Travelling beyond Dubbo into the northwest corner of New South Wales, the landscape transforms into an endless expanse of largely uninhabited red plain – the quintessential Australian Outback. The searing summer heat can make touring uncomfortable from December to February. Bourke, about 370km along the Mitchell Highway, is generally considered the turning point; venture further and you’re into the land known as “Back O’Bourke” – the back of beyond.

En route to Bourke, the Mitchell passes through Nyngan, the geographical centre of New South Wales, where the Barrier Highway heads west for 584 sweltering kilometres, through Cobar and Wilcannia, to Broken Hill.

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