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There is so much to see and do in our part of the Outback it will make your head spin......
Let’s start with the border town of Mildura where they take their art very seriously having an Art Festival, Opera by the Lock, Country Music and Jazz Festivals and a Writers Festival too. Then there’s the River Speed Boat race at Easter, horse racing and the Wentworth Fishing Classic. Just up the road you have the fabulous Mungo National Park. Outback Beds members Nathen and Sophie operate Turlee Station just out from Mildura.
Griffith is the heart of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) and it’s here, in spring that you can collect wild asparagus for free! Patches of it grow on roadsides and channel banks all around the city. Griffith is one on the largest vegetable and wine producing areas in Australia so there are lots of wineries and cellar doors for taste testing. Check out the Festival of the Salami and the Hermits’ Cave. Outback Beds are represented here by Julie and Bruce from Corynnia Station.
To the east is Dubbo, home of the best open plains Zoo in Australia. Dubbo is one of NSW’s largest inland cities and has all the amenities you would expect of a city with a population of over 40,000. It hosts a Thoroughbred Sale and Race Carnival, a Bridal Fair, an Antiques Fair, Truck and Tractor Show, a Caravan, Camping and 4WD Show and a Jazz Festival. The old Dubbo Jail is well worth visiting as are the twice monthly Farmers Markets. Outback Beds members Neil and Nancy operate Walls Court B&B just out from Dubbo.
Two of our newest Outback Bed members, Barkarla Farmstay and Mt Tenandra Homestead, are nestled near the forests of the Piliga and the foothills of the Warrumbungle Range - the Astronomy capital of Australia.
Discover a piece of Australia’s past at Mt Tenandra Homestead Bed and Breakfast Retreat. It is an original pastoral settlement and a Cobb and Co stop with the old cloak room and bath house still standing. Barkala Farm, offering inspiring eco-architecture, horse riding and language lessons, is also home to Australia's largest and finest bush pottery.
Remember Nyngan? Little known prior to 1990, when it was deluged with the worst floods of the century. The locals laid 260, 000 sandbags on top of the established levee bank but the waters still inundated the entire town, causing $50 million worth of damage and necessitating the airlift, by helicopter of 2000 citizens, virtually the entire population. Nyngan has many historic buildings dating back to the 1880’s also the Nyngan Coach Works where visitors can see the ongoing work of building and restoring Cobb & Co coaches and Royal Mail vehicles, utilising 19th-century methods and technologies. Beancounters House owned by Ian Perkins is the Outback Beds representative here.
Lightning Ridge is home of the Black Opal. The Lightning Ridge Easter festival is in its 34th year and is staged around three main events: the Lightning Ridge Black Opal Rodeo, Australian Goat Racing Championships (yes, you read it correctly) and the Lightning Ridge Horse Races. Then there is the Opal Festival, the Opal Queen Ball and an Art and Craft Festival in October. But opal is not the only thing the Ridge has going for it. What about having a look at John Murrays’ famous Art Gallery, the Grawin Opal Miners Club or The Glengarry Hilton and Sheepyard Flats? Outback Beds owners in the Ridge area are Andrew and Jo from Fossickers Cottages ( also Lost Sea Opals) and Bev and Richard from Caloola B&B.
Heading west to Brewarrina, you’ll find Graham and Kathy, Outback Beds members who own and operate Bokhara Hutz. Brewarrina hosts the annual Barwon River Rodeo at Easter and Art Exhibitions throughout the year. Horse races are in May and Farmers Markets are on each month. The fishing around Bree is exceptional and the Culgoa National Park is just up the road.
On to Bourke which is situated on the mighty Darling River. The “Jandra” a paddle boat, cruises the river twice daily delivering passengers to the Port O’ Bourke. Visitors can participate in short 2-3 hour tours to the many attractions close to the Bourke Township. These include a Vineyard, Cotton farm and Cotton Gin (in season). You can’t miss Mount Oxley just out from town, Outback Bed members Denise and Bill operate Food & Huts by Mt Oxley. The renowned Gundabooka National Park is a mere 50 kms south of Bourke.
