Here’s 10 really good things to do in Corner Country - where NSW meets Queensland and South Australia
1 Visit Cameron’s Corner. This, of course, is what Corner Country is all about - the marker where three states - NSW, Queensland and South Australia - meet. There’s not much there but its lure is almost magnetic, and the pub serves the essential cold beer. The original marker was placed at the Corner in 1880 by John Cameron, a surveyor with the NSW Lands Department.
2 Walk a bit along the dingo fence. At more than 5600 kilometres, the dingo fence is the world’s longest, stretching from Queensland’s Darling Downs to the Great Australian Bight. It comes very close to Cameron’s Corner and runs virtually along the NSW-Queensland and NSW-South Australia borders for some 650 kilometres.
3 Take in the view of the Jump Ups. This is flat, very flat, country so it’s a surprise to come across an escarpment, known as the Jump Ups, in the eastern part of the Sturt National Park. The view of the remains of this ancient mountain range is stunning.
4 Enjoy a cleansing ale at the Family Hotel, Tibooburra. The walls of this otherwise completely normal Outback pub are lined with paintings by the likes of Clifton Pugh, Russell Drysdale and Howard William Steer. They used the hotel as a base while painting the surrounding countryside.
5 Watch for wildlife as you’re travelling. It’s not quite the Serengeti Plain during the Great Migration, but the proliferation of kangaroos and emus makes for spectacular viewing as you drive the Outback roads. There’s also eagles, lizards, feral goats, horses, bustards and other birds such as the Major Mitchell’s cockatoo.
6 Drive to the lookout at Tibooburra. Tibooburra is the closest town of any size to Cameron’s Corner and it is speculated that its name comes from an Aboriginal word meaning “heap of boulders”. There’s certainly plenty of evidence for that assertion if you take a drive to the nearby lookout which provides spectacular views of the surrounding desert country.
7 Take a break at the Packsaddle Roadhouse. The Packsaddle Roadhouse is a handy watering and lunch stop on the Silver City Highway between Broken Hill and Tibooburra. It features a range of artefacts. I was particularly taken with the collection of well worn cockies’ hats.
8 Scratch your head at the Tool Tree. You’ll inevitably ask “Why, oh why, did they bother to do that?” but the ‘Tool Tree’ — essentially a discarded collection of spanners welded to a clothes line — and its smaller offspring, the ‘Baby Tool Tree’, do provide a talking point and a definite reason for stopping near the corner of the Silver City Highway and the White Cliffs Road.
9 Grieve at Poole’s grave. Explorer Captain Charles Sturt was so convinced that he’d find the fabled Inland Sea that his expeditionary force contained a couple of sailors, but all he found was desert and futility. In 1854 he and his party were forced to camp for several months at waterhole they named Depot Glen. Sturt’s second-in-command, James Poole, died shortly after the party finally left Depot Glen and he is buried nearby.
10 Visit Golden Gully Mining Site. There are plenty of historic relics on display at this quite classy reconstruction of an 1800s mining site. The explanatory plaques are well done. Best visited early morning or just before sunset, when it isn’t too hot.