The Watershed Guided Tour

The Watershed Guided Tour

Photographic Tours Australia

Connecting the Darling River to the Corner Country

Explorer Captain Charles Sturt (and others) believed there was an inland sea into which the few known rivers of eastern Australia flowed; this premise was the basis of his 1844-5 expedition, and there is a lot of merit to that belief. The Watershed Looptm is an adventure designed to show, in part, the validity of the assumption that specific waterways drained in the interior of Australia.

With Broken Hill as the ideal start/finish of this great adventure, the Watershed Loop can also be accessed from the Darling River Run (Wilcannia or Menindee) as well as when heading south from Tibooburra and Cameron Corner.

The ephemeral Packsaddle Creek (beside Packsaddle Roadhouse) a few days after heavy rains.  Outback NSW, Australia

Welcome to the Watershed Looptm, 

The Barrier Ranges, sometimes referred to as the Barrier Range, was initially named Stanley's Barrier Range by Sturt in honour of Lord Stanley (British Foreign minister 1866-68 & 1874-78). Captain Charles Sturt named it due to the perceived barrier it created to Sturt's expedition. More importantly, though, it forms the western extent of the Darling River basin watershed which is a subdivision of the Murray-Darling Basin.

The Watershed Looptm

Tour Introduction

Touring Map of the Watershed Loop, connecting the Darling River to the Corner Country, Outback NSW, Australia

In 1840, Edward John Eyre was the first European to lay eyes on the 9500-square-kilometre lake, which now bears his name in one of the driest desert regions of South Australia.

Sturt, and those who commissioned him, did not know there would be an inland sea, and that is not the premise of his endeavours. The expedition intended to discover what was beyond the Murray-Darling western catchment as they knew that the Darling Catchment drained to the east. Hence, the watershed that lay beyond Stanley's Barrier Ranges could reveal where the adjacent catchment flowed.
Watershed Elevation Profiles:

The outback, and this region of Outback NSW, is regarded as a very flat country, but when viewing the elevation profile, it is apparent there is indeed elevation across the catchments (that allow the individual basins to work).

Tour Overview

  • Region:
    • Barrier Ranges & South East Corner Country 
  • Localities of Interest:
    • Broken Hill, Silverton, Packsaddle, White Cliffs, Wilcannia, Menindee
  • Ranges:
    •  Coko Range, Floods Range, Slate Range, Robe Range, Mundi Mundi Range, Coonbaralba Range, Mount Darling Range

  • When:
    • On-demand.
  • Duration:
    • 5 days.
  • Tour Size: 
    • Two-Five Guests. (Solo travellers welcome - surcharge applies)
  • Fitness Level:
    • A reasonable level of fitness is required. Some hiking and uneven surfaces.
  • Best Season:
    • Early autumn through to late spring.
  • Airport Pickup:
    • Yes for ADL, SYD, CBR. (POA). Yes for BHQ (Broken Hill) MQL (Mildura) (POA)
  • Airport Dropoff: 
    • Yes for ADL, MEL. (POA). Yes for MQL (Mildura) (FOC)
  • Custom Direction:
    • Please Contact me to Discuss.

Cost Per Person*

  • 2 Guests: $4,000 (each)
  • 3 Guests: $3,167 (each)
  • 4 Guests: $2,750 (each)
  • 5 Guests: $2,500 (each)

Prices are in AUD and include local (GST) taxes. Tours are designed for 16yo+ (Please contact me to discuss the inclusion of younger children).

More Information & Bookings

For more information or to book your adventure, please Contact me

By its very nature, photographic touring requires physical exertion when photographing and exploring locations like Mt Poole in the west. To make the most of what the tours offer, you should be physically fit, with some agility. A lot of the experience is walking/hiking and often on rocky/sandy/muddy/uneven surfaces. Also, temperatures can be, so your fitness will have a bearing on your enjoyment while on tour.

