Just because we are in the outback, doesn't mean the land is going to be bare. On the contary, there are Trees, shrubs, and acres of salt bush. It isn't that boring as along the way are many varieties of trees, the landscape changes, and I always am on the lookout for animals.
In the day time, we saw wild Goats and quite a few Emus, a couple of Kangaroos, that was all.
Of course at night, the Kangaroos would be out and about.
Lucky the Goats were frightened of the car and ran further into the bush.
You will see quite a few mirages, this is quite normal, you are not going mad, and every 100kms, you may see a letterbox in what seems to be the middle of nowhere. Somewhere there is a homestead, a Cattle or Sheep Station.
There are plenty of rest areas, and most of these have toilets, sometimes table & chairs.
Take a break at one of these if tired.
The lookout, over the new Cobar Open Cut Gold mine, gives a spectacular sight of the working gold mine.
To reach the lookout, turn left off the Barrier Highway before entering Cobar. It is signposted with a brown and white tourist sign, and the road is by the Cobar town sign. It is only a short drive along sealed road to the car park, then a short walk to the viewing platform from where there is an excellent view over the mine. The big work trucks look like midgets as they drive around the inside of the open-cut. There is excellent colour in the rock face.
Time to move outside, still plenty to see. This area is where we find all the old farming and mining equipment, some old motor vehicles and the "mystery" - we have to guess what it is and see if we are correct before we leave.
The mystery is a Bimble BoxTree, in which a door has been cut out. There are no windows inside, it is completely dark. The Tree stump was used at Booroomugga Station which is north east of Cobar.
There is also a walk, which I think was worth doing, as it took us to an abandoned mine which had filled with water, and was rather pretty.
Well, this was the end of a couple of hours spent at the Museum, a very interesting one.
I hope these tips give you a taste of what is here, there is a lot more than I have written about.
Now, we had to find out the answer to the "mystery."
The Tree, with the door cut out was used as a pantry.
The best way to see the historic buildings!
One that really stuck out, was the Butcher's shop, built in 1910 and still being used as a Butcher's shop in 2012.
Then I came across a group of buildings dating from 1897, a couple had beaut lacework verandahs, and one was still as originally built.
A couple of impressive Hotels, much needed in this hot climate. The Great Western Hotel, built in 1898, has an impressive long verandah and amount of rooms, they built them BIG back then!
I even found a Mural!
OK, so we cheated a bit. We walked and we toured by car!
I picked up the map at the tourist information centre, which is where the walk begins. It is 6km, and can be completed in 2 hours if you walk the whole way.
I came across this Catholic Church, which happened to have its doors open. It is the St. Laurence O"Toole Catholic Church, which was opened in 1907. It had a wooden ceiling which is often found in old Australian churches. Worth a look inside if the doors are open.
This park is located across the road from the Heritage centre, so we left the car parked where it was, and walked across.
It's a very nice park built to commemorate the Miners who have lost their lives in the Cobar Mines.
There is quite a large lawned area with covered picnic tables, pathways and pieces of mining equipment on display including a 15metre Poppet-head and Winder from the new Cobar Mine and a restored stamper battery. An electric loader is on display and a 2 metre high bronze sculpture of a miner.
We are now entering the section on Mining and Pastoral history.
The Pastoral history area has a very interesting display about Sheep, the wool, and how it ends up as a Jumper on our back.
We saw a wool press, a showcase full of the different grades of wool, and read about the different breeds of sheep are in Australia, it was an interesting section in the Museum.
What I liked best, were the old photos of transporting wool bales to a major city.
Look at the photo of the paddlesteamer. Nearly unbelievable that it could safely carry this huge quantity of wool, on a journey down the mighty Darling River!
The Bullocks too are to be remembered, their dray was loaded up for the long journey by road.
Last, but not least, was the amazing size of a scrub ball on display, this came out of a Sheeps digestive tract! [see photo]
Time to move upstairs and read and see items on the early years of Mining in Cobar, on how Copper was found in the area by some men spending the night camped at a waterhole, and little did they know, the coloured rocks they had collected to take back to Cobar were Copper!
A Mrs. Sidwel Kruge, who was born in Cornwall, England, an area where Copper was already mined, knew what it looked like and had no hesitation in declaring it was "copper!"
