The Corner Country is the area to the extreme far north west of New South Wales, bound by the Queensland border to the north and the South Australian border to the west, intersecting at Cameron Corner.
It is an area of diverse and beautiful landscapes divided by the rugged Barrier and Grey Ranges and bordering on the Simpson Strzelecki Deserts to the west and the Bulloo overflow in the northeast.
It is an area of rich Aboriginal heritage, of stories of explorers such as Sturt and Burke and Wills, as well as stories of European settlement as pastoralists and miners.
With main roads and backroads, with towns, localities, station properties and national parks, Corner Country is a place for exploring, for sharing, for experiencing.
Corner Country towns have a shared heritage, based firstly on the exploration of the region by Charles Sturt, in 1845, then by on the discovery of gold in the late 1870s. From the bustling heyday of the Albert Goldfields just two of the four original townships remain.
Tibooburra, once known as The Granites, is the undisputed "Capital of the Corner Country", the most remote township in New South Wales, and the ultimate destination of those travelling to the Corner Country and beyond. Its modern service station and caravan park, store, and two traditional hotels each service both the local community and travellers alike.
Tibooburra is also the home of the headquarters for Sturt National Park, as well as a Keeping Place of local Indigenous artefacts.
Milparinka, 40 kilometres to the south of Tibooburra, is something of an enigma, a town that thrived during the 1890s but gradually declined as the prospect of growing wealthy from gold discovery also declined. Set on the banks of Sturt's Evelyn Creek its heritage value is outstanding. The Albert (Milparinka) Hotel and the beautifully restored sandstone Courthouse and police station complex complement each other. A volunteer-run Visitor Information Centre and local history interpretive museum operates from March through to October.
The key to experiencing the richly diverse history and natural heritage of the Corner Country is to experience the drives that connect across the region. The most significant of these is Sturt's Steps Touring, a driving route that approximates the journey taken by Charles Sturt in 1845.
Beginning at either Broken Hill or Cameron Corner the route takes in Stationstay properties as well as Milparinka and Tibooburra along its path. It is a journey not to be rushed, but rather experienced, as the landscape changes, the wild life and flora varies, and one meets a few local characters along the way.
The Silver City Highway to Broken Hill and the White Cliffs Road to Wilcannia follow the traditional routes of Cobb and Co and Morrison Bros, linking the Corner Country with other locations within Outback New South Wales. Linking Tibooburra to Wanaaring and Bourke is the "cut-line", the route of the original telegraph line and once proposed rail link to the Corner Country.
It was also a major travelling stock route in the day when livestock were walked to market and needed regularly located public watering places.
The Corner Country is the traditional home for the Wongkumara, Wadigali and Malyangapa people, and was first explored in 1845 by Charles Sturt's Inland Expedition. In 1861 the Burke and Will's expedition passed through the east of the region. Pastoralists followed exploration, and between 1860s-1870s the area was extensively settled.
Gold was discovered in late in the 1870s, and the townships of Milparinka and Tibooburra were established.
In the 1880s a rabbit proof fence was constructed along the border of South Australia and Queensland, intersecting at Cameron Corner. Intended to keep the region free from rabbits, the fence later became, and still is, the wild dog fence.
Networks of trade routes were established from Wilcannia to the goldfields and later from Broken Hill. During this time staging posts and shanty hotels were opened up throughout the region, and travelling stock routes and public-watering places were established to transport stock through the region.
Cameleers arrived in 1882 to save a region on the brink of starvation, and remained stalwarts of transportation through until the 1920s.
The values of hard work, mateship, resilience were values by which most of the early settlers lived, isolated from the rest of New South Wales by distance. They remain the core principles of the people of the Corner Country today, although the tyranny of distance plays a much lesser role in carving the modern day character.
The Corner Country is home to three of most unique National Parks in NSW and offer the visitor amazing insights to not only the natural history of this remarkable country but also an insight to our European history as well as the remarkable indigenous cultures that stretches back over 20,000 years and is still an integral part of Outback Australia.
Food, Fuel and Emergency Services
Outback NSW is very well serviced by food and fuel outlets as well as emergency services but the Corner Country is more remote so good planning is the key to safe outback travel.
The following downloadable file highlights what is available in the Corner Country; download, and even print a copy, as a ready reckoner.