Pooncarie, Outback NSW


The famous explorers Bourke and Wills reached the Darling River near Pooncarie at nearby Tarcoola Station and made camp at what is now Bilbarka Park in September 1860 on the way to their ill-fated expedition to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Now that's history. Originally gazetted as Pooncaira' in 1863, the area was first 'established' by Europeans in the 1840's as settlers took up illegal livestock runs on crown land.

By the 1860's the federal government, in an attempt to gain control of the area, formalised these illegal (and unfenced) claims.

More settlers followed and the town established itself as a service hub for outlying stations and more importantly, at the time, a port for the Paddle-steamer trade that was pushing up the Darling River.

Today, Pooncarie is a great little Darling River service town for those travelling the Darling River Run or exploring the lower Darling region of Outback NSW. The highlight on the social calendar is the Pooncarie Cup (October)

Nearby Lake Mungo, Mungo National Park, is one of the most visited National Parks in Outback NSW, and for good reason and it is not only about the much photographed Lunette and 'Walls of China' but it is the site that provides evidence of continual human habitation of over 40,000 years.

Experiencing the history and live indigenous culture can only be fully appreciated via one of the several very well organised and informative tours. It really is a 'must-see'.

Pooncarie provides wonderful access to the Darling River with the Darling River Run; extending upstream to Menindee (and the Menindee Lakes) and downstream to the confluence of the Murray and Darling rivers at Wentworth.


Pooncarie Weather Outlook


Pooncarie Visitor Information

  • Pooncarie See & Do

    • Visit Mungo National Park
    • Camp by the Darling River
    • Visit the Old Wharf site
    • Cafe & Art Gallery
  • Visitor Information Centre (Wentworth):

    • 66 Darling Street Wentworth NSW 2648.
    • Website
    • Telephone 03 5027 2403

Pooncarie - Touring & Accommodation


Driving to Pooncarie


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

As a general overview:

From Brisbane:

Warrego Highway <> Newell Highway <> Gwydir Highway <> Kamilaroi <> Darling River Run: Distance = 1,525km approx

From Sydney:

Hume Highway > Sturt Highway <> Wentworth-Pooncarie Road: Distance = 1,141km approx

From Melbourne:

Calder Highway <> Wentworth-Pooncarie Road: Distance = 679km aprox

From Adelaide:

Sturt Highway <> Wentworth-Pooncarie Road: Distance = 516km approx


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