When you are in this area, take time to walk out onto the verandah and admire the wrought iron lace work, and the view over the nearby park.
Continuing on from the previous tip, we head into the old school room, recreation, building materials of old, and the bedroom exhibit. There were lots of old photos on the walls, how sad and mournful people looked back them, I guess they really didn't have anything to smile about, living in the harsh conditions in the outback of Australia.
I love the one of the Car, a Charabanc used for taking football and cricket teams to nearby places. It had solid rubber tyres, four rows of seats, and brass headlamps that ran on acetylene gas, what a beauty this car was!
Follow me on the next tip, as we head upstairs in the centre.
Located at the Information centre, is the heritage museum. We decided to go for a look this time in town, so paid our admission fee, were given a map and pointed in the right direction.
We found the centre had an amazing collection of items dating from 1869 to the present day. It was a chance to see how hard Cobar's pioneers had it, and how they 'made do' just to get by in life.
No modern appliances here, but many interesting pieces that worked without the need of electricty, etc.
We headed to the rooms housing the water exhibts, bush skills, washing, and the bush kitchen first.
Now, if you are an older person, you most probably will be saying, "I remember that, and so on," and if you are young, you will be amazed at how people lived "back then," and probably glad that you were born now, and not back in "the good old days!"
I remember those fly spray cans, I think we had more than one, and the arsenical sheep dip, banned now for health and safety reasons.
What about the beaut, big, wicker pram, I think I was pushed around in one of them as a baby, I know I played with one.
I'm glad I have a new washing machine, golly, those old ones look terrible and a lot of hard work!
The kitchen is an eye-opener for young eyes, who would want to go back to that?
A trip back in time for us, and then it was time to move onto other rooms, so far, so good!
OPEN...8.30 - 4.30PM
Having been to Cobar many times before, but never been to the Museum located there, this is where we headed to first.
You can't miss it, as its in a beautiful old "Great Cobar Heritage centre" located on the Barrier Highway, Nyngan side of the town, you have to drive past.
The building itself is historic, built in 1910, as the Office of the Great Cobar Copper Mine.
Inside, is the info centre which sells gifts, has photos and information on Cobar and the surrounds.
We found the lady behind the counter nice and helpful.
I picked up the Cobar Mud Map which details or the sights in town, a good way not to miss them.
The Heritage Museum is here, so this is the place to come to see that.
OPEN...8.30 - 5pm weekdays
9am - 5 pm weekends and public holidays.
Just the place for the latter and, if your purpose is simply to visit Cobar then one is probably better off flying out there.
This church is the architectural highlight of the back streets with the oh-so-loveable name of Laurence O'Toole's Catholic Church. You'd have to be thinking Irish!
Just a few kilometres out of Cobar, that's using country speak, there's a sign pointing to an emu farm (pic 1). It's an 84 km round trip which is probably a bit of a deterrent for most tourists (as it was for us) but there are also other things not that far away such as some of N.S.W. finest aboriginal art.
The Upper Western region is known for them. Outside Cobar at Mount Grenfell there are three main rock shelters with over 1300 richly coloured images including human and animal figures. There are also excellent examples of hand stencils which are made when the hand is placed on the rock and ochre is blown over the hand. There are also some interesting abstract linear designs. These displays, most of which are applied with either fingertip or brush, are highly thought of. Aborigines were drawn to the site by a semi-permanent waterhole in what was an otherwise arid area. Head along the Barrier Highway for 40 km towards Wilcannia then take the signposted turnoff along a good gravel road to the picnic-barbecue-toilet area 32 km from the highway.
Pictures 2-4 give you a good idea of what the country was like when in the grip of the great drought and pic 5 shows you just a couple of the hundreds of thousands of wild goats running around.
Couldn't help it really. I mean, the sign was so irresistible and Bob laid down with a somewhat motionless posture.
Fortunately, he was revived rather speedily when I bent over him and merely mentioned the possibility of mouth-to-mouth resusitation.
Once you see a wrought iron verandah you are generally looking at a building in Australia that is from the 19th century though there are certainly many later examples as well.
Here the dates on the structures clearly indicate the late 19th century heritage of these shops in the main street.