Home to ancient Aboriginal fish traps, you’ll discover incredible Aboriginal heritage, fascinating colonial history and outdoor adventure in the tranquil and historic town of Brewarrina. Take your pick of activities, from exploring museums and heritage trails to fishing and swimming in the Barwon-Darling River.
Stretching half a kilometre along the Barwon River, the heritage-listed ancient Aboriginal Fish Traps at Brewarrina date back over 30,000 years. Today you can take a tour of this extraordinary system of rock weirs, on a site where neighbouring Indigenous nations gathered for thousands of years for ceremonies and trade.
To learn more about the original custodians of the land and their history, visit the Brewarrina Aboriginal Cultural Museum, overlooking the fish traps. The collection of authentic Indigenous artefacts and artwork tell Creation Stories through to colonisation and recent history.
Brewarrina was once the highest point that paddle-steamers could reach on the Darling River system. Straddling the Barwon River, the Historic Brewarrina Barwon Bridge was built in 1889 to allow paddle-steamers to pass below. It’s one of only two surviving examples of NSW’s first lift bridges.
This historic town was also a base for the Cobb & Co stagecoach company, which carried mail and passengers through the goldfields and towns of NSW. Heritage buildings include the Brewarrina Court House and Royal Hotel. Nearby you’ll find the Muddy Waters Coffee Shop and Brewarrina RSL, both serving food.
Just north of Brewarrina, is the site of the tragic Hospital Creek Massacre where up to 400 local Aboriginal people were killed by settlers in 1859. The Aboriginal Land Council of Brewarrina has erected a series of stones as a monument on the historic site to commemorate those killed.
Fishing & swimming
A few kilometres east of Brewarrina, Four Mile Camping Reserve is a top spot for fishing and swimming in the Barwon River. Head along to the Bre Big Fish, an ecologically friendly sporting event held annually on the June long weekend. Organised by the Brewarrina Fishing Club, it’s a fun-filled, family event.
Getting there & where to stay
From Sydney and Canberra it takes 9-10hr to drive to Brewarrina. Alternatively, you can fly into Dubbo and hire a car for the four-hour drive. 4WD vehicles are recommended for unsealed roads and many of the national parks. There are a number of places to stay, including motels and camp grounds, plus stylish riverfront cabins at Beds on the Barwon.