Walgett, Outback NSW

Outback Touring & Destinations

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About Walgett

About Walgett

"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)

Walgett likes to describe itself as 'The Gateway to the Opal Fields' because it is an ideal place to stay before heading off to the opal mining settlement of Lightning Ridge (76 km away) and the smaller opal fields at Grawin, Glengarry and the Sheepyard Opal Fields, all of which are located north-west of Walgett.

The town's name is derived from the Indigenous language and means the 'meeting of the rivers'. The two rivers are the Barwon and Namoi and coincidently, today it is also the meeting of two highways - the Kamilaroi and Castlereagh. The region is steeped in Aboriginal Culture as it was a gathering place of people from many of the surrounding 'countries' for traditional ceremonies and practises. From a European perspective, while exploring the Castlereagh River, Captain Charles Sturt came across the junction of these two rivers in February, 1829. The town site was surveyed in 1859 - and proclaimed a town 20 years later.

The advent of mechanical sheep shearing was due to local farmer Frederick Wolseley whose patented devise (March 1877) revolutionised the Australia sheep industry. The system was developed in the blacksmith shop on his property - Euroka. The first river boats (steamers) arrived in Walgett in 1861 and were still plying the river in the very early 1900's. Boats such as "Brewarrina", "Ellen", "Sturt" and "Wandering Jew" frequented Walgett's port at the Dangar Bridge and provided the mode of transport required for the developing pastoral industries of the area. Walgett, 696 km north-west of Sydney, is a pleasant outback town where the people are friendly and the sense of 'Outback' is cleverly merged with the facilities and amenities of a larger town.

Its attractive riverside location also makes it an ideal spot for fishing: Murray cod and Yellow Belly being the predominant catches. Walgett was also a location visited by the 1960's Freedom Rides as Indigenous ex-servicemen were refused entry in the RSL Club. International attention was gained for the cause after the unfortunate incident of the Riders' bus was forced off the road by an unidentified car.

Outback Beds

Outback Beds near Walgett

  • 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 had moved out to 'The Ridge' from Sydney around 1996. Andrew is an opal miner and Jo is a qualified jeweller/designer, since marrying in 1998 they have been making jewellery and mining black opal ever since.

Getting to Walgett

Driving to Walgett

Use controls or mouse-wheel to zoom in or out.

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 Walgett.

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 <> Castlereagh Highway: Distance = 686km approx

From Sydney:

Western Freeway > Castlereagh Highway: Distance = 650km approx

From Melbourne:

Hume Highway <> Newell Highway <> Castlereagh Highway: Distance = 1,105km aprox

From Adelaide: 

Barrier Highway <> Mitchell Highway <> Kamilaroi: Distance = 1,360km approx


Travel & Touring

Walgett Touring Routes

  • 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 tour while 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 “travel in the outback with friends...

  • 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

Walgett Visitor Information Centre

88 Fox Street Walgett NSW 2832
Ph: 02 6828 6139


Walgett Weather Outlook