Immortalised for Australians in the expression ‘back of Bourke’ – that is, anything remote – this easy-going town sits at the foot of the outback. Beyond Bourke, green pastoral lands stop abruptly, settlements are few, and the country is flat, brown and alluring. Bourke itself is gorgeous, historic and quaint, sprawled along the beautiful Darling River with river gums and water birds.
The visitor centre (
Seasonal fruit- and cotton-picking work is available between November and January, and May to October; contact Bourke Joblink (
The fascinating Back O’ Bourke Exhibition Centre (
The historical and agricultural Mateship Country Tours (
The impressive three-tiered wharf at the northern end of Sturt St is a faithful reconstruction of the original (built in 1897), and, on the river, the PV Jandra (
Bourke’s Historic Cemetery (Kidman Way) is peppered with epitaphs saying ‘perished in the bush’, and has a deeply moving headstone to Professor Fred Hollows, the eye surgeon who was determined to help restore the sight of people going needlessly blind.