Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Encounter the westEncounter the west

Head west for an outback encounter. The Darling River system threads through a vast sweep of western New South Wales, leading intrepid travellers on a historic and adventurous journey into an often-overlooked outback region stretching from Lightning Ridge to Broken Hill.

Story Sam Leader photos Sarah Stevenson

Travelling some 1045 kilometres, more than half on unsealed roads, through far western New South Wales gives an entirely new perspective on what constitutes a 'long journey'. Within the vast distances from place to place, there is a sense of space, a subtly changing terrain, and intriguing wildlife to be encountered. It is a case of the journey being as significant as the destination itself.

Encounter the westLightning Ridge, famous for its spectacular black opal, is a fascinating starting point for the journey. Despite tidy houses and well-kept gardens, the population, which encompasses 57 nationalities, has far more concern for what's below the ground than what's above it.

Fossickers from around the world seek their fortunes in the minefields surrounding Lightning Ridge. And it seems a number are successful. Story end

Full story Issue 32 Dec 2003/Jan 2004

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