12 must-do experiences in Outback NSW’s Corner Country

In the far northwest of NSW, Corner Country is a place of spectacular desert plains and bush landscapes. There are plenty of adventures to be had, as well as cultural and historic experiences that take you back in time.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Oct 2023 -
min read

Curious about NSW’s Corner Country? North of Broken Hill, NSW transforms into another world. Rolling hills turn ruddy red, desert plains sprawl endlessly into the horizon and mobs of kangaroos and emus become the closest thing to a crowd you’ll see for miles. But country life in NSW isn’t just bush landscapes and steak dinners at the pub; these intrepid journeys show a different side to life in the outback. 

Follow in the footsteps of a 19th-century explorer along the Sturt Steps Touring Route 

In 1844, Captain Charles Sturt set off on an expedition through Outback NSW in search of Australia’s mysterious ‘inland sea’. In tow were 15 men, 11 horses, 200 sheep and even a boat. You can follow his journey – though much more comfortably in your car or caravan – along the Sturt’s Steps Touring Route north of Broken Hill.  

Think of this as your own journey of discovery through the landscapes across which Sturt struggled, connecting 1,100km of sealed and unsealed roads in an easy and safe-to-navigate circular route from Broken Hill to Packsaddle, Milparinka, Tibooburra and Cameron Corner. Information shelters are located along the route and downloadable apps are available and point out attractions like Sturt’s refuges at Depot Glen, Lake Pinnaroo and Fort Grey.  

Tri State Safari's bus parked by an information sign in Sturt National Park

Tri State Safari's bus parked by an information sign in Sturt National Park

Help protect native bilbies and bettongs at Wild Deserts 

When you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em – that’s the thinking behind the innovative conservation project Wild Deserts in Sturt National Park which aims to train locally extinct native animals to coexist with their feral predators. Greater bilbies, western barred bandicoots, golden bandicoots, greater stick-nest rats, burrowing bettongs, crest-tailed mulgaras and western quolls have been reintroduced to the area, plus a controlled population of cats and foxes in the hopes of living together. Visitors can see the fenced experiment in action at the observatory platform. 

Kangaroo amongst wild flowers in the desert landscape at Sturt National Park, Tibooburra in Corner Country Area, Outback NSW

Corner Country Area, Outback NSW

Check out a new sculpture trail 

The Sturt’s Steps project provided funding to Wild Deserts for the commissioning of a larger-than-life sculpture trail along the route. Artworks made of leftover fence netting are stationed at Packsaddle, Tibooburra, Milparinka and Fort Grey, and include a western quoll at Fort Grey Campground, a western-barred bandicoot at the Wild Deserts viewing area (about 20km from Cameron Corner), and a greater bilby at the entrance to Sturt National Park at the SA/NSW Dog Fence gate at Cameron Corner. The ultimate goal is to highlight the Wild Deserts conservation efforts while raising awareness of these cute creatures. 

Sturts Steps Touring Route in Milparinka, Corner Country Area, Outback NSW

Sturts Steps Touring Route, Milparinka - Credit: Eloise Basuki

Stand in three different states at the same time 

South Australia to the left of you, Queensland to the right, here you are at Cameron Corner – the border point between NSW and its two neighbouring states. Have a drink in three different time zones at the Cameron Corner Store, then wander over to the dividing marker and stand right in the middle of QLD, SA and NSW. You can also get up close to the historic Dog Fence that runs along Sturt National Park. Built in the 1880s to keep rabbits and dingoes out, the 5,614km barrier is the world’s longest fence. 

Cameron Corner marker - intersection of three states - Corner Country Area

Cameron Corner marker at intersection of three states, Corner Country Area

Stargaze in historic mining town Milparinka 

The traditional home of the Malyangaapa people, Milparinka gained fame and fortune when a short-lived gold rush flourished through the town in the 1880s. Though the population now hovers between two and nine, the town still has plenty of stories to tell. A gold museum has opened showing traditional techniques and history, while the old courthouse, barracks and jail cells are being refurbished into an engaging heritage precinct. After dinner at the Albert Hotel, wander across to the town’s airstrip to see history in the sky with a stargazing session – an astronomy viewing platform here makes the most of these dark outback skies. 

