The most isolated town in the state, Tibooburra has a raw, frontier flavour that conjures up its pioneering past. Tibooburra is also the gateway to Corner Country, with several hotels and motels and a roadhouse that offer comfort and convenience for travellers looking to experience this remarkable part of Outback NSW.
For many thousands of years this region has been home to the Wangkumara and Maljangapa Aboriginal people, whose middens, quarries, campsites, ceremonial sites and tool workshops are scattered throughout the area. With artefacts and photographs, Tibooburra’s Keeping Place Museum bears witness to their history and culture.
Even from the outside it’s obvious that The Family Hotel has a story to tell. Step inside the bar though, and you’re in for a real surprise. The walls have been decorated by some of the greats of Australian art - Russell Drysdale, Eric Minchin and, most conspicuously, Clifton Pugh, whose paintings leave nothing to the imagination.
Tibooburra’s Pioneer Park is the site of a remarkable sculpture, Myth and Mirage 1999, an upside-down whaleboat suspended high in the air. The boat is a reference to the 12-oar whaleboat that Captain Sturt dragged all the way from Adelaide, believing that it would be used to cross the inland sea, the expedition’s goal.
Formerly given over to pastoral properties, Sturt National Park is one of the treasures of Outback NSW. Its topography varies from rock gorges to gibber plains to rippling red sandhills and dry creek beds. Infrequent rains bring a blush of colour to the landscape when wildflowers spring to life. The wildlife is spectacular, with giant red kangaroos, emus, wedge-tailed eagles and many species of lizards. At the western end of the reserve is the Explorers Tree where Sturt once buried food.
The Courthouse Museum offers a fascinating look at life, work and play for pioneers who came to this remote corner of the state in the early 1900s. Exhibits include artefacts from the sheep stations that formerly stood on Sturt National Park, packsaddles, historic photographs and an original Royal Flying Doctor Medical Kit.