Sturt National Park
This park in the north western corner of the State is one of the largest in NSW. It is bounded on the northern and western sides by the longest dog fence in the world. The park features a fragile desert environment, extensive animal and bird life, a museum and plenty of space and peace and quiet.
The lock at the Bourke Weir was the first to be built on a river anywhere along the Murray or Darling River systems. Built in 1897, the lock and weir is also the only one of its kind to be built on the Darling River.
In 1835, explorer Major Thomas Mitchell built a stockade 35kms downstream of the present town of Bourke. Although the current building is a replica, the original was the only fort ever erected by an Australian explorer. It was named after the NSW Governor and the name was later transferred to the town and district.
Bridge at North Bourke
Built in 1883, this bridge was one of the first lift span bridges built over the Darling River. It was constructed in England and brought to Bourke in sections by paddle steamer. It survives today as a footbridge at North Bourke.
Largest port on the Darling
Bourke was established in 1859 as a paddle steamer destination. It was surveyed in 1862 and became the largest inland port on the Darling River. The first river boat, the Gemini, arrived in 1859, the last departed in 1931.
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 and because a billabong is a great place to sit and yarn! The displays are linked by running water, the lifeblood of western NSW.
In 2000, a local farmer built the Jandra, a paddle wheeler that now provides tourists with a taste of the once-thriving river trade. The boat not only provides a tourist attraction but is seen by many as a symbol that odds can be overcome and renewal can occur.