After a relaxing couple of days at Kidman’s Camp in Bourke we were off to Cobar to visit some close friends of ours. The run from Cobar to Bourke is a fairly easy one and I drove. I have spent a little bit of time in the driver’s seat this trip getting some practice at towing the trailer. I have had no problems so far as you really don’t know the trailer is there. (Next lesson will be on backing)
Arriving mid afternoon, we headed straight to our friends place. They own a local bus company, so we were able to set up in the end of their bus shed. This meant we didn’t have to worry about putting the awning on or opening the kitchen up. We have set the camper up at friends homes before. It really is an easy, no fuss way to stay for a couple of nights without clogging up people’s houses!
Cobar is a small rural town situated in western N.S.W, about 300 kilometres west of Dubbo. With a population of around 5000 people it is best known for its gold and copper mining operations.
Our first stop was Fort Bourke Look Out. This is the historical site of the first gold mine in Cobar – the New Cobar Gold Mine. Peak Gold Mines now operate an underground mine at Fort Bourke. I could not believe the enormity of the open cut section of the mine. The underground entrance was about 150 metres below the viewing platform. We were lucky enough to see a dump truck come out of the mine and make its way up the winding track to go and unload its precious cargo.
Since mining operations first commenced in 1870, there have been approximately 3 million ounces of gold produced and around 200,000 tonnes of copper.
The Peak Gold Mine is worth a visit as you can walk along the Golden Walk, past mining equipment from days gone by, to a viewing area. There you are able to view some of the external mine workings.
THE OLD RESERVOIR
The Old Reservoir was Cobar’s first main water supply and is worth a drive out to. Interestingly, Cobar still does not have its own water supply. It all comes from Burrendong Dam 400 kilometres away. The water is pumped to Cobar via a network of pipelines and then held in storage tanks at the top of Fort Bourke. Closer to town is the New Tank Recreation and Water Sports Area. This is a man made dam just big enough to water-ski on and a nice spot for a picnic with plenty of trees and green grass.
Perhaps the best place to visit in Cobar is the Great Cobar Heritage Centre which incorporates the Visitors Information Centre and a Museum. Originally built in 1912 as the Administration Building for the Great Cobar Copper Mine, this beautiful old building now houses an interesting and informative collection covering the mining, farming and Aboriginal history of Cobar. There is also plenty to see outside of the building including what was once an open cut mine.
There is plenty of parking, a dump point and picnic tables if you are wanting to stop for a break. Across the road is the lovely Mining Heritage Park, established to commemorate miners who lost their lives in Cobar mines.
The main street of Cobar offers a couple of coffee shops, two supermarkets and a couple of pubs. We had Chinese from the Bowling Club which was very good.
We really enjoyed our short stay in Cobar. It had a nice feel to it and everyone we encountered were very friendly.