The Australian Outback is legendary, and refers to the vast and arid interior of the country. Many would argue that the true Outback lies well beyond the outskirts of any city, but, if you happen to be visiting Sydney and want to experience a small taste of the Outback, these are a few areas that you can tour.
While it may take a lengthy train ride to get you there, Broken Hill, in the far west outback of New South Wales, is an isolated mining town surrounded by semi-desert. While there is only one mine still functioning today, it mines for zinc, lead and silver, which is why the town acquired the nickname Silver City. Being a mining community, there are many mining museums to visit, as well as quite a thriving art scene with a sprinkling of small galleries. Broken Hill is known for its spectacular sunsets, and there are many areas of the Outback that provide great vantage points, from the Mutawintji National Park to the Kinchega National Park, both of which are also worth touring in more depth.
Mudgee is a hillside town that features a range of Outback attractions, especially when it comes to walks through the bush. The Castle Rocks Walk is an iconic one, as the views along the way, as well as at the end of it, are quintessentially Australian. From sandstone pagoda features to eucalypt and pine bushland to native bird life, this is a walk that simply has to be taken. The Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve is also worth a visit, as being the second oldest nature reserve in the country, it is steeped in Aboriginal history. For those that want the opportunity to view more of the Outback’s native wildlife, take a tour around the Goulburn River National Park, which is not only perfect for swimming and fishing, but is also home to a variety of wildlife species, from the turquoise parrot to the eastern grey kangaroo to the red-necked wallaby. To inject a dose of history into your trip, stop off at the Gulgong Pioneer Museum, which is home to one of the best Australiana collections in the country.
Mungo National Park
A part of the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area, the Mungo National Park consists of over 120,000 hectares of remote Outback landscape, with everything from looming sand dunes to ancient dried up lakebeds. When it comes to touring the park, there are a couple of options available. If you would prefer a self-guided tour, there is a 65 km drive that can be followed, which stops off at 15 points of interest along the way, enabling you to explore the park at your own pace. Alternatively, you have the option of joining an escorted tour in 4WD vehicles. These are led by local rangers from the three tribal groups of the Willandra Lakes Region, giving you the opportunity to learn so much about the area’s history and culture.
Every Australian state contains a small amount of the Outback, and while this may take a fair bit of traveling from the major cities, this is a journey well worth taking. From the remoteness of Broken Hill to the native bushland all around Mudgee, these are some great places to visit when touring the Australian Outback.