Drive Melbourne to Cameron Corner:

The Corner Country, just the name conjures up images of the iconic nature of outback Australia and Cameron Corner, the point at which the three States meet is the pinnacle of outback adventures.

Driving to the Corner is a challenge (sometimes of the mind, sometimes of the ability, sometimes of the vehicle, and often a challenge of all things combined), but only if you do it right.

Sure there is the more relaxed/direct route which will soon be bitumen all the way to Tibooburra. Direct routes are efficient and effective but often lack the spirit of adventure.

This route from Melbourne to Tibooburra, and onto Cameron Corner, is an adventure taking in two other touring routes I have published recently.

** While this is an 'off bitumen rather than a serious 'off-road' trip. It is certainly doable in an AWD SUV (with care and with driver ability) with the proviso that conditions along these touring routes can change. Alternative roads should be used in times of rain and flooding.

Cameron Corner, where Queensland, New South Wales, and South Australia meet. Corner Country, Australia.

The Corner Country, Outback Australia

The Corner Country, encompassing the outbacks of New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia, is one of the most popular travel regions of Australia. Travelling to the Corner Country provides the visitor with an understanding of the deep historical and cultural connections to the region; with experiences of Indigenous heritage and culture, pastoral history, ethereal landscapes, iconic outback towns and legendary characters. It is just one of those places.

Wherever I go in the bush I always find my way back and always come out at the place where I want to go” Alfred Howitt, 13 September 1859

Cameron Corner

Cameron Corner (sometimes referred to as Cameron's Corner) is the surveyed north-west corner of New South Wales and the point at which the states of New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia meet.  The corner also forms the northwest boundary of Sturt National Park – one of New South Wales's largest National Parks at 340,000 ha.

Drive Melbourne Cameron Corner, Outback Australia

Click for Interactive Google Map

This touring adventure touring route from Melbourne to Cameron Corner incorporates two other great touring routes:

The run from the Darling River to Tibooburra is through the wonderful back-country of northwest New Sout Wales. ** If you want a more direct route, with a few adventure options, please see the More Direct Route Options

Trip Highlights:

  • Cadell Fault and the Edward River
  • Mungo National Park
  • The Darling River
  • White Cliffs
  • Mutawintji NP

The real adventure of this touring route starts at Echuca/Moama, which is an easy highway drive from Melbourne via the Hume Highway and Northern Highway. At about 225 km, it will take less than 3 hours to get to Moama (depending on traffic and departure point in Melbourne).

The Touring Route in Detail

Touring Route Detail:

Once in Moama, this adventure route to the Corner Country starts with the Timber Cutter's Runtm, a driving experience that includes Barmah, Mathoura, Deniliquin, Moulameim and Kayalite, before heading north to Balranald.

From Balranald, the route heads north through Lake Mungo (Mungo National Park) and over to Pooncarie for some river adventure along the Darling River Run as far as Wilcannia. From there it is some 'backcountry travel through the opal town of White Cliffs before heading west to Mutawintji National Park and onto Packsaddle.

Touring Route Summary:

  • Melbourne to Moama
    • Distance: 224 km
    • Road Type: Sealed
  • Moama to Balranald
    • Distance: 358 km
    • Road Type: Sealed/Unsealed
  • Balranald to Wilcannia
    • Distance: 512 km
    • Road Type: Unsealed
  • Wilcannia to Tibooburra
    • Distance: 404 km
    • Road Type: Unsealed/Sealed

Echuca/Moama to Balranald


The Timber Cutters Run

Welcome to the Timber Cutter's Runtm, a unique touring route along ancient waterways and through ethereal forests. This driving route is not just another tourism hidden gem, but the real deal. It reveals a story of an earthquake 60,000 years ago, the Cadell Fault, the Narrows (Barmah Choke), a 50 km sandridge, the redirection of the Murray River, and the creation of the Millawa-Barmah forests - the largest stand of River Red Gum in the world.

With more and more development along the Murray River, there are fewer and fewer places that remain relatively untouched, enabling visitors to experience real nature.

The Timber Cutter's Run extends from Echuca/Moama past Barmah, Mathoura, Deniliquin, Moulameim and Kayalite, before heading north to Balranald.

Located within the Central Murray River Catchment, the Timber Cutters Run follows the Murray River, Gulpa Creek, Edward River, Wakool River, and the Niemur River.

