This tiny town on the banks of the Evelyn Creek is home to just a handful of people and a single pub. But Milparinka is a fascinating slice of Outback life, with beautifully restored colonial buildings, eerie ruins and hardy locals who are always eager to welcome a visitor.
The Albert Hotel is the town’s sole operating business, a friendly Outback pub with accommodation and a campground. Parts of the hotel are still as they were when it was built in 1882. Back then it was one of four hotels that served the mining township of around 300 people.
Gold rush history
Milparinka sprang up during the gold rush of the 1880s, thanks to its water source. Learn about the town’s history in the award-winning Milparinka Heritage Precinct, a collection of restored 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.
Some 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 from Broken Hill northward during the expedition.
There are three spectacular national parks to explore in Corner Country including Sturt National Park. Self-guided drives are a great option for well equipped four-wheel drive vehicles, or you can join a guided tour with a local operator. There are also many sealed and unsealed roads that will take you to Broken Hill.
Getting there and where to stay
Milparinka is around 16 hours’ drive from Sydney and Brisbane, 12 hours from Melbourne and nine hours from Adelaide. You can 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 free camp by the river.