Tourist Attractions

Back O' Bourke Information & Exhibition Centre

The Back O' Bourke Exhibition Centre is open 9am-5pm 7 days a week.

For more information on the centre and other tourist attractions in the Bourke district, go to the Back O' Bourke website, or phone (02) 6872 1321.

Historical Crossley Engine

This twin cylinder oil-fuelled stationary engine was manufactured by the Crossley Brothers of Manchester, England, in 1923. It has been fully restored by Council, and is now located at the Wharf are at the northern end of Sturt St. The engine is started at at noon each weekday during tourist season, and local volunteers show visitors how the engine operates.

PV Jandra

Take a ride on a reconstructed paddleboat. The Jandra paddleboat, named after the original boat which travelled the Darling in the early part of the century, can hold up to 100 passengers in air-conditioned comfort. Departs from Kidmans Camp. During our main tourist season it runs at 2pm Monday to Saturday.

For ticketing and other information on the PV Jandra please call the Back O' Bourke Visitor Information Centre on (02) 6872 1321.

Mt Oxley

Mount Oxley is situated 50 kilometres from Bourke on the road to Brewarrina. You will need to obtain a key and permit from the Tourist Information Centre. On top of the mountain you will find craters. It is not known what caused this, but early settlers and explorers, including Mitchell and Wills, reported hearing explosive sounds coming from the area of the mountain. From the top of mountain you will get an excellent view of the area.

North Bourke Bridge

The North Bourke bridge is the famous bridge between the town of Bourke and its closest "suburb", North Bourke. It is a lift-up bridge, designed to allow paddlesteamers to pass through. The bridge was built over a hundred years ago, and is now closed to traffic.

Gundabooka National Park

Gundabooka National Park is situated on the Kidman Way, midway between Bourke and Cobar. The highest peak of the range is 500 metres, at Mt Gundabooka. The Ngemba people have an important relationship with this land. It contains Aboriginal art of great significance, including paintings which can only be found in this part of Australia. In addition, a great variety of flora and fauna can be found in the park, particularly after a good rainfall.

Historic Buildings

  • The Western Herald (originally the Methodist Church), is considered to be the oldest standing building in Bourke. The exact date on building in unknown.

  • The London Bank (1888)

  • Post Office (1880)

  • Courthouse (1899)

  • Telegraph Hotel (1875)

  • Carriers Arms Hotel (1879), frequented by Henry Lawson and mentioned in his poems. It was also a stop on the Cobb & Co coach route.

  • Port of Bourke, formerly The Royal (ca. 1870)

  • Central Australian (late 1930's)

  • Lands Department Building (1898)

Bourke Cemetery

The Bourke Cemetery contains a great variety of graves of historical interest. The most famous grave is that of Fred Hollows, highly respected for his work with eye diseases. Fred Hollows did a great deal of work among the Aboriginal community in Bourke, and this is where he chose to be buried. A monument has been erected at the Bourke Cemetery. Also buried in the cemetery is Senior Constable McCabe (shot by the bushranger "Captain Starlight"), bush poet Francis Brown, and many other local characters. The cemetery also contains Australia's first Mosque.

More information on the Bourke Cemetery can be found on the Bourke Shire Council website.

Fort Bourke Stockade

This is a replica of the stockade built by Major Mitchell in 1835, named Fort Bourke after the Governer of the colony, Governer Bourke. It is the only fort built be Australian explorers.

For more information on Bourke, contact the Bourke Tourist Information Centre. Pick up a guide book and head out on a Mud Map Tour of Bourke. You can also follow in the steps of the many great poets who once lived in Bourke, on the Poets Walk. If you like fishing, the annual fishing competition attracts fishermen from all over Australia. There is plenty of accommodation including motels, caravan parks, hotels, restored cottages, and farm stays. Farm stays offer a range of comforts, from modern units to tents on the river. They also offer a large variety of entertainments such as yabbying, mustering, camel and horse riding, hunting, helicopter rides, and many other activities.