Perched near the Namoi and Barwon River junctions, Walgett is a former paddle steamer port known as a gateway to the Darling River Run. It now serves as a fisherman’s paradise and a base camp for exploring the region’s opal fields.
Things to do
Within the city limits, you can enjoy naturally-heated therapeutic baths, such as the free Walgett Artesian Bore Baths on Fox Street. Water comes from the Great Artesian Basin, which is estimated to be at least two million years old and springs to the surface with temperatures of about 41.5 degrees Celsius.
Visit the Dharriwaa Elders Group Exhibition Centre and its associated self-guided walking track. Known as a “Keeping Place,” the exhibitions in this cultural centre focus on wooden tools, weapons and native craftspeople. Next, stop by Stone’s Throw, a local antique shop with a cosy cafe.
Anglers can toss a line in pristine rushing rivers for abundant catches of yellowbelly and Murray cod. Fish in the clear lakes of Pilliga National Park and take a Discovery tour of the Aboriginal sites at Sandstone Caves. Keep an eye out for rare barking owls, malleefowls and koalas in the eucalypt trees.
Walgett gives direct access to Lightning Ridge, where you’ll find the rare Black Opal that flashes with flecks of blue, green and red. Fossick on eerily red river banks and explore the numerous opal mines. Roads from Walgett also lead to the Grawin, Glengarry and Sheepyard opal fields.
Walgett lies roughly 700 kilometres from Sydney and Brisbane. Closer towns with airports include Moree and Dubbo, where you can pick up a rental car. There are rail and bus services to Walgett and taxis are available in town.