Near the junction of the big Darling and Namoi rivers in the far north-west of NSW, Walgett first prospered as a port on the Darling River, shipping wool bales off to market.
Later, the railroad took over and cattle were the main produce being transported out of town. There are some productive opal fields near here, and the wildlife sanctuary of Narran Lake, about 96km to the west, is one of the biggest inland lakes in the country, teeming with birdlife and native and feral animals - especially wild pigs.
It was on a property near here that the first mechanised shearing shears were developed. The rivers are worth a try for Australia's best-eating freshwater fish - the mighty Murray cod – and you can’t visit Walgett without a detour to Lightning Ridge, about 60km to the north-west.
This famous, rugged opal mining town loves to show off its gems, including the most expensive, the black opals, which are a feature of this field. A not-so-well-known feature of Lighting Ridge are the private, well-tended gardens in which cacti are the dominant plant.