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Corner Country, Outback NSW, Australia
Cameron Corner... what and where.
Cameron Corner (aka Camerons Corner) is the surveyed north-west corner of Outback NSW and named after surveyor John Brewer Cameron who marked the border between New South Wales and Queensland for the NSW Lands Department in 1880. Once the Corner was marked, his job was then to travel east, back to the coast, placing a marker every mile along what would become the interstate boundary; a task that took two years to complete.
Before Cameron surveyed the area, famous explorer Charles Sturt led an expedition from Adelaide in 1844 in search of the fabled inland sea, and many places of the Corner Country were integral in the party's journey north; none more so than Depot Glen, a permanent supply of water near Milparinka. This oasis in the desert was the saving grace for many, but not all, in this and other expedition through the outback.
The area around Cameron Corner, known as the Corner Country, encompasses the towns of Packsaddle, Tibooburra, Milparinka and Cameron Corner itself, a small one shop/pub settlement just over the border in Queensland. Also within the region is Sturt National Park, NSW's largest park which covers 340,000 hectares and spans the dunes of the Strzelecki Desert across the ancient mesas of the Grey Range and Mt King (the Jump-Ups) and to the gibber plains, gorges and hills of Mount Wood.
The northern and western boundaries of the Corner is made of the Dog Fence, the world's longest fence at 5,614 kilometres that runs from near Dalby on Queensland’s Darling Downs to Cameron Corner and then onto the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.
While not actually on the Darling River, it is one destination that should be included in the iconic Darling River Run touring route; one of the best in Outback NSW!
When I reflect back upon my travels throughout Australia, I realise that often I am attracted by a point on a map that draws me in to ponder, 'now, that would be a great end-point to a journey'.
Rarely are these places a few hours away, more often than not, they are a couple of days drive away as they are the true adventures.
One of my first ever big adventures into the outback was to Cameron Corner, the point at which New South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland meet. The adventure though is not just about a drive from one point to another, but an opportunity to experience the outback landscape, its pastoral and indigenous history, as well as a way to connect with the courageous (but often foolhardy) efforts of the explorers that ventured into the interior during the later parts of the 1800s.
There is so much to experience in outback Australia, although the uninitiated may perceive there is nothing out there, it just takes one visit to garner insight and understanding about the essence of this wondrous country.
Driving to Cameron Corner:
While many view the prospect of outback travel with the premise that you need a 4WD to do it, there are many adventures to the outback that are easily done in a modern SUV as well as traditional passenger vehicle; the drive to Cameron Corner is one such adventure.
Regardless of your mode of transport always follow 5 basic rules:
- Avoid travelling in the hotter summer months.
- Always carry water (at least 5 litres per person).
- Tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to arrive.
- Ensure your car has been serviced and mechanically sound.
- If you break down, wait with your car until someone comes along.
Cameron Corner is 'easily' reached from each of the eastern capitals with some great alternative routes along the ‘road less travelled’. For the uninitiated, the more direct routes are the better option, while the more adventurous routes are best done once the experience is gained.