This is big sky country where the Lachlan River town of Hillston and its Lachlan River-fed palms and other introduced trees give welcome, green relief from the monotony of the dry plains.
The standard crops of wool and wheat have been supplemented down the years through gold and copper finds while irrigation has added citrus fruit and vineyards to the parched landscape.
Set on the Kidman Highway 680km west of Sydney, Hillston has an aquatic playground on its doorstep in the form of the man-made Hillston Lake, while the town is also within comfortable driving distance east of both Lake Brewster, which fills in the good times and attracts huge flocks of pelicans, and Lake Cargellico.
The fish bite regularly on the local reaches of the Lachlan. Willandra National Park, 65km to the north-west, conserves 20,000ha of clay pans, saltbrush and wetlands which represent one-eighth of the original Willandra Station. In its heyday the property stretched from Hillston to Mossgiel, 100km to the west.
Famed for its spring display of wildflowers, the park supports kangaroos, emus, small reptiles and a large number of bird species and is a popular haunt of bushwalkers, canoeists and anglers.