We respectfully acknowledge that the Yorta Yorta, Perrepa Perrepa, and Wamba Wamba people are the traditional custodians of this area of the Central Murray and so pay our respect to their elders, past and present.

The Cadell Fault

The Cadell Fault Mathoura, Gulpa Creek, New South Wales, AustraliaThe Cadell Fault beside the Gulpa Creek at Mathoura, New South Wales, Australia

Around 60,000 years ago, a seismic event changed the course of the Murray River; it is considered one of the world's most spectacular altering the course of a river. While it may seem a long time in the past, it is good to put into the context of Australian history in that indigenous history reaches further back (65,000 years for the earliest evidence of humans in Australia).

Research reveals that several sizable earthquakes lifted the land between Echuca and Delinquin to the east of present-day Cobb Highway (The Long Paddock touring route).

The findings summarised that the original course of the Murray River was west through present-day Mathoura via Green Gulley, a watercourse that is still visible today. In fact, after heavy rain, Green Gulley fills with water flows the original watercourse of the Murray River.

Slideshow - Cadell Fault and its effect on the Murray River

The Waterways

  • Around 60,000 years ago, a seismic event changed the course of the Murray River; it is considered one of the world's most spectacular altering the course of a river. While it may seem a long time in the past, it is good to put it into the context of Australian history in that indigenous history reaches further back into history. (65,000 years for the earliest evidence of humans in Australia).
  • Research reveals that several sizable earthquakes lifted the land between Echuca and Delinquin to the east of present-day Cobb Highway (The Long Paddock touring route).
    The findings summarised that the original course of the Murray River was west through present-day Mathoura through a watercourse known as Green Gulley which is still visible today and fills with water during heavy floods.
  • The main fault line, between Moama and Deniliquin, is over 50km long and is up to 12–15 metres in height.
  • The Green Gully course joined the Edward/Wakool River near Wakool (west of Mathoura) flowed to the present Murray River west of Kayalite.
  • This suggested course meant the Murray River did not flow via Echuca and onto Swan Hill. It was the Goulburn River that flowed to Echuca, then on to meet the Murray River near Kayalite.
  • When the tilt/fault occurred, this dammed both waterways to form two large lakes:
    • The Northern Lake (between Mathoura and Barmah)
    • Lake Kanyapella (between Barmah and Moama)
  • Around 20,000 years ago, with the need to find a new course, the Murray River turned north, creating the Edward River, to present-day Deniliquin, before heading west (Moulamein) and joining the present course west of Kayalite; while also continuing to fill the Northern Lake.
  • The Goulburn, with the southern-sourced Campaspe River, formed Lake Kanyapella.
  • The flow of the Murray River into Northern Lake deposited silt protrusions (also known as silt-jetties) through the lake which became the modern course of the Murray River; this course created a narrower river and is today known as the narrows or choke.
  • The Murray River also created a new course to the southwest via the 'Narrows' (the Barmah Choke), to follow its current path which was created by the ancient Goulburn River, to Swan Hill.

The Landscape

  • Back when this was happening, the landscape was very different from the forests we see today and evidence reveals it a more open woodland and grassy plains including tree-ferns. The actual red-gum forest is relatively new, forming around 6,000 years ago.
  • The flow of the Murray was a lot greater than today as glaciers covered the ranges around Mount Kosciuszko (20,000+ years ago) and the melt provided a constant supply of water.
  • During a period of severe drought, the Northern Lake Dried and prevailing winds blew the sand sediment from the lake and created the sand ridge that runs along Picnic Point Road as well as the sandhills around the now named Sand Range woodlands.
  • During the same dry period, Lake Kanyapella also dried and created the sandhills around Barmah, visible along the Barmah road that leads from the Cobb Highway.
  • With the ebb and flow of floods, the native grasses flourished, but the original trees were not suited to the constant wet, but this provided a natural opportunity to different tree species to grow, species like the River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) created the upper canopy while native grasses, sedges and rushes thrived on the ground story.
  • Legend of the First Nation people, the Yorta Yorta, tells a story that ancestors, when the Cadell tilt dammed the water during a great flood, helped the river breakthrough by digging through a sand ridge and enabled the current course of the Murray River.
  • The narrows (Barmah Choke) that was created in the Northern Lake, and formed the modern course of the Murray, is (surprisingly) dated at only 500-600 years. This section of the river exhibits straight-sided banks, which is out of character for the Murray River.
  • The Barmah Choke restricted the flow of the river and created the perfect conditions for the Barmah forest to form and establish itself as the largest River Run Gum forest in the world.
    The Gulpa Creek was diverted north due to the fault line and joined the Edward River about 20 km south of Deniliquin.
  • The Edward River came into being as a result of the Murray River building up as a result of the Cadell tilt and needing a new course, and the resultant waterway rejoined the Murray River southwest of Balranald.
  • The Goulbourn River is believed to have been the main waterway to Echuca and then followed the same course of today's Murray River; the exception being that is was not linked to the original route of the Murray via Mathoura/Green Gulley which ended up flowing north to Deniliquin then west as the Edward River.