Milparinka Courthouse and Barracks, Milparinka

Milparinka Courthouse and Barracks, Milparinka - Credit: Jeff Catford

Enjoy a cold one while meeting the locals 

Speaking of being thirsty… Corner Country is home to plenty of places to whet your whistle, many of them historic and dating back to the gold rush. Aside from the Albert Hotel (trading since 1882), you can drop in on the Family Hotel in Tibooburra, operating since 1882 and with famous murals by well-known artists; the Tibooburra Hotel, occupying a grand sandstone building; the Packsaddle Roadhouse, originally built in 1887; and Cameron Corner Store, located at the junction of SA, QLD and NSW.     

The Corner Country Store, Tibooburra

Corner Country Store, Tibooburra

Discover an outback oasis at Pincally Sheep Station 

Shearers’ quarters have levelled up in Milparinka. Just an hour’s drive from town, elevate your sheep station stay at 65,000-hectare Pincally Station, where owners Zanna and Matt Gale have upgraded their shearers’ accommodation with double-bed rooms, a deluxe shared kitchen and spacious lounge facilities all complete with stylish country décor. If you’re looking for something even more luxe, book your own private patch of paradise in their two-bedroom cottage, which Zanna, also an interior stylist, has decadently fitted out herself. 

Pincally Station in Milparinka, Corner Country Area, Outback NSW

Pincally Station, Milparinka - Credit: Eloise Basuki

Journey back in time at Mutawintji National Park 

Step onto the sacred Aboriginal grounds of Mutawintji National Park, where ancient Indigenous history can be seen everywhere from centuries-old stencil art to rock engravings to bush tucker to Dreamtime stories about these majestic land formations. Mutawintji Heritage Tours is an Aboriginal-owned company that runs guided tours within the park, which you’ll need to book to see these precious, protected sites. 

Mutawintji National Park - Aboriginal rock art

Tour guide Keanu Bates showing visitors Aboriginal rock art in the Mutawintji National Park

Climb to the top of the Outback at Mt Gipps Station 

Closer to Broken Hill, the sprawling rocky lands of Mt Gipps Station offer an other-worldly environment to experience the outback. Set upon the rugged Barrier Ranges, it’s a magical place to take a bushwalk to explore the unique rock formations and native flora and fauna on the 40,000-hectare property. Ask the owners to direct you to their viewpoint, which gives 360-degree views of these apocalyptic lands (and you may just recognise this desolate backdrop from a number of Hollywood films). 

Mt Gipps lookout in Silverton - Broken Hill Area - Outback NSW

Mt Gipps lookout, Silverton - Credit: Eloise Basuki

Explore Silverton at sunset on the back of a camel 

Camels came to the Australian Outback in the 1800s and these graceful beasts are a fitting vehicle to explore the tiny desert town of Silverton, just 20 minutes west of Broken Hill. Family-run Silverton Outback Camels operates camel rides through their scenic property as well as on the dusty village streets. Saunter past the historic Silverton Hotel, the Mad Max Museum, dilapidated heritage buildings and, if you book the stunning sunset tour, incredible pink-and-orange skies across a sweeping outback landscape. 

Get your glitter and glam on for the Broken Heel Festival 

It’s disco-meets-desert at Broken Hill’s fabulous Broken Heel Festival. Australia’s best drag queens will descend on the outback town, for a sparkling long weekend of comedy, cabaret, live music and entertainment that pays homage to the iconic cult movie and stage musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. In 2023, the festival runs from 7-11 September. 

Broken Heel Festival in Broken Hill, Outback NSW

Broken Heel Festival, Broken Hill

Check out the most picturesque view of nothing at all 

Driving over the last hill to the Mundi Mundi Plains lookout feels like you’re driving toward the edge of the earth. Flat desert lands stretch out seemingly forever, so pack a picnic, stop for a selfie and contemplate the emptiness. 

Signage to Mundi Mundi Lookout near Silverton in Broken Hill, Outback NSW

Mundi Mundi Lookout, Silverton

More articles by theme


You may also like...