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When you imagine the ‘Back O' Bourke’ you will think to yourself 'that must be a long way from anywhere' – which is partly true. While Bourke itself is an outback hub, there are many spokes to the wheel, with the villages and surrounding communities having plenty to offer the inquisitive traveller.

A short trip along the picturesque river road will take you to Louth and Tilpa, where you can dive deeply into the history of the floodplain as well as enjoy farm stays, fishing and camping. There is the Gundabooka National Park and the Mary Mathews monument to capture along the way, as well as the hospitality of two iconic bush pubs.

A swing to the west will take you deep into the ‘red country’ of Wanaaring where you can watch time pass by the cool banks of the Paroo River, or trek back along to the border-town of Hungerford and the fringe of the great Cuttaburra Basin. Closer to home are the villages of Fords Bridge, Enngonia and Barringun which all sit on the Warrego River and are iconic ‘yabbie’ fishing sites. A trip along the sealed road to the south will afford the opportunity to visit the Byrock Rock-Holes and take advantage of the well-appointed accommodation and campsites at the Mulga Creek Hotel.

So whether it’s a day trip, or sojourn, or a long exploration of the region, the villages of the Back O’ Bourke can cater for every taste, and have plenty of welcome surprises to entertain visitors.

But every dream and every track - and there were many that I knew - They all lead on, or they lead back to Bourke

Henry Lawson

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