Darling River Run

The Darling River Run 2 Week Itinerary

Driving with camper-trailer along the Darling River Run touring route. Outback NSW, AustraliaThe Darling River Run is one of Australia’s most iconic touring routes encompassing some of the best destinations, attraction, and experiences of Outback NSW and while it is touted by some as a 4WD adventure, the reality is that it is easily done in an AWD SUV and even a traditional passenger vehicle with care. The route is also caravan and RV friendly with many of the accommodation options along the way perfectly suited to BYO accommodation including traditional camping as well.

Best Times: Autumn - Spring *Summer is hot but still great!

The Darling River Run is one of Australia's most iconic outback touring routes as it exposes visitors to experience the way the river connects to people, both Indigenous and European, and the landscape. Modern-day travellers who visit iconic Darling River towns like Bourke, Louth and Tilpa come away with an understanding of what the outback is all about; famous Australian poet Henry Lawson certainly did!

While it might not the extreme off-road, 4x4, that some seek, it is one that is easily done in almost any type of vehicle, and has the added benefit of being easily accessible from any of the east coast capital cities; less than a days drive to get to the Darling River.

The touring route also joins many side-trips that enable access to some of the best known, iconic travel experiences in Outback NSW; and some great ‘hidden gems’.

Camping on the Darling River at Nelia Gaari, Menindee, Outback NSW, Australia


Darling River Run 14 Day Itinerary

The Darling River Run can be done in either direction, downstream (from Lightning Ridge) to Wentworth or upstream from Wentworth to Lightning Ridge.

Even though the ‘Ridge’ is not on the Darling, it is included in the touring route as it is a real ‘must-see’ destination and a perfect ‘fit’ for the start or end of this great touring route.

Destination Partner - Lightning Ridge

lightning ridge

Travelling through this vast land, one often discovers places that envelope the soul with tangible elements; a beautiful river, majestic native forests, indigenous culture, or unspoiled pristine beaches.

Every now and again though, one can come across a place where the same feeling is experienced without any tangible elements to account for that feeling. Lightning Ridge, home of the unique Black Opal, is one of those places!

There are many ways to travel the Darling River Run, and the following route covers most things on offer along the way, and those that are not incorporated into the route can be experienced by one of several side-trips listed towards the bottom of the page.

For most of the ‘Run’, it is possible to travel on the eastern or western bank of the Darling, but for this guide, the route will follow one side or the other depending on the section.

Darling River Run Side Trips

While there are more than enough experiences along the Darling River to occupy a week or two, there are some amazing side-trip to further explore outback NSW for those that have the time, or those who are inspired to return and experience more of Outback NSW.

There are many touring routes across Outback NSW, these are the ones that veer off the Darling River Run and return to it further along the touring route.

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