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)

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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 See & Do:

  • Lake Mungo National Park
  • Darling River (Old wharf site)
  • Pooncarie Cup (October)

Getting to Pooncarie:

By Car:

  • From Brisbane: 1,600km
  • From Sydney: 1,141km
  • From Melbourne: 680km
  • From Adelaide: 520km

Pooncarie Information Centre:

Wentworth Visitor Information Centre

Telephone: (03) 5027 5080


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  • Pooncarie

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  • Towns

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National Parks - Lower Darling

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Side Trips - Lower Darling

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