With an abundance of natural Outback beauty, and a colourful history filled with pastoral triumphs, bold explorers and legends of the Dreamtime, the lure of Bourke is too good to resist.
Isolated, yet overflowing with intrigue and legacy, Bourke is a place so visually stunning it inspired bush poet Henry Lawson to utter “If you know Bourke, you know Australia”. The origins of conflict and hostility upon which Bourke was founded are still visible, most notably in the Fort Bourke Stockade; yet Bourke has continued to thrive, seamlessly blending its history-laden past with a surprisingly modern approach for the future.
Surrounded by some of the most typically Australian scenery imaginable, it would be unthinkable to not explore the impressive environment around Bourke. Easily accessible and home to over 3500 species of native Australian animals are Gundabooka, Culgoa and Toorale National Parks, and Ledknapper Nature Reserve. Prepare to also be blown away by the sheer natural beauty of the land, with weathered cliffs, hidden gorges and vast plains for as far as the eye can see.
Or perhaps wander through town and take in some of the historical man-made sights. The Court House, Post Office and Old Catholic Church are just some of the buildings that are over 100 years old, and hark back to a time of bushrangers and stockmen. The North Bourke Bridge is also a recognisable silhouette on the Bourke backdrop; constructed in 1888, it was the first bridge built over the Darling River and definitely worth a look.
This state-of-the-art centre is equipped with highly interactive and engaging installations. It transports visitors back to a time when Bourke was the birthplace of Outback legends, and the starting point of great, pioneering adventures. The area’s rich and culturally significant past is vital in understanding the town Bourke is today, and the centre allows you to completely immerse yourself in the gripping stories of an era bygone.
What better way to take in the sublime beauty surrounding Bourke, then aboard the paddle steamer P.V. Jandra! This faithful replica will take you on a one hour cruise along the vital lifeline of Bourke – the mighty Darling River. As you take in the sights you’ll be entertained and informed with tales of Bourke and its then bustling port and flourishing river trade
To understand just how truly iconic the Australian landscape is, it’s hard to go past Gundabooka National Park. Just a short drive from the centre of Bourke, the rich reds of the cliffs in stark contrast to the lush greenery of the bush is instantly mesmerising. It is also an area steeped in Aboriginal culture and significance, with the rock art of the local Ngemba people a must-see experience.
Located in the far north-west of NSW, Bourke is a 9 hour drive from Sydney via the Mitchell Highway, or a 10 hour drive from Brisbane via the Kamilaroi Highway.
Summer in Bourke often means scorching hot temperatures, so it is advisable to visit during spring, winter or autumn, when the conditions are much milder. In particular, spring is a charming time to visit, as the weather begins to warm up slightly, and the wildflowers are in full bloom.
On Oxley Street you’ll find the Supa IGA, which is open 7 days a week for all your grocery needs.
Bourke has two major RV dump points, at the following locations.
Discover more accommodation options in and around Bourke.