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Kamilaroi Highway - Great Divide To The Great Outback
kamilaroi highway nswThe Kamilaroi Highway is a fantastic route that runs straight through the agricultural heartland of New South Wales. Starting at Willow Creek and spanning all the way to Bourke, this highway is the perfect stretch to attempt on a driving holiday if you wish to explore some of Australia's most historic towns and outback. These 600 kilometres of road will offer unforgettable experiences and will take you on the journey of a lifetime.

The highway is marked with safe and sealed roads, making this a driving experience on which you shouldn't encounter too many driving hassles. The route will take you over rolling hills, among golden fields of wheat and across the sunburnt plains of the outback. Absorb all the stunning colours of the endless sunflower fields and take in the spectacular views of the surrounding mountain ranges, all while marvelling at the vastness of this area.

Willow Creek and Quirindi

Embark on your adventure of the Kamilaroi at the small town of Willow Creek and then continue on a further 16 kilometres until you reach Quirindi. This small country town was once known as the main service centre for the famous Liverpool Plains grazing runs,. Today, this rich history is embedded in the remaining architecture that still line the main streets. Get a taste of the local agricultural history with a visit to the Rural Heritage Village. This village is home to a unique collection of old homewares and displays of remaining farming machinery and vehicles.


82 kilometres further along the highway lies the "Koala Capital of the World", Gunnedah. This region is also agriculturally rich and is home to the largest population of koalas in Australia. Gunnedah is a great destination for the kids and adults alike as it gives countless opportunities for interaction with these cuddly creatures. Take a leisurely cruise along the "Town Drive," which will take you past the Rural Museum, Water Town Museum, Cumbo Gunnedah Gallery as well as various natural delights that can be accessed by walking tracks that lead to incredible lookouts. Set plenty of time aside for this because the historical facets of this charming community are sure to keep you entertained for hours.


North-west of Gunnedah is the picturesque little town of Narrabri. Positioned within the Nandewar Range, which is home to Mt Kaputar National Park, this is the ideal place to base yourself if you wish to explore this region in more depth. There are four caravan parks here to choose from, each offering a unique and friendly atmosphere, which will help make your stay a pleasant one. Awake refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to discover the natural wonder and beauty of this dramatic mountain country.

Lightening Ridge

Once you feel refreshed and ready to hit the road once again, embark on a stretch of the journey that will bring you 268 kilometres closer to your final destination. The stretch is characterised by sunburnt country and draws to an end in Lightening Ridge. This small opal mining town is situated on the Lightening Ridge opal fields, and is known for its underground mining tours and opal-cutting demonstrations. This is great place to spend the night after the long drive you have just accomplished. Once again, you will have several caravan parks to choose from, each offering peace and relaxing sites for you to settle into.


Walgett can easily be reached in less than an hour the following day, making it an easy trip to complete before lunch. This small rural community is positioned at the junction of the Barwon and Namoi Rivers, which makes it the perfect destination for water sports. Canoe or kayak the calm waters and after the excitement, find a quiet spot for a spot of fishing. Sit back and simply enjoy the serenity of this beautiful town and prepare for the next leg of your Kamilaroi journey.


If you are a keen fisher, be sure to take the trip to Brewarrina, which is a town located just a 121 kilometre drive from Walgett. Visit the Aboriginal fisheries in the bed of the Darling River and spend an afternoon at the Aboriginal Cultural Museum to get a taste of the Indigenous history of this town.


Journey for around an hour further along the highway and you will come to the heart of the outback: Bourke. This country town is regarded as the wool shipment capital of Australia! If you decide to stay here for the night you can spend the following day exploring the Aboriginal artefacts, the Old Railway Station or visiting the grave site and memorial of Fred Hollows. The history and atmosphere of Bourke encapsulates the essence of the Kamilaroi Highway journey and allows you to reminisce the wonderful scenery that you have just experienced.

Christine Barton

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