Close your eyes and picture a true outback town, and Tibooburra is likely it. Tucked away in the northwestern corner of the state, this is one of the furthest reaches of NSW. But it’s worth the distance you’ll cover to get here – with the spectacular Sturt National Park on its doorstep, it’s a great base to explore the region’s magnificent gorges and rippling red sandhills, as well as the unique history of this former gold mining settlement.  



Aboriginal & colonial heritage 

The Wadigali, Wongkumara and Malyangapa Aboriginal tribes have called this region home for thousands of years, and their middens (piles of ancient bones and shells) and quarries can be found throughout the area. The Local Aboriginal Land Council Keeping Place museum honours this history through a fascinating collection of artefacts and photographs. 

A sign and statues of sheep and a farmer on a motorbike welcome visitors to Tibooburra

Tibooburra Sign, Tibooburra

Gold was found around Tibooburra in 1880, and you can read all about it at the Courthouse Museum. Step back in time and gain insights into the way of life of settlers who came to this remote town to make their fortune. Browse artefacts from sheep stations once housed where Sturt National Park now lies, as well as an original medical kit from the Royal Flying Doctor Service. 

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service - Tibooburra District Office and Information Centre

Courthouse Museum, Tibooburra

Tibooburra’s Pioneer Park is the site of a remarkable sculpture, Myth and Mirage 1999. The upside-down whaleboat is an exact replica of the boat Captain Charles Sturt dragged from Adelaide, in order to cross the inland sea he was convinced he would discover in the centre of Australia  

Pioneer Park - Tibooburra - Myth and Mirage 1999

Pioneer Park, Tibooburra - Myth and Mirage 1999

Sturt National Park 

The other major attraction that takes its name from the Captain is Sturt National Park, an enormous arid landscape protecting millennia of Aboriginal history and today home to wildlife such as giant red kangaroos, emus and wedge-tailed eagles. Retrace the inland sea expedition on Sturt’s Tree Walk. Self-drive park tours include Gorge Loop Road and Jump-Up Loop Road

Sturt National Park, Tibooburra

Sturt National Park, Tibooburra

Sturt’s Steps Touring Route 

The Sturt’s Steps Touring Route takes you on your own journey of discovery through the landscapes across which Sturt struggled, connecting 1,100km of sealed and unsealed roads in an easy and safe-to-navigate circular route from Broken Hill to Packsaddle, Milparinka, Tibooburra and Cameron Corner. Information shelters are located along the route and downloadable apps. 

National Park and Wildlife Services information sign at Jump Up Loop Road, Sturt National Park, Tibooburra.

Sturt National Park, Tibooburra

Eat & drink 

Tibooburra may be small in population, but there are plenty of places to whet your whistle in and around town, including the Tibooburra Hotel, an elegant two-storey sandstone building erected in 1882; the much-loved Packsaddle Roadhouse; and the Corner Country Store, where you can also stock up on supplies. Enjoy country swagger and outback hospitality in spades at the historic Family Hotel, built from local sandstone in 1882. The pub is famous for its murals painted by renowned Australian artists Russell Drysdale, Eric Minchin and Clifton Pugh during their stay here in the 1960s.  

Sun rising over the Family Lodge Motel at Tibooburra in Corner Country Area, Outback NSW

The Family Lodge Motel, Tibooburra

Where to stay 

The Tibooburra Hotel, Packsaddle Roadhouse and Family Hotel all come with accommodation for weary travellers. But there’s a range of other motel and campground accommodation you can make the most of, including the historic Mount Wood Homestead and the Mount Wood Shearers Quarters.  

Front verandah of The Family Hotel, Tibooburra

 The Family Hotel, Tibooburra

Getting there 

Tibooburra is around 16 hours' from Sydney and Brisbane, 12 hours from Melbourne and 10 hours from Adelaide. You can also fly into Broken Hill and hire a car for the 3.5-hour drive north. You may need a 4WD for unsealed roads and national parks.  


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