One of the most picturesque spots in Outback NSW, this area is a photographer’s paradise, with a backdrop of brilliant skies in changing light bathing the Menindee Lakes in a majestic glow.
You’ll also find some of the best fishing and camping spots around, a treasure trove of Aboriginal and early white settler history and a fabulous array of natural flora and fauna, including stunning birdlife.
The township of Menindee is nestled between the lakes and the Darling River. Established in 1852 by Thomas Pain, it’s the oldest European settlement in western NSW, and the first town to appear on the Darling, which back in the 1880s, saw cargoladen paddle steamers churning their way to and from South Australia.
Today, assisted by modern irrigation, Menindee’s horticultural industry has grown and includes citrus, apple, grape, stone fruit and vegetable production.
You can relive some of the town’s history by collecting a map from the Visitor Centre and exploring the Heritage Trail, which takes you to 19 different sites with displays of information linking the town with its past.
One of the icons, the Menindee Maidens Hotel, is the second-oldest in NSW, and was visited in 1860 by Burke and Wills before heading north on their ill-fated journey. You can also visit Burke and Wills’ campsite at Pamarmaroo Creek about 20km north of town.
Two historic trees are of note – the survey tree of 1882 and the Yartla Street tree showing the 1890 flood level.
The rail bridge, camel driver’s grave and the main weir about 20km out of town – a great spot for birdlife – are other places worth dropping by.
Also about 20km from town is Sunset Strip, a ‘beachside’ community on the shores of Lake Menindee, with its small collection of holiday homes.
The magnificent Kinchega National Park is on Menindee’s doorstep. Popular with birdwatchers, wildlife lovers and anyone who craves an idyllic outback setting offering a true get-away-from-it-all experience, you can also catch a glimpse of some early white history at the old homestead, and the woolshed where six million sheep were shorn over a century.
If you’re planning to stay over in and around Menindee, options include hotel/motel accommodation, camping and shearers’ quarters accommodation in Kinchega National Park and historic Bindara Station.
Major Mitchell was the first white person to arrive in the area in 1835, and Charles Sturt made it here in 1844 as he travelled along the Darling River.
The ancient landscape of Mutawintji National Park, north east of Broken Hill, is rich in Aboriginal history. Explore bushwalks and camp under the outback night sky.