Exploring Outback New South Wales
The spirit of Australia is real and vibrant. With the majority of tourists flocking to the beaches that traverse the East coast of the state, it is often left to the locals to explore the vast desert landscape in the West.
There are a lot of great reasons to pack a bag and venture in-land, with outback towns now more than ever eager to welcome visitors and share a little of their way of life. Not sure where to visit? Whether you’re flying, road-tripping, or having a short break, here are just a few great outback destinations to put on the list…
Perhaps one of the most well-known towns in outback New South Wales, Broken Hill is more than just a stunning desert landscape and movie-set buildings. A frontier mining town, you can learn all about its rich mining history by exploring the Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum or get a more personal insight by stopping for a chat with the friendly locals.
Complementing the beautiful natural aesthetic is the thriving art scene, Living Desert Sculptures is located 9km north of Broken Hill, where international artists were inspired to works of art that are both inspired by the setting as well as contributing to it. The Sculptures – 12 sandstone artworks – each have a story to tell, giving further insight into the connection between nature and those living in harmony with it.
Our country may be young, but it is packed full of stories to tell. Be transported back in time with a visit to Bourke, following the Bourke Town Trail to the local historic landmarks. Can you still hear the clanging of the metal at the blacksmith’s workshop? How about the jangling of chains at the Bourke Courthouse?
Not all history has physically withstood the sands of time. Thankfully, Back O’Bourke Exhibition Centre continues the tradition of passing down the tales of early exploration, both of the local Aboriginal people and the settlers.
The perfect way to experience Bourke is on a caravan road trip, letting you explore the land at your leisure.
Like Broken Hill, Lightning Ridge also has a rich mining history. This historic opal mining town gives you the chance to get down and dirty, with guided tours through the mines. Complete your day’s adventure with soak at the artesian bore baths, where naturally heated water springs up to cleanse and revitalise your body.
Rivalling the beauty of the night sky with its glistening display of stars unaffected by light pollution are the underground caves with their enchanting artworks. Still want more? For those planning a visit in July, the Lightning Ridge Opal Festival continues the area’s proud display, with 150+ stalls letting you browse your day away or stock-up on everyone’s souvenirs.
Blessed with an abundance of great outback locations, the next time you are looking for the perfect place to holiday, look no further than outback New South Wales.
Michelle Sommerville, O50s Australian Over 50s Living & Lifestyle Guide