In central NSW, the town of Nyngan may be small, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in personality. Built on agriculture and the goldrush of the 1800s, Nyngan sits on the edge of the tranquil Bogan River, the gateway to the 'Great Outback' beyond. Come here for quirky ‘big things’ as well as to take a deep dive into Cobb & Co history.  



Cobb & Co Heritage Trail 

A hugely successful coaching business, Cobb & Co's origins lie in Australia’s growing population during the goldrushes of the early 1850s. In fact, at its peak, Cobb & Co operated along a network of tracks that extended further than those of any other coach system in the world.  

The Cobb & Co Heritage Trail runs through Nyngan in central NSW between Bathurst and Bourke, following the routes the historic stagecoaches took transporting mail and passengers between remote outback towns. If you’re following the route, be sure to pause at historic sites including the Nyngan Coach Works, the Heritage Coffee Shop (which has items from the coaching days), the post office, the Royal Hotel (on the riverbank, at the corner of Cobar and Nyngan Sts), Barrett's Hotel (in Nymagee St) and the Nyngan Museum.  

Entrance to the Nyngan Museum and the Nyngan Visitor Information Centre, Nyngan

Nyngan Museum, Nyngan

A taste of history 

Built by a group of retired shearers, the Mid-State Shearing Shed honours the local shearing industry, which has been a major player in the settlement of central NSW. Housed in a former railway shed, the gallery showcases shearing memorabilia, equipment and stalls, bag stencils and murals by local artists.  

Shearing machinery on display at Mid State Shearing Shed Museum, Nyngan

Mid State Shearing Shed Museum, Nyngan - Credit: Tayla Martin Photography

At the Nyngan Museum, explore the town’s history through a captivating collection of artefacts, photographs and displays. Learn about the 1835 journey of explorer Major Thomas Mitchell to reach the Bogan River and the important role railway has played in Nyngan’s history. The space also details the region’s long Aboriginal history, European settlement in the late 1800s, and how the region found wealth during the goldrush.  

Outdoor adventures 

North of Nyngan, Macquarie Marshes Nature Reserve is one of the largest inland semi-permanent wetlands in southeast Australia and a major breeding area for waterbirds. It includes immense areas of Phragmites reeds, river red gum woodlands and mixed marsh floodplains, and was listed as a Ramsar wetland of international importance in 1986. Access is restricted, but at certain times of the year National Parks and Wildlife Service runs guided tours. 

Great egret (Ardea alba), Macquarie Marshes Nature Reserve

Great egret (Ardea alba), Macquarie Marshes Nature Reserve - Credit: John Spencer/DPIE

If you are looking to tick off another one of Australia's quirky 'Big Things', the five-metre-tall Big Bogan stands proud in the centre of town with his mullet, stubbies, Southern Cross tattoo, fishing rod and esky. It’s a tongue-in-cheek nod to the fact that the town sits on the edge of the Bogan River, and also comes with plenty of local characters.  

The Big Bogan statue in the town of Nyngan, Cobar

The Big Bogan, Nyngan

Where to stay 

Accommodation in Nyngan ranges from motels and farmstays to cabins and campsites. For a slice of country luxury, stay at Callubri Station, offering unique suites and a private pool on a 57,000-hectare working sheep farm that’s just a 30-minute drive from the heart of Nyngan. 

Getting there  

It takes about seven hours to drive to Nyngan from Sydney, six hours from Canberra and nine hours from Melbourne. Alternatively, you can fly to Dubbo and hire a car for the two-hour drive. 4WD vehicles are recommended for unsealed roads and many of the national parks.  


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