Outback New South Wales

The Red Kangaroo, like this large male that is hiding in the scrub, symbolizes the outback
Red Kangaroo

The Outback is synonymous with Australia, but where, and what, is it? Every state in mainland Australia, and the Northern Territory, has an outback, and it refers to the vast open country that is so remote you can travel for several hours, and, in some places, days, without seeing another human being. While the New South Wales Outback is not quite as remote as that of most other states, it is still an enormous area, and is an area that has its own wildlife residents.

We would need several months to travel to all of the areas that we want to visit on this trip so, as we had been to several areas before, we thought we would head to somewhere new – Broken Hill.

We started our trip at Broken Hill and then drove from there through Cobar, Nyngan and Dubbo. It is a long 1,150 km drive from Broken Hill to Sydney (and is the same distance from Sydney to Broken Hill!), so we did it over 7 days. We allowed ourselves three Days in Broken Hill and then a few stopovers on the rest of the journey to look for wildlife and do a bit of photography. Just about everywhere you go though is so picturesque that you could stop every couple of kilometers or so if you had the time.

Broken Hill is a remote mining city that is home to around 18,500 people (which is around 40% of the entire New South Wales outback population) and has been the scene for some great Australian movies, including Mad Max II and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. It was also home to Pro Hart, one of Australia’s most famous artists, until his death in 2006. If you get the chance to go to the Pro Hart Gallery there, it is well worth the effort.

Outback Wildlife

The wildlife of the region is often hard to find, but we were very fortunate to see a great variety of animals in and around Broken Hill, including: Central Bearded Dragon, Tree Skink, Shingleback, Stokes’ Skink, Red Kangaroo, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Singing Honeyeater, Striped Honeyeater, Rufous Songlark, Mulga Parrot and Apostlebird.

One word of caution though. If you are driving around the outback, unless you really have to drive at night, do your driving during the day as much as possible. The outback is literally alive with Kangaroos and they are mostly active at night. The roads become very hazardous to both the drivers and the Kangaroos, and the dark of the night makes it extremely difficult to see them coming.

Here are a few of the images we took while we were out there.

We saw this Shingleback basking the sun by the edge of the road
Shingleback
This Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater was watching us from its lofty perch
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater
This Central Bearded Dragon was happily soaking up the heat from this rock, and was quite happy to pose for our photos
Central Bearded Dragon