With a population of only 4,700 people and only covering an area of 44,00 square kilometres I think it is fair to say Cobar is a pretty small outback town. But what is there to do and see when you are a backpacker and everything is new? Explore thats what!
Cobar is recognised mainly for being a mining town. Copper was first discovered back in 1869 near a waterhole that then became the site of the great Cobar mine. Peak gold mine has produced in excess of 3 million ounces of gold and 200,000 tonnes of copper since mining began in 1870. One of the best ways to get an idea of how deep the mines are is to visit Fort Bourke Hill Lookout. This is the site of Cobar’s first gold mine. The pit itself is 380 metres in length, 200 metres wide and 150 metres deep.
Stunning view from the lookout at sunset
Most people only get to see the mine from above ground, however I was lucky enough to actually go down into one of the mines and see what life 700 metres deep is really like! It was like a secret underground world operating whilst the world goes by above ground. Before entering the mine I was unaware of how many safety procedures and regulations there are for anyone that is working or visiting the mine underground. Although I have to say I was actually pretty pleased that there were so many rules in place to make being in the mine as safe as possible. Driving into the mine I have to say I felt a little claustrophobic, and that is something I have never really felt in my life. The tunnel itself is just wide enough to fit vehicles through until you reach certain areas of the mine. Something that soon also became very apparent was how hot it was as we began to get deeper into the mine. The level of humidity was insane, I had beads of sweat rolling down every inch of my body, a bottle of water was on hand during the whole visit! Here is a lovely sweaty photo of me inside the mine.
The Cobar Sign
A more typical backpacker or tourist spot is the iconic Cobar sign, which is at the entrance of the town itself. It clearly signifies Cobar’s miner heritage, and makes for a great spot to take a few photos. If you are planning to visit the Cobar sign by foot make sure you bring plenty of water and sun protection. I was lucky enough to be driven here from where I am staying however there is literally no shade here and it can get extremely hot!
Cobar Railway Station
The Cobar railway line first opened back in 1892 and to this day continues to carry wheat and ore, however passenger operations ceased in 1975. The station is now a great place to visit for anyone passing through town.
The Newey Resevoir
The Newey was designed as a recreational area for the people of Cobar and its visitors to enjoy the warm weather and socialise with friends and family. You can also camp here for free, there are also BBQ’s for general use as well!
Outback roads surrounding Cobar
To the locals it may sound crazy taking photos of the roads in and around Cobar but as a backpacker they are the perfect photo opportunity. I mean back home you just don’t see roads surrounded by nothing but red dust and shrubbery!