Cobar NSW

About Cobar

For over 100 years Cobar has been a mining town. Even today an essential part of every visitor’s itinerary is a visit to the New Cobar Open Cut Gold Mine and the Peak Gold Mine. Cobar is one of those deceptive country towns which, on the surface, just looks like any one of a hundred rural service centres. However just beneath this ordinary exterior there is an exceptional museum, an excellent Mining Heritage Park, a remarkable Sound Chapel and a superb display of Aboriginal rock art at Mount Grenfell. Mining still drives the local economy but, in the winter months, it becomes popular with tourists driving from the coast to Broken Hill (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

Getting there

It was a 367km trip from Griffith (route map) and we stopped off along the way at a small rural town called Merriwagga (maplink), where the term “The Black Stump” is said to have originated.

We went looking for the black stump memorial and couldn’t find it, so just checked out the town discovering that the Black Stump Hotel is said to have the highest bar and bar-stools in Australia (lofty 1.3 meters high). Local legend has it that the original publican built the bar this high so that local ringers could ride their horses right up to the bar! Pity that it was closed as we were too early in the day to check it out. Next stop-off was Hillston for a coffee and a photo taken with the local emu before moving onto our destination of Cobar.

Accommodation

Checked into the Cobar Caravan Park which has really nice big sites, but amenities need to be seriously updated. 2 nights here before moving on to Bourke.

 

Cobar Museum and Miners Memorial

The Cobar Tourist Information Centre includes a museum highlight mining in the area and was a great place to spend some time.

We then ventured over the road to the Cobar Miners Heritage Park, which is a memorial been built to pay tribute to the hundreds of miner’s who have lost their lives mining in the Cobar Shire. It was only built in 2020 & opened in 2021.

Just around the corner from there is the famous Cobar Town Monument which is the iconic gateway to Cobar. Anyone travelling to or through Cobar must have a photo of these remains of what would have been a huge copper smelter

Fort Bourke Hill Lookout & Peak Gold Mines

Fort Bourke Lookout is just minutes out of town (maplink) and the view from the viewing platform provides a vista over the open pit and entrance to the underground mines.

The rich Cobar mineral belt is clearly visible in a straight line from North to South (line up the head-frames). The mining here is all underground now with the entrance at the bottom of the pit.

Cobar’s water comes from Burrendong Dam 400km away and is pumped from Nyngan via a 135km pipeline into storage tanks on top of Fort Bourke hill.

Cobar Sound Chapel

The Cobar Sound Chapel is located on a dirt road a few kilometers north-east of Cobar, along a dirt road (maplink). It’s basically a large old metal water tank that has been converted into a musical art-piece. It’s quite amazing. It was completed in early 2022 and is a creation by composer / sound artist Georges Lentz.

The Sound Chapel is locked and you need to get to get the keys from the Cobar Visitors Centre, BUT there is a catch as you need to pay a $300 (cash only) deposit to get these keys! We didn’t have that much cash on us (who does these days!) so drove out to check it out from the outside. You can actually hear the music from outside which is still pretty cool.

Summing up…

  • AccommodationCobar Caravan Park (02) 6836 2425
    • Cost per night$43.20 (G’Day discount @ 20-Jul-2022)
    • Stayed for2 nights
    • Facilities Very old and need an update
    • CP Location101 Marshall St Cobar – great location close to town
    • CP Mapcouldn’t find one 😢
    • WikiCampsfollow this link
    • Our rating/score6/10
  • Was it a nice town to visit?yes
    • Activities & places of interesta fair bit to do – 2 nights was enough though
    • Tourist info centre?Great Cobar Heritage Centre (02) 6836 2448
    • Would we return?yes – only as a stop-over though
    • We rate the town7/10
  • Overall thoughtsCobar was a great place to visit and would recommend 2 days as adequate time to stay.

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