Wilcannia

Discover the historic treasures of this once thriving Darling River port in Outback NSW. During the 19th century, Wilcannia was the crossroads for transport between Melbourne, Adelaide, Bourke and southern Queensland, with paddle-steamers, mail coaches, horses, bullocks and camel teams visiting this remote outpost.

Walk the streets of Wilcannia today and you will see a legacy of well-preserved buildings quarried from local sandstone during the late 1800s, when the town had a peak population of 3,000. Historic buildings include the Wilcannia Athenaeum, hospital, shire offices, post office, police station and courthouse, several hotels and Wilcannia Golf Club.

 

The historic sandstone Wilcannia Court Couse built in 1880

Australia’s oldest commercial opal field, White Cliffs is an easy 92km drive on a sealed road from Wilcannia. Opals were first mined here in the 1880s and the town is home to a number of opal showrooms. White Cliffs is also famous for its underground living. Try it out at the Underground Motel.

Paroo-Darling National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty, less than two hours’ drive north of Wilcannia and around an hour from White Cliffs. Walk around Peery Lake, see amazing birdlife and, if you wish to spend more time in the area, pitch a tent at Coach and Horses campground.

 

A Tri State Safaris tour guide showing Aboriginal rock art in Mutawintji National Park, near Wilcannia

Mutawintji National Park, 203km north west of Wilcannia, is home to incredible Aboriginal sites including the hand stencil art of local Aboriginal communities at Mutawintji Historic Site. Follow the Homestead Gorge walking trail to see scenic vistas and ancient Aboriginal rock engravings.

NSW TrainLink’s Explorer trains and the Indian Pacific connect Sydney with towns and cities of Outback NSW including NynganCobar, Wilcannia, Menindee and Broken Hill. The Indian Pacific also connects Adelaide and Perth with this region.