Once a remote mining hub, Cobar has blossomed into a busy, prosperous township that has well and truly earned its ‘jewel of the Outback’ moniker.
In a region rich in copper, gold and lead, Cobar was always destined to be a drawcard for hopeful miners looking to try their luck and strike it rich. And strike it rich they did, with the success of the mining industry laying the foundations for a town that continues to thrive in the harsh Outback environment. With a mixture of old, stately buildings and new, modern additions lining the streets of Cobar, this is a community that is looking to the future, while continuing to learn from its trailblazing history.
Your first point of call when you visit Cobar should be the Visitor Information Centre, which is located in the Great Cobar Heritage Centre on the Barrier Highway. It’s your one-stop-shop for information on everything to see and do whilst you’re in Cobar, and will provide you with lots of handy tips for exploring the township, as well as finding vital services in the area.
While at the Heritage Centre, make sure to pick up your detailed map of the Cobar Heritage Walk to guarantee you don’t miss out on any of the historical sites and buildings. Allow at least an hour for the leisurely walk through the old part of town, and take in several of Cobar’s grandest establishments, many from the Victorian and Edwardian eras; as well as accommodation used by the miners.
If the Heritage Walk didn’t tire you out too much, the Centenary of Federation Walking Track might just do the trick. Maps for the walk are also available at the Great Cobar Heritage Centre, and this newly sealed walk is easily achievable in approximately 2 hours. The track runs through an old mine site and the Virgin bushlands, and past the Slag Dump, golf course and rugby union oval. There is also the option to bike ride along the path, should your feet fail you.
Situated adjacent to the Great Cobar Heritage Centre is Cobar’s Miner’s Heritage Park. The park, completed in 2002, commemorates the lives of the miners who perished in Cobar’s mines, and is home to a bronze sculpture of a miner and a variety of restored mining equipment. Also worth a look is Cobar’s new state of the art skate park. This recently renovated facility in Drummond Park has used re-purposed mining gear to create a unique and challenging skate park that is quintessentially Cobar.
To not understand the importance of the Cobar’s mining past is to not understand Cobar itself, so ensure your trip includes a visit to the Fort Bourke Hill, which overlooks the New Cobar Gold Mine. The constructed viewing platform offers sweeping views of the underground mine and open pit, and is built upon the original site of Cobar’s first gold mine.
With mining so intrinsically linked and ingrained in Cobar’s identity, it comes as no surprise that there is an annual festival celebrating the long history of Cobar’s mining industry. Held over the last weekend in October, the festival is a family-friendly event with live music, street theatre and art exhibitions; and gives local community groups and sporting clubs an opportunity to showcase their services. There is even a spectacular fireworks display over the old Great Cobar Copper Mine to conclude the event.
To discover one of the most significant art sites in NSW, and a place with deep cultural and spiritual impact, head to Mt Grenfell Historic Site, 70km west of Cobar. The sacred land belongs to the Ngiyampaa people, and a short walk through cypress pines and around towering cliffs reveals galleries of remarkable Aboriginal rock art. Stencils, drawings and markings cover the ancient rock faces, depicting human forms, animals and the surrounding environment with striking accuracy.
Situated at the crossroads of the Barrier Highway and Kidman Way, is Cobar.
This central NSW town is approximately an 8 hour, 800km trip from Sydney.
Regional carrier Rex Airlines offer services to Cobar via Dubbo.
Weather conditions can vary quite drastically in Cobar, with an average summer temperature of 33.5 degrees Celsius, and an average winter temperature of 15.5 degrees Celsius. Prolonged outbreaks of drought are also a normal occurrence, another indicator of the unpredictable weather cycles in Cobar. For close to ideal climate conditions, it's best to visit in autumn or spring.
Cobar is home to two IGA supermarkets, one on Marshall St and the other located on Linsley St, both of which will have you covered for all your grocery needs.
Cobar has dump points at the following locations
Discover more accommodation options in and around Cobar.