Getting to Outback NSW
Road, rail or air; there are plenty of ways to get to Outback NSW and make the most of this fascinating region. Take your pick of transport, from self-drive and car hire on a classic road trip to scenic bus and train services, as well as convenient flights into regional centres.
A 4WD vehicle can help unlock the riches of this region, enabling you to explore Outback national parks and rugged off-road touring tracks. The 950km Darling River Run is an epic touring route, taking in riverside wineries, thermal springs and historic towns that were once bustling ports along the Darling River.
Things to know
Roads can vary from multi-lane motorways to dirt roads. Always check road and weather conditions before travelling to remote areas and drive at a safe speed. 4WD vehicles are recommended for unsealed roads and exploring many of the national parks. Take extra care on the roads in the early morning and evening when wildlife is on the move, and after heavy rainfall when some roads may be affected by floodwaters.
Before you travel, read our Outback road trip safety tips.
Be prepared for some serious drive times in the Outback. The drive from Sydney to Broken Hill, the unofficial capital of the NSW Outback on the western edge of the state, takes around 13 hours. Lightning Ridge, close to the Queensland border, takes around nine hours. Mungo National Park, in the far southwest of the state, is around 11 hours’ drive.
Regional Express operates daily flights between Sydney and Broken Hill (some with a stopover in Dubbo or Griffith). QantasLink flies from Sydney to Moree and Dubbo, a few hours’ drive from Lightning Ridge and Nyngan respectively. Mildura Airport is 28km from Wentworth, the gateway to Mungo National Park and the southern end of the Darling River Run, with direct flights to Melbourne. Smaller private planes can also take you into the most remote areas.
By train or bus
NSW Trainlink’s Xplorer trains connect Sydney with the towns and regional cities of Outback NSW including Bourke, Lightning Ridge, Cobar, Brewarrina, Menindee and Broken Hill. The iconic Indian Pacific train also connects Sydney with Adelaide and Perth via this region. Some NSW TrainLink services combine train and bus.