BEST Outback pubs on the Darling River Run in New South Wales

Tilpa outback pub

Now we’re not saying this is a complete list of the pubs on the Darling River – but here’s the six hotels we visited and can recommend…

The Port of Bourke Hotel, Bourke

A flashy big pub, with a beautiful verandah. Enjoyed our beverage only metres from the Darling River. Do make sure you visit the Back o’Bourke Exhibition and see the old jetty as well. 

Where to camp? We stopped at the Kidman Camp in North Bourke, as we stopped here with the kids a decade ago. Great memories, this time we hopped on the Jandra Paddleboat – you can walk to it from the camp. There is another caravan park right in town and awesome free camping at Mays Bend. 

Shindy’s Inn, Louth 

We just missed lunch, but were kindly offered a delicious pie. There is a load of character, well worth a stop in. 

Where to camp? Louth campground is right next door or you can walk across the bridge to a riverside free camp, no facilities. 

Tilpa Hotel, Tilpa

On to Tilpa – we signed the pub wall. Lunch was so good we returned for dinner and pool, after watching the sun go down from the verandah! 

Where to camp? We set up at the free camp across the road, Tilpa Weir is another excellent free camp – and waterside.

Maiden’s Hotel, Menindee 

Shared a yummy steak sandwich with Heatley and our mates recommend the soup. There is another pub in town, too! Read up on the sorry tale of Burke and Wills info out the front – it was their last brush with European civilisation. Thomas Pain’s hotel and kitchen was located right here. The Tourist Centre is also very interesting. 

Where to camp? There are several caravan parks, national park stays and free camps in the area. We chose lakeside Copi Hollow Caravan Park as we travelled with friends who needed amenities, but loved the free Lake Pamamaroo Campsites, too. 

Pooncarie Hotel, Pooncarie

Heatley is still wearing his Pooncarie Pub cap with pride, after three visits to this one of a kind hotel and friendly publicans in the one day! Yes – after lunch with friends, a drink after we almost got lost walking, and back again on his own to a State of Origin night. No wonder he has good memories. Great to have a family owned and operated hotel. 

Where to camp? Pooncarie Multi Purpose Park was a stand out for us. Pay a pittance at the pub or Port Pitstop for power  – and you can camp further along, closer to the water. 

Crown Hotel, Wentworth

Royal and Capt. Sturt Hotels are in Wentworth as well, however – I have to feature a pub that has a tractor – inside! Read up the local history of how the little Massey Ferguson saved the town. Also sample their EXCELLENT meals. I was heaven after loads of bush camping. And the homemade chocolate pudd was divine. 

Where to camp? Wentworth RV Park was the least wet when we visited, and it was free. The caravan park may be open now, but I loved free camp Thegoa Lagoon & Reserve, right on the Murray! That’s right – Wentworth is where the Darling ends. Boo hoo. But go and see where The Junction and the lookout, where the Darling feeds its muddy waters into the Australia’s longest river. 

You can find more great Outback Pubs and beaut camps and caravan parks in our CAMPS App and guides.

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