In this rugged and beautiful part of Outback NSW, be amazed by rock art, fascinating museums, lush wetlands and historic buildings. Discover Cobar’s rich mining history and the sheep shearing heritage of Nyngan, then enjoy a cool drink at a classic Australian Outback pub.
Known as the ‘Copper City’, Cobar has been a significant mining town since the late 1800s. Marvel at vast open cut mines, learn about the area’s history at the Great Cobar Heritage Centre and take a dip in the Great Cobar Open Cut, an old quarry that's now filled with water.
Many of the town’s early buildings are still standing, like the court house and the Great Western Hotel. You can see them all on the Cobar Heritage Walk. For a look at the modern mining operations and a spectacular look at the town, drive up to the Fort Bourke Hill Lookout above the New Cobar Gold Mine.
Visit Mount Grenfell Historic Site, 71km northwest of Cobar, and you’ll be rewarded with incredible examples of Ngiyampaa Aboriginal rock art. Found in three main rock shelters, marvel at images of human figures, animals and dreaming stories painted in red, yellow and ochre pigment.
The beautiful rural town of Nyngan lies between the Outback and the green pastoral region to the east, on the banks of the Bogan River. At Nyngan Museum, see an exhibit tracing the 1835 journey of explorer Major Thomas Mitchell. The Mid-State Shearing Shed is a proud monument to Nyngan’s shearing industry, built by a group of retired shearers.
North of Nyngan, the Macquarie Marshes Nature Reserve is one of the largest inland semi-permanent wetlands in southeast Australia and a major breeding area for waterbirds. Access is restricted to researchers, but at certain times the National Parks and Wildlife Service runs guided tours.
Eat and drink in the Cobar area
In Nyngan try Mart’s Café for breakfast, coffee and lunch, located close to the Big Bogan. For dinner enjoy pizza at the Australian Hotel or try Gold Medal Chinese Restaurant in the Nyngan Bowling Club. Be sure to visit the historic Great Western Hotel for dinner in Cobar.
Getting to and staying in the Cobar area
From Sydney, it takes about 8 hours to drive to Cobar and about 7 hours to Nyngan. Alternatively, you can fly to Dubbo, which is 3 hours’ drive away from Cobar and 2 hours from Nyngan. 4WD cars are recommended for unsealed roads and many of the national parks. There are a number of places to stay, from motels to caravan parks.