Outback Intro Loop

Outback Driving Adventures

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Total Route Details:

  • Distance: 1,200km - Mostly Sealed Roads
  • Allow: Min 6 Days (5 Nights)


Never been to the outback but really want to go? Then this touring route is the perfect way to get an insight and understanding of what makes the outback such a wonderful place to visit. The Outback Intro route will take you to the ‘Back O Bourke’ and you will be able to do so easily and safely in a non-4x4 vehicle with your Outback Beds' hosts expecting you every step of the way. After all, the Outback Beds motto is “stay in the outback with friends...

While this route will not take you to the really remote outback like some of our other routes, it will provide a very good taste of what is out here... and along the way stay with some of our wonderful Outback Beds Members.

This touring route can be started/finished at any point, but for illustrative purposes, Dubbo is the starting point.

With its zoo (part of Sydney’s Taronga Zoo), Dubbo is a must see town with all the amenities of a large city but with a distinctive country-town feel. So with so much to see and do in Dubbo, it is worth a couple of nights and there is no better place to stay than at Walls Court, our wonderful Dubbo member who will not only give a great introduction to the town, but also our Outback Beds network.

The next member on the itinerary is Barkala Farm (and Pilliga Pottery) nestled in a beautiful valley between the forest of the Pilliga and the foothills of the Warrumbungle Range in north-western NSW. As well as being a working farm, it is also home to the fabulous creative energy of Pilliga Pottery, the largest and most unique pottery in NSW.

From the Pilliga, it is a beautiful drive north to Walgett, where the Barwon and Namoi rivers meet and a short drive to one of the most iconic towns in the outback and home of the Black Opal... Lightning Ridge.

It is such an endearing destination that many people who visit for a few days, end up staying a life time. Local opal and jewellery artisan, Jo Lindsay, is our member out there and her ‘Fossickers Cottages’ can accommodate couples and families in comfort.

From the Ridge, it is time to head over to Brewarrina, location of the ancient fish-traps and a very informative indigenous visitor centre, both of which are well worth experiencing. From Brewarrina, Bourke is the next destination; the iconic town on the Darling River. We have a member in Bourke, Food and Huts by Mt Oxley. Bourke also has some wonderful accommodation options.

For the run back to Dubbo, along the Mitchell Highway, a stopover in Trangie is easy and comfortable with our member Trangie Caravan Park.

Route Sections:

Dubbo <> Barkala Farm:

  • Route: Newell Highway <> Oxley Highway (163 km - about 2.5 hours) - Mostly Sealed

Leaving Dubbo it is a scenic drive towards Coonabarabran and on to Barkala Farm which is 35km from Coonabarabran (including 10km dirt road).

Barkala Farm <> Walgett:

  • Route: Oxley Highway <> Castlereagh Highway (220 km - about 3.5 hours) - Sealed

After a day or two soaking up the creative ambience of Barkala Farm and Pilliga Pottery, the touring route heads north to Walgett where the Namoi and Barwon rivers meet.

Walgett <> Lightning Ridge:

  • Route: Castlereagh Highway <> Bill O'Brien Way (80km - about 3 hours) - Unsealed

The 'Ridge' is a destination high on many a traveller's list and it is easy to see why... it is such a unique place. With some much to see, do and experience, allow for at least 2 nights (if not three) to fully appreciate this wonderful destination and our member Fossickers Cottage is the ideal place and location to set as your base.

Lightning Ridge <> Bourke:

Route: Cumborah-Lightning Ridge Rd <> Narran Lake Rd <> Kamilaroi Highway (180km - about 3 hours) - Mostly Unsealed

The route from Lightning Ridge to Bourke is via Cumborah and Narren Lake (Unsealed roads) but if you prefer, there is a sealed route back via Walgett, then heading west to Brewarrina and onto Bourke. The unsealed route gives the option of going via The Grawin (another opal field near Lightning Ridge - ask at the Ridge Visitor Information Centre for details) and into Brewarrina past Narren Lake. Allow some time to stop at the 'Fish Traps' and Visitor Centre at Brewarrina before continuing along the Kamilaroi to Bourke.

