The Corner Country Explorer

Outback Driving Adventures

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Open Information on town or member by clicking panel on top left of map.

Total Route Details:

  • Distance: 1,050km - Mostly Unsealed Roads
  • Allow: Min 4 Days (3 Nights)

Overview:

How outback do you want to go? The Corner Explorer touring route is one for the adventurer. While this involves outback driving on unsealed roads, it is possible to do it in a conventional vehicle (although a higher clearance SUV is probably better). On trips like this, always phone ahead to get an update on road conditions.

While there are many ways to get to/from Bourke and Broken Hill, this route encompasses a drive along the Dowling Track from northern NSW into southern Queensland to Thargomindah. The Dowling Track does go further north, but for this route, the Explorers Way west to the Corner Country is taken, before heading south and onto Broken Hill.

The Dowling Track follows in the footsteps of Vincent James Dowling and other early pioneers who over 100 years ago discovered this area, known as the “Plains of Promise”- people travelled the track looking for a new life and new opportunities. The Australian author, Henry Lawson walked from Bourke to Hungerford and back in the hellish summer heat looking for work.

Thargomindah is the site of Australia’s first hydroelectricity scheme utilising the high-pressure artesian bore water which was able to supply the town’s electricity needs until the 1950’s. Thargomindah was established in the 1870’s as a service town for the surrounding stations like Bulloo Downs, Durham Downs and Thargomindah Station. It also became an important transport hub for the movement of the wool clip from south-west Queensland to the river boat port at Bourke.

Tibooburra is the closest town to Sturt National Park, an expansive park located in the north-west corner of NSW and bordering South Australia to the West and Queensland to the north, provides the visitor with a great insight to the geomorphology of outback Australia with ancient eroded mountain ranges and vast gibber plains easily illustrating the concept of the inland sea that early explorers believed covered the interior of Australia.

Milparinka, in the Corner Country, is something of an enigma in that it was a town that thrived during the 1890s but gradually declined as the prospect of growing wealthy from gold discovery also declined. Set on the banks of Sturt's Evelyn Creek its heritage value is outstanding. The Albert (Milparinka) Hotel and the beautifully restored sandstone Courthouse and police station complex complement each other.

Route Sections:

Bourke <> Kilcowera Station:

  • Route: Bourke-Hungerford Road <> Dowling Track (305 km - about 4 hours) - Mostly Unsealed

After a stay in Bourke (Food & Huts by Mt Oxley is our member near Bourke. Alternatively, Bourke itself has many accommodation options) it is a nice drive (unsealed) to Hungerford which makes a great lunchtime stopover at the iconic pub.

From Hungerford, the Dowling Track runs along the NSW/QLD border through Currawinya NP before heading north up to Kilcowera Station. This section is also unsealed but well maintained. Kilcowera Station make a great stopover.

Kilcowera Station <> Tibooburra:

  • Route: Dowling Track <> Explorers Way <> Warri Gate Rd (450 km - about 6 hours) - Unsealed

Leaving Kilcowera, it is a nice 90min drive to Thargomindah, which is worth a visit, then the route heads west along the Explorers Way to our Noccundra member Noccundra Hotel.

From there the route heads south towards the Warri gate which brings you back into NSW. The gate is part of the Dog Fence which stretches over 5,500km from the Darling Downs in Queensland all the way to the Great Australian Bight.

From Warri Gate, it is 55km to Tibooburra and our memeber, the Family Hotel.

* This section of the touring route involves remote outback driving, so ensure your car is mechanically sound, carry enough water in case of a break-down, and most importantly ensure someone knows where you are and an ETA for your destination.

Tibooburra <> Pimpara Lake Station:

  • Route: Silver City Highway <> Milparinka <>Mt Shannon Road <> Mount Arrowsmith Road <> Pimpara Lake Road (175km - about 3 hours) – Unsealed from Milparinka.

