Once a bustling gold mining capital, this tiny historic settlement on the banks of Evelyn Creek is now home to just a handful of people and a single pub. But Milparinka offers a fascinating glimpse of Outback life, with beautifully restored colonial buildings, atmospheric ruins and locals always eager to welcome a visitor.
Classic Outback pub
A friendly Outback pub with accommodation and a campground, the Albert Hotel is the only operating business in town. With its red iron roof and sandstone walls, parts of the hotel are still as they were when it was built in 1882. At the height of the gold rush, it was one of four hotels that served the mining town of 300 people.
Gold rush history
Milparinka sprang to life during the gold rush of the 1880s, nourished by water from Evelyn Creek. Learn about the town’s history in the award-winning Milparinka Heritage Precinct, a collection of restored colonial buildings. The former police station now serves as an art gallery, souvenir shop and tourist information centre.
The sandstone Courthouse is the centrepiece of the precinct. Built in 1896, it was designed by James Barnet, the architect of the Sydney Post Office. Learn about local Aboriginal heritage and Charles Sturt’s expedition. The Baker House is an old family home that offers an insight into the lives of Milparinka's early inhabitants.
About 10km northwest of Milparinka a headstone marks the grave of James Poole, Sturt’s second-in-command on the ill-fated 1845 expedition in search of an inland sea. Sturt's Steps Touring Route follows the route taken by Sturt northward from Broken Hill during the expedition.
Sturt National Park, named after explorer Charles Sturt, is a vast, atmospheric expanse of rocky red earth and has been home to the local indigenous people for thousands of years. Self-guided drives, the Gorge Loop Road and Jump-Up Loop Road, are ideal for well-equipped 4WD vehicles, or you can join a guided tour with a local operator.
Getting there & where to stay
Milparinka is around 16 hours’ drive from Sydney and Brisbane, 12 hours from Melbourne and nine hours from Adelaide. You can also fly into Broken Hill and hire a car for the three-hour drive north. You may need a 4WD for unsealed roads and national parks. The only place to stay in town is the Albert Hotel or a free camp by the river.