and barges operated along these rivers when water levels were suitable and at Bourke you can
still see the Port where they loaded and unloaded cargo.
Travelling in this Outback can mean long distances with sometimes hundreds of kilometres between towns. Off the main highways
the roads can be loose surface gravel in poor condition and you should carry adequate water and food, basic tools, make sure
your spare tyre is usable and you have tools to change it. There may be no signal for mobile phones and if you are going off
the beaten track you should inform someone responsible of your destination, ETA, and call them to let them know you have arrived
Highlights include the major towns, the Sturt National Park and Cameron's Corner at the junction of the NSW, QLD and SA borders,
Mungo National Park near Balranald, the Menindee Lakes, Opal mines at Lightning Ridge, the art precinct at Broken Hill.
ACCOMMODATION & SERVICES:
Select type, then click the button below for Outback Accommodation
Use the list below for a specific town search
Information is available from the Visitor Centres in the district.
GETTING THERE BY ROAD
The Barrier Hwy runs east west through the heart of Outback country and eventually into Sydney. In the south, the Sturt Hwy leads from Mildura (Victoria)
to Balranald and the Silver City Hwy runs north-south inside the western border from Wentworth to Broken Hill and beyond.
Other Highways are the cobb Hwy, Castlereagh Hwy and the Great Western Hwy between Hay and West Wyalong. See the Outback Touring map. BY AIR
There are regional airports at Broken Hill, Dubbo and Mildura (for Wentworth). Regular coach and rail services operate throughout the area and you
can check on our Travel Pages.