The drive to Milparinka from Tibooburra is about 43kms and a stopover at this wonderful historic town is a must. Pimpara Lake Station, one of our members, is a 130km from Milparinka via the Mt Shannon and Mt Arrowsmith roads.

Pimpara Lake Station <> Broken Hill:

Route: Take Pimpara Lake Rd <> Sanpah Rd <> Silver City Highway (205km - about 2.5 hours) - Unsealed & Sealed

From Pimpara Lake Station, it is about 60km to the Silver City Highway. Once on the main highway, it is a further 145km drive south to Broken Hill.

In Broken Hill, our member, Imperial Fine Accommodation, is the perfect place to pamper yourself for a day or two while taking in all that is on offer in Broken Hill


Outback Beds Members & Towns along the way

 

Members

Few pubs in Australia are more iconic than the Family Hotel in Tibooburra and few places are more welcoming than the Corner Country town of Tibooburra.
Tibooburra

Family Hotel

Few pubs in Australia are more iconic than the Family Hotel in Tibooburra and few places are more welcoming than the Corner Country town of Tibooburra. The hotel, run by Melissa and William Thomson…
The spectacular Mt Oxley
Bourke

Food & Huts by Mt Oxley

Rising from a perfectly flat landscape, Mt Oxley has outstanding 360 degree views, and showcases the abundance of wildlife, including Wedge-Tailed Eagles and Euros (Macropus Robustus), who inhabit…
Broken Hill's jewel in the crown
Broken Hill

Imperial Fine Accommodation

Elegant 4 1/2 star accommodation with a personal touch awaits you at The Imperial, a beautifully restored heritage bluestone building (circa 1906) in the heart of Broken Hill where modern facilities…
Along the Dowling Track in SW Queensland
Thargomindah

Kilcowera Station

Imagine sitting by your campfire as a vivid, red sun sets over a timeless Outback landscape. Parrots chatter in nearby Coolabah trees as the purple dusk creeps across a cloudless sky. This is…
The iconic Corner Country pub & hospitality
Noccundra

Noccundra Hotel

Serving Beer since 1882, the Historic Sandstone Noccundra Hotel, on Nockatunga Station South-West QLD, invites you to experience a little bit of the past on our gum-lined river-fronted bush camp…
Experience the best of the Corner Country
Corner Country

Pimpara Lake Station

Pimpara Lake Station is a family owned and operated station property located in the far west of outback New South Wales, in the area known as Corner Country. It is a property traversed by the…
One of the best Darling River Experiences
Louth

Trilby Station

Staying with the Murray's on their historic 6th generation, 320,000 acre sheep station on the banks of the beautiful and iconic Darling River is described by many as their ultimate Outback NSW…

 

Towns

Gateway to the Outback
Food & Huts by Mt Oxley

Bourke

"If you know Bourke, you know Australia" so wrote the famous Australian poet Henry Lawson in 1882. Although Bourke is a town, it is something that is etched in the psyche of Australia and is commonly…
The Queen of the Desert.. arts & culture
Imperial Fine Accommodation

Broken Hill

Broken Hill, known as 'The Silver City', is the largest centre in Outback NSW and is often referred to as “The Jewel of the Outback”. Located 1,160 km from Sydney, the city came into existence in…
Preserving explorer history...
Pimpara Lake Station

Milparinka

Milparinka, 40 kilometres to the south of Tibooburra, is something of an enigma, a town that thrived during the 1890s but gradually declined as the prospect of growing wealthy from gold discovery…
Along the Adventure Way of SW QLD
Kilcowera Station

Thargomindah

For the traveller, Thargomindah and the surrounding area offers wonderful National Parks (Lake Bindegolly NP and Currawinya NP), friendly farm stays, unique birdlife, amazing geomorphology of ancient…
The Capital of the Corner
Family Hotel

Tibooburra

The most isolated town in NSW, Tibooburra is the ultimate destination of those travelling to the Corner Country and beyond. Originally named The Granites due to the ancient granite tors that surround…


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