Pooncarie, NSW, is a wonderful destination on the Darling River to connect with the famous explorers Bourke & Wills.
Bourke & Wills reached the Darling River near Pooncarie at nearby Tarcoola Station and made camp at what is now Bilbarka Park in September 1860 on the way to their ill-fated expedition to the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Originally gazetted as Pooncaira’ in 1863, the area was first ‘established’ by Europeans in the 1840s as settlers took up illegal livestock runs on crown land. By the 1860s the federal government, in an attempt to gain control of the area, formalised these illegal (and unfenced) claims.
More settlers followed, and the town established itself as a service hub for outlying stations and more importantly, at the time, a port for the Paddle-steamer trade that was pushing up the Darling River.
Today, Pooncarie is a great little Darling River service town for those travelling the Darling River Run or exploring the lower Darling region of Outback NSW.
The highlight on the social calendar is the Pooncarie Cup (October).
Nearby Mungo National Park is one of the most visited National Parks in Outback NSW, and for good reason. It is not only about the much-photographed Lunette and ‘Walls of China’, but it is the site that provides evidence of continual human habitation of over 40,000 years.
Visit the Old Wharf Site today on the banks of the Darling River, via McKinlay street into Darling Street.
There are three parks in the town, and one of the central appeals of Pooncarie is that it is an ideal place to camp, to have a picnic and to go fishing in the Darling River.
The main attraction in the area is Lake Mungo. The lake is the central feature of Mungo National Park and is one of seventeen lakes in the World Heritage-listed Willandra Lakes Region.