Heading north up the bitumen through Engonia you’ll see a turn off to Comeroo Station where you can try a camel trek, check out the fascinating museum and enjoy a soak in their artesian water spa. Owners Chris and Bruce extend a warm Outback Beds welcome to visitors.
Cross the New South Wales Queensland border at Barringun and head on up to Charleville, in the heart of QLD's Mulga Country and rich in history, flora and fauna. The Charleville Heritage Trail guides visitors through the history of the town and its heritage buildings. The stars almost touch the end of your nose at the Cosmos Centre and Observatory where clear nights and a low horizon combine to give visitors a great night time experience. Kangaroos, emus, birds of prey and a wondrous variety of Australian native wildlife can be seen whilst travelling this area. Visit the National Parks Research Station, home of the Save the Bilby Fund. Seasonal 'meet the bilbies' tours are held at the station. Graham and Deb of Charleville Bush Cottage and Caravan Park (and also travelwest.com.au) are your Outback Bed member in the area.
Thargomindah on the Bulloo River is home to the Stockman’s Challenge. It also hosts a Day - Night Rodeo, a Ball and Polo Crosse Carnival. Nearby National Parks are Bindegolly and Currawinya. Outback Beds members Greg and Toni operate Kilcowera Station and welcome visitors to stay in their accommodation or camp on the property. Guided or self guided tours are available and camp oven meals are a specialty.
Tibooburra is home to Sturt National Park and the Tibooburra Outback School of the Air, the most geographically isolated school in NSW. Visitors can view and listen to daily radio lessons each morning. Tibooburra is a popular spot for a little gold prospecting as it was once part of the Albert Goldfields. It also hosts the annual Christmas in June Festival with novelty events, a live band and Carols. Visitors can stay at the Mt Wood Homestead in the Sturt National Park with Outback Beds member Ingrid.
Henry Lawson noted in his poem ‘Louth on the Darling’, penned in the 1890’s, that the town was a place that loved a drink, a punt and a party, and visitors to the Annual Louth Races each August would wholeheartedly agree. Many visitors set up camp at the race course or on the banks of the Darling River for the entire week, also taking in the Gundabooka Golf Challenge, Damper Bake-off, a Calcutta and live music on both Friday and Saturday nights.
Visitors are able to stay at nearby Trilby Station which is situated on the banks of the Darling River, or near Tilpa, you’ll find Kallara and Old Buckanbe stations. All are members of Outback Beds and offer great outback hospitality and a range of accommodation and camping options.
Continuing on the Darling River Run you will find Outback Bed member Nelia Gaari, situated on the western side of the Darling mid way between Wilcannia and Menindee, just the spot If you are lookinq for a quiet, convenient location to park your caravan. They also offer a four bedroom self contained cottage by the river ... so relax and experience the quiet and restful solitude of the Darling River with Greg and Lily.
Going west along the Barrier Highway the next stop is Broken Hill, a city with a long and colourful history and many grand historic buildings and monuments. You’ll find over thirty art galleries dotted around the city highlighting the works of some of the world’s greatest artists. Try a camel safari at sunset and don’t miss the outstanding mineral collection at the Geocentre. Outback Beds members Bill and Cathy own the historic building called “Imperial Fine Accommodation” right in the heart of town.
Nearby is the Kinchega National Park and the beautiful series of lakes on the Darling that make up the Menindee Lake system. Check out Copi Hollow where the Inland Speed Boat Championships are held when there is enough water. The wreck of the paddle steamer Providence can still be seen at this location. Sunset Strip is a rather odd version of a waterfront resort and says a lot about the quest for a holiday by the sea. There are also several self drive tours around Kinchega NP. Bill and Barb, Outback Beds members own Bindara on the Darling and offer visitors’ accommodation, camping and warm outback hospitality.