You must make sure that you meet the activity and fitness levels required for the trip you intend to book. Undertake adequate preparation and training, and check with your doctor to ensure that you are medically fit for your proposed activity.

For your peace of mind, please ensure you have appropriate travel insurance. You should check that your policy covers the types of activities you plan to undertake. Ensure that your policy also covers the terms of our cancellation policy (see below).

Our tour departure dates are flexible until booked. Our tours are primarily private, tailor-made for you and your partner, family or travelling group. Should you wish, you can allow other people to join your tour to help with the cost.

Our preferred contact method is by email or telephone.

Photouring tours are small, independent and personalised, and as such, we do not provide instant online bookings. Email or call is best as it is an excellent way to understand better what is needed and what questions you may have.


Payment is via Paypal, which provides the best peace of mind for you, or electronic bank transfer if you prefer.

  • A 50% deposit is required to secure your booking.
  • The final payment is due four weeks before departure.


By You

All cancellations will incur a fee of 10% of the total fare if made before four weeks of the scheduled departure.

  • Less than four weeks from departure day will incur a cancellation fee of 50% of the total cost.
  • Less than two weeks from departure day will incur a cancellation fee of 75% of the total cost.
  • Less than one week from departure day will incur a cancellation fee of 100% of the total cost.
BY Photouring

As the tour operator, we have the right to cancel or modify the tour if the trip is jeopardised, made difficult, or impaired due to a natural calamity, including pandemics or epidemics. Please ensure that your insurance covers cancellations due to natural disasters, pandemics or epidemics.

Wet weather or heat may warrant route changes due to road closure, localised flooding, health & safety, Etc.

If a destination venue is closed, we will modify the tour to incorporate an additional activity.

Photouring accepts no responsibility or liability for any injury, loss, damage, change of itinerary or inconvenience caused either directly or indirectly as a result of force majeure or other events which are outside of our control, including but not limited to: pandemics, epidemics, fires, floods, acts of nature, industrial action or commercial flight disruptions.

We are not liable for any loss, damage, omission or act of negligence or otherwise committed by third party operators or their assignees or agents. Please check with your travel insurance provider.

Due to limited vehicle space and the fact it is a photographic tour, please limit your luggage to:

  • One medium-sized suitcase weighing less than 20 kg
  • One day pack sized hand luggage. (max 5 kg)
  • Camera bag and tripod.

If you need to bring more, please email/call to discuss.

The best seasons to travel are spring, winter and autumn. Summer travel is dependant on where you want to go. Travelling through the northwest of NSW is best done out of summer as the region is generally too hot.

Wifi connection is available at most places we stay and centres we visit.

Telstra coverage is pretty good across the region, with Optus slightly less and not yet accessible in areas like Tibooburra, Wanaaring, and centres along with the Darling. Grab a Telstra SIM for use while on tour for the best access.

Credit cards and EFTPOS is widely accepted, but it is handy also to have some Aussie dollars. Most larger towns will have ATMs.

Generally, the outback area covered by our tours is characterised by hot to sweltering dry summers and mild winter days with cold nights.

The following summary is for a spread of towns and cities we commonly visit as part of our tours. There is little humidity in summer, making the temperatures more comfortable.

Photouring adventures are all-inclusive; we provide all meals and accommodation.

In addition to your clothes and personal toiletries, and personal medications, you will need:

  • Sun Protection (hat, sunscreen, moisturiser, etc)
  • Sun-smart clothing in summer and warm clothing in winter
  • Insect repellant (and a flynet headgear if necessary)
  • Swimming costume.
  • Sturdy walking shoes as well as sandals or thongs
  • Personal electronics and portable charging devices
  • Battery rechargers (cameras, etc)
  • A small torch and/or headlight.
  • A neck pillow if you like to use them while travelling.
  • Your enthusiasm, to enjoy, learn, share, laugh.

NOTE: * Please do not forget your travel insurance.

For your health and our health: No smoking in vehicles or accommodation.


Simon Bayliss


PHONE: 0466646323