Louth, Outback NSW

Outback Touring & Destinations

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About Louth

About Louth

"A place that loved a drink, a party and a punt.." So wrote Henry Lawson about Louth. Not a lot has changed for Louth in that respect. They have a reputation for staging a great party - an annual race meeting each August, that keeps the crowds coming back year after year. Racegoers just love the sheer isolation of Louth, the colourful bush characters and the experience of watching the horses thunder past the winning post in a cloud of dust. Louth Races are held in August.

The Darling River township of Louth (present population about 30), was established in 1859 when an Irishman named Mathews built a pub to cater for the passing land and river-boat trade. The village grew considerably, so that by the turn of the century Louth not only boasted several hotels, shops and a bush nurses outpost, but also its own newspaper. Now just a mere shadow of its former self, the quaint village is ideally located for access to the Darling River Run and affords a choice of eastern or western routes along the Darling River downstream to Tilpa as well as the upstream section to Bourke and beyond 'Back O Bourke'.

Nearby, the historic million-acre Dunlop Station was the first sheep station in the world to use mechanical shears in 1888. Toorale Station, one of the state's newest National Parks, sprawls over 91,000 hectares just NW of Louth, and boasts a remarkable history. In December 1892 Henry Lawson slaved away in the 46-stand Toorale shearing shed for a month and the experience forever influenced his writing about the hardship of life in the bush and how important mateship was to survive there.

Louth also is the site of an amazing and emotive structure known as ‘The Celtic Cross’, a polished granite , 24 feet high cross that dominates the cemetery on the hill overlooking the town. The monument was constructed by the founder of Louth, Thomas Matthews, who erected it as a perpetual memorial to his wife, Mary Mathews, who died in 1886. This magnificent granite monument was so skilfully designed and positioned that at sunset each day it reflects the suns image into the village of Louth. On the 19th August, the anniversary of her death, the reflection is able to be seen from The Retreat, which was her home. The monument is no only testament to the love and devotion of a husband for his wife but also the accuracy of navigation technology of the 1800’s as its alignment was reportedly aided by one of the river boat captains of the Darling River. Recent studies by the Surveyor General’s Department of NSW expressed amazement in the skills of the surveyors and ships Captains of the 1870’s who were able to develop this engineering phenomenon with the limited equipment they had.

Visitors to Louth can observe this occurrence just prior to sunset on a cloudless afternoon, and the locals have thoughtfully marked the places throughout the year that the visitor can experience the 3 minute lightshow. Alternatively, head to Shindy's Inn for a cold one - Dave takes everyone over to stand in exactly the right spot.

Golfing enthusiasts will find the village's 9 hole golf course a real challenge... Locals and visitors alike are regularly seen hitting off and the Wednesday prior to the Louth Races sees anywhere up to 130 golfing enthusiasts compete in the annual Gundabooka Golf challenge. While in Louth be sure to drop into Shindy's Inn for a cold beer, superb meals, basic grocery items, fuel, fishing bait and licences .... and of course a chat with the locals.

Louth Races

Louth has an undeniable reputation for staging a great annual race meeting that keeps crowds coming back … year after year and in 2016 the date is Saturday 6th August.

While racing in the village dates back to 1888 instead of horse and buggy, today's racegoers are more likely to arrive in air-conditioned buses and cars, or by aeroplane. However, our great bush hospitality remains the same.

And while racegoers love the sheer isolation of Louth – the colourful bush characters and the experience of watching the horses thunder past the winning post in a cloud of dust – the action isn't just confined to the Saturday. Instead, there are four days of entertainment and activities, so come along, join in the fun and embrace outback country racing at its best.

For more information on Louth Races, be sure to check out the website.

Outback Beds

Outback Beds near Louth

  • 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 of life and enjoy sharing their experiences and lifestyle with visitors to the station.

Getting to Louth

Driving to Louth

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

There are many different routes that can be taken when driving from any of the capital cities to Louth.

The following is an overview of the routes from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide that may help you in planning your Outback Beds experience.

From Brisbane:

Warrego Hwy <> Darling River Run (Unsealed): Distance = 1,016km approx

From Sydney:

The Great Western Highway > Mitchell Highway > Darling River Run (Unsealed): Distance = 960km approx

From Melbourne:

Hume Highway > Cobb Highway <> Long Paddock <> Darling River Run (Unsealed): (Distance = 1,027km aprox)

From Adelaide: 

Barrier Highway <> Darling River Run (Unsealed): Distance = 930km approx


Travel & Touring

Louth Touring Routes

  • The Darling River Run is a journey of discovery along one of Australia’s most iconic rivers. Steeped in indigenous culture and pastoral history, an adventure along the Darling can include staying at any of the Outback Beds members along the river, and in the surrounding area when venturing away from the river to explore the wonderful Outback NSW. Like many parts of Outback Australia, the Darling basin is rich with Indigenous history, spirituality and living culture, as well as being an integral part of early European history and exploitative efforts of iconic Australians like Burke & Wills, Sturt, and Major Mitchell.

Visitor Information

Louth Visitor Information Centre (Bourke)

Kidman Way, Bourke NSW 2840
Ph: (02) 6872 1321

Louth Weather Outlook