Bourke <> Trangie:

Route: Mitchell Highway (296km - about 3.5 hours) - Sealed

With only a short drive the next destination, grab the morning to further experience the sights and sounds of life on the Darling at Bourke before heading off down the highway to Trangie.

Trangie <> Dubbo:

Route: Mitchell Highway (80km - about 1 hour) - Sealed

While on the face of it, Trangie appears to be just a small service centre, but scratch the surface a bit and there are some interesting things to see, and with only a short drive back to Dubbo and our members Walls Court, it is easy to while away a few ours exploring this wonderful town on the Macquarie River, a tributary of the Darling

Outback Beds Members & Towns along the way


More than just a farmstay

Barkala Farm

Welcome to a farmstay with a difference! Barkala Farm is "The Jewel of the Pilliga", nestled in a beautiful valley between the forests of the Pilliga and the foothills of the Warrumbungle Range, in northwestern NSW. As well as being a working farm, it is also home to the fabulous creative energy of…
The spectacular Mt Oxley

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 the outcrop of the mountain. Photographers, birdwatchers and bushwalkers – the experience will be…
Experience Black Opal & Art at Lightning Ridge
Lightning Ridge

Fossickers Cottages

Fossickers Cottages, the perfect place to stay, relax and experience Lightning Ridge first hand. Meet locals who are passionate about their town and black opal - the stunning gemstone that is mined from the depths of what was once a great inland sea. Andrew and Jo met in Lightning Ridge after both…
An Oasis on the Mitchell

Trangie Caravan Park

We are situated next to the town swimming pool and sports complex, with plenty of large trees for shade and grass areas for camping. The park has many drive though sites and garden beds dividing each site. We will take you to your site and assist you in placing your van/camper.
One of the best Darling River Experiences

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 experience. Liz and Gary have raised their four children at Trilby, are passionate about their outback way…
Experience country hospitality in Dubbo City

Walls Court

Relish the tranquillity and comfort of your Walls Court suite as you laze on the veranda observing the birds in the garden. Children have fun feeding chooks, gathering eggs and patting dogs. Gain more from your visit to the zoo; we are volunteer guides. Revel in crowd free shopping precincts or…


Gateway to the Outback
Food & Huts by Mt Oxley


"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 used as a reference point to the start of the true Outback. 'Back o Bourke' is a colloquial term…
Explore & Experience the Warrumbungle Region
Barkala Farm


Coonabarabran is a place of many contrasts where the landscape and villages create a patchwork across the countryside, reflecting the varied lifestyles and influences. Coonabarabran, centrally located on the Newell Highway, is the main town in the region and is a perfect starting point to discover…
The BIG Country Town...
Walls Court


Dubbo is a wonderful country city of the Central West Region of New South Wales, being located at the intersections of the Mitchell, Newell and Golden highways, is t the crossroads of the north-south and east west transport routes. Dubbo is a 5 hour drive from Sydney and is very well serviced by…
Warm and Welcoming Eccentricity
Fossickers Cottages

Lightning Ridge

“Though you've roamed the whole world over, seen most all there is to see, there are scenes you've never dreamed of, in the stone of mystery.” Laurie Hudson, Cumborah Postmaster 1947-1965 There are many ‘must see’ destinations in Australia and Lightning Ridge is certainly that; home of the…
Small Town, Big Heart!
Trangie Caravan Park


Trangie is a small country service centre located on the Mitchell Highway about 500km north-west of Sydney as is part of the Macquarie Valley Irrigation Area. Neighbouring towns include Narromine, 35km to the south-east, and Nyngan, 90km to the northwest. A small town of approximately 1,100 people,…
Where the Rivers Meet
Various Accommodation Options


"The yokels laughed at his hopes o'erthrown, And he stood awhile like a man in a dream; Then out of his pocket he fetched a stone, And pelted it over the silent stream -- He had been there before: he had wandered down, On a previous visit to Walgett town". Banjo Patterson (Been There Before)

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