Cobar

At the crossroads of Barrier Highway and Kidman Way, discover a fascinating town that’s rich in mining heritage and natural attractions. From exploring museums and colonial buildings to being amazed by open-cut mines and Aboriginal rock art, you’ll find plenty of activities in Cobar.

A bronze statue in the Cobar Miners Heritage Park

Things to do in Cobar

In the late 1800s, the Great Cobar Copper Mine was Australia’s leading producer of copper. Back then the mine had more than 2,000 employees, huge smelters and a 64-metre chimney stack. Remains of the smelter foundations are visible at the Great Cobar Heritage Centre.

The Great Cobar Heritage Centre is set inside the former administration offices of the Great Cobar Copper Mine built in 1912. Here you can take a journey through Cobar’s history from the time of the local Aboriginal Ngiyampaa people to the mining era. Marvel at historic artefacts and take a seat at the controls of a massive excavator.

Children enjoying an educational visit to the Great Cobar Heritage Centre in Cobar, Outback NSW

For incredible views of an open-cut mine and of the town of Cobar, head to the viewing platform at Fort Bourke Hill Lookout. Fort Bourke Hill is the historic site of the New Cobar Gold Mine, Cobar's first gold mine, now operated by Peak Gold Mines. Book in advance via the Cobar Heritage Centre.

At Mount Grenfell Historic Site, 71km from Cobar, an art site walk takes you through cypress pines to a rocky overhang adorned with Aboriginal rock art. The site holds particular significance for the Ngiyampaa people and contains dreaming stories in red, yellow and ochre pigments.

Follow the self-guided Cobar Heritage Walk to see the town’s historic buildings, including several from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, as well as early miners’ cottages. Then stop by the heritage-listed Great Western Hotel, a traditional rural Australian corner pub.

Views over the vast Cobar Open Cut Mine from the Fort Bourke Hill Lookout

Getting to and staying in Cobar

It takes about 8 hours to drive to Cobar from Sydney and 7 hours from Canberra. Alternatively, you can fly to Dubbo, which is 3 hours’ drive away. 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.