Louth, Outback NSW


Henry Lawson lived and worked for a period in the Louth area and referred to it as, 'a place that loved a drink, a party and a punt..' He was able to sum up the town and he never experienced the famous outback race event known as the Louth races where the normally sleepy river hamlet swells by the thousands for, well, a drink, a party and a punt (gamble).

Louth is a small service town (Pub, fuel and general store) on the Darling River about 100km downstream from Bourke and 100km upstream from Tilpa. Originally established as a service point for the Cobb & Co coaches, Louth founder, TA Mathews, opened a hotel and general store to service both the booming river trade as well as Cobb & Co coaches servicing outback NSW and Queensland.

The town is ideally located for access to the Darling River Run via the eastern or western side of the river downstream to Tilpa as well as the upstream section to Bourke and further up to Brewarinna and Walgett.

Unique to Louth is an amazing and emotive structure known as 'The Celtic Cross', an 8 metre tall polished granite cross that dominates the cemetery on the hill overlooking the town. The monument was constructed by the founder of Louth, Thomas Matthews, as a perpetual memorial to his wife, Mary Mathews, who died in 1866.

This magnificent granite monument was so skilfully designed and positioned that at sunset each day it reflects the suns image into the village of Louth. On the 19th August, the anniversary of her death, the reflection is able to be seen from The Retreat, which was her home. The monument is not only testament to the love and devotion of a husband for his wife, but also the accuracy of navigation technology of the 1800's as its alignment was reportedly aided by one of the river boat captains of the Darling River.

Recent studies by the Surveyor General's Department of NSW expressed amazement in the skills of the surveyors and river boat Captains of the 1870's who were able to develop this engineering phenomenon with the limited equipment of the time.

Visitors to Louth can observe this just occurrence just prior to sunset on a cloudless afternoon, and the locals have thoughtfully marked the places throughout the year that the visitor can experience the 3 minute lightshow.

Louth is located on Darling River Run, and many properties in the area, like Trilby Station, offer a variety of accommodation options from B&B to RV and camping sites on or nearby the river.


Louth Weather Outlook


Louth Visitor Information

  • Louth See & Do

    • Experience the Celtic Cross
    • Camp by the Darling River
    • Refresh at Shindy's Inn
    • Go the the races
  • Visitor Information Centre (Bourke):

    • Kidman Way, Bourke NSW 2840
    • Website
    • Telephone 02 6872 1321

Louth - Touring & Experiences

Louth - Accommodation

Staying with the Murray's on their historic 6th generation, 320,000 acre sheep station on the banks of the beautiful and iconic Darling River is described by many as their ultimate Outback NSW experience.
Louth Accommodation


Driving to Louth


There are many different routes that can be taken when driving from any of the capital cities to Louth. The following is an overview of the routes from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide that may help you in planning your outback experience.

From Brisbane:

Warrego Hwy <> Darling River Run (Unsealed): Distance = 1,016km approx

From Sydney:

The Great Western Highway > Mitchell Highway > Darling River Run (Unsealed): Distance = 960km approx

From Melbourne:

Hume Highway > Cobb Highway <> Long Paddock <> Darling River Run (Unsealed): (Distance = 1,027km aprox)

From Adelaide: 

Barrier Highway <> Darling River Run (Unsealed): Distance = 930km approx


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