It’s a fact that around 85% of the Australian population live within 50km of the countries coastline and when it comes to holidays we typically venture to another beachside location, it’s just the Australian way. Well here’s a destination that’s different - Back O’ Bourke, and for those who have been there before believe it rivals the Rock and the Barrier Reef. Offering an extraordinary escape from the everyday, this journey that takes you from the heart of the country to the edge of the outback.
Located 789 km north-west of Sydney, Bourke is situated on the Darling River. It’s a thriving country town with a population around 3,500 and of geographic importance as the centre of wool, cotton and citrus. For the travellers of all ages, there’s plenty to see and do. The landscape is vast and ever-changing and alive with the abundant Australian wildlife. History abounds dating back to the early 1800’s when explorers the likes of Charles Sturt and Sir Thomas Mitchells explored the region. Today the town's history is still very prominent and proudly displayed.
Here is a list of the must-see things to do in this beautiful location that is Back O’ Bourke, on the very edge of the great Australian outback or as they say ‘as far as you can go’.
Back O’Bourke Exhibition Centre
This new world-class centre showcases the history of western NSW and Bourke. It focuses on the people and the landscape that have not only contributed to the life of Bourke but also the history of Australia. The centre describes itself as ‘a billabong 500 years long’ because it tells the story of the Darling River. The displays are linked by running water, the lifeblood of Western NSW.
Back O’Bourke Gallery
The Back O’Bourke Gallery is situated on the banks of the Darling River at North Bourke, 5km north of Bourke. North Bourke is an outback tourist village and this beautifully presented gallery houses the studio of one of Australia’s foremost established outback artists, Jenny Greentree. Jen’s art is inspired by the rich Australian outback scenery that surrounds the region.
Cruise the Darling on the PV Jandra
The PV Jandra is a replica paddle vessel built locally by the Mansell family in 2000. The Jandra is licensed to carry 100 passengers and offers 1 regular cruise per day along the Darling River. The Jandra departs Kidman's Camp Mon-Fri at 2pm (1-hour cruise) offering visitors a chance to relive the old river days.
Gundabooka National Park
This national park is without a doubt one of the best in NSW. A diverse cultural story, walking trails, camping facilities, rock art and just off the highway, about 50km south of Bourke. Call into the National Parks office and pick up a brochure.
Back O’Bourke Outback Show
Paul Clarkson leads the Back O' Bourke Outback Show. This Stockman style show is very entertaining with horses, working dogs, sheep and special cast members. The 2018 season has commenced and will go through until late September. The one-hour spectacular is held in the Stockman's Arena at the rear of the Back O' Bourke Exhibition Centre. Show times are 11 am - 6 days a week from Tuesday to Sunday.
Poetry on a Plate
Relax beneath a Coolabah Tree under the starlit sky, with a campfire of Gidgee coals, share a meal and experience some excellent Australian poetry and local stories. Your host at Poetry on A Plate is Frank Povah - who will have you laughing, crying, reflecting & learning about the iconic part of Australia.
It’s a unique night out in Bourke like no other in the Australian outback. The show starts at 6.30pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday night’s at Kidman’s Camp, North Bourke, from April through until the end of September.
Where to Stay
Bourke is well served by a range of accommodation, from luxury cabins to budget motels and free campsites.
This is just a sample of things to see and do in this excellent outback location. If you have never seen Australia’s Outback this a great way to experience it, and as they say once you experienced the outback, it will keep you coming back.