|Dubbo-Moree (and Broken Hill)|
|Western Adventure 1|
Linking the Queensland and Victorian borders, the Newell Highway stretches for over 1000 km, through one of the state’s most important agricultural regions and a series of attractive pastoral towns.
From Dubbo take the Newell Highway north to Gilgandra, where there are a couple of local history museums and the fascinating Gilgandra Observatory, from which you can view the night skies. From here, there’s a long but very interesting detour to the city of Broken Hill - see below.
Next stop on the highway is Coonabarabran - the ‘Astronomy Capital of Australia’ and home of the Skywatch and Siding Spring Observatories: the latter boasts one of the world’s largest telescopes and there are entertaining hands-on exhibits to enjoy. Coonabarabran is also the gateway to Warrumbungle National Park - a land of dramatic volcanic rock formations that is ideal for adventurous bushwalking and rockclimbing.
At the heart of the fertile Namoi Valley, further north, Narrabri is the centre for a large pastoral area where cotton, wheat and wool abound. The Australia Telescope and its observatory here are well worth a look, as is the Old Gaol Heritage Centre and a local emu farm. From Narrabri, the stunning forests and wildlife of Mount Kaputar National Park are just a few kilometres away.
The last major town before the Queensland border is Moree, famous for its artesian spa baths and cotton and pecan nut industries. At a constant temperature of 41°C, the thermal mineral-rich baths are the perfect place to soak away any road-weariness.
It’s a long (over 700 km) trip west from Gilgandra, but a visit to the historic ‘Silver City’ is very worthwhile if you have time. The rugged Broken Hill region’s attractions include mine tours, an extraordinarily rich artistic tradition, a Royal Flying Doctor Service base, and The Living Desert wilderness and sculpture site.
Where to Stay
Time required: 3 days minimum At least 4 days if you are taking the Broken Hill option.