Touring Route Introduction

The Timber Cutters RunTM is a touring route through the central Murray Catchment of the Murray-Darling Basin from Moama to Balranald visiting Barmah, Mathoura, Deniliquin, Moulamein, and Kayalite along the way.

This adventure reveals a story of an earthquake 60,000 years ago that caused the redirection of the Murray River, the creation of two ancient lakes as well as the formation of the Barmah Forest.

The Barmah-Millewa forest is the largest stand of River Red Gum in the world.

This earthquake created the Cadell Fault/Tilt, an elevated ridge that stretches from Moama to Deniliquin, much of which this tour will follow, with the section from Deniliquin to Kyalite following the Edward and Wakool River.

If doing the Long Paddock touring route from Moama to Wilcannia, this touring route is an excellent alternative to the Moama-Deniliquin section and does not bypass any of the waypoints of that route. 

The Timber Cutters Run, Australian Touring Routes - CLICK image for interactive Google MapThe Timber Cutters Run, Australian Touring Routes

Touring Route Detail:

  • Total Distance: Full Route: 358 km
  • Road Surface: Mostly unsealed but well maintained - Bitumen alternative routes
  • Vehicle Recommendation: AWD/4WD SUV with good clearance. Camper trailers & small-medium offroad caravans
  • Communications: Good Mobile coverage on Telstra and Optus
  • Food & Provisions: Moama, Mathoura, Deniliquin, Moulamein, Balranald

shoutTimber Cutter's Run - Need to Know!

  • There are times of the year that sections of this route can flood and roads closed as a result. Throughout this touring route, more accessible/safer alternative ways through are possible.
  • After a rain, the roads can become slippery, so care/experience is needed. Check with Park's office and/local authorities if in doubt.
  • For Road Closures and Park Alerts:
  • This adventure follows some amazing waterways and as a result, offers some unique places to camp as a few unique accommodation places along the way.
  • The roads throughout this route are mostly unsealed but well-maintained, and small-medium RV suitable (offroad set-up recommended).
  • Each section of the Timber Cutter's Run will have more detail on the general track access recommendations.

Timber Cutter's Run - Route Sections

The southern terminus of the Timber Cutters Run is Moama on the Victoria/New South Wales border. Just across the Murray River from Echuca, both form the twin towns known as Echuca-Moama and is located about 230 km north of Melbourne.

Moama is on the 'quiet side of the river' and lends itself to a more relaxed pace than Echuca, but provides effortless access to all the highlights of Echuca, and adds some of its own unique experiences.

Echuca/Moama to Barmah

The Goulburn River and Murray River junction near Echuca, NSW, AustraliaThe Goulburn River and Murray River junction near Echuca, NSW, Australia

Touring Route Description

The start/finish point of the Timber Cutters RunTM is Echuca/Moama with the first leg to Barmah follows the Murray River along the Victorian side of the river from Echuca to Barmah with some beautiful river vistas along the way.

This route crosses the Goulburn River, a tributary of the Murray which is sourced from Woods Point and the Victorian High Country and is believed to be the original course of the Murray River before the events that caused the Cadel tilt.

There is an opportunity also the see where the Goulburn River joins the Murray River, but large caravans are not advised on this track as there is little room to turn around. It is an easy walk from the main road though.

It is a worthwhile experience to see where the ancient Goulburn river joins the Murray River and consider that upstream to Mathoura is a relatively new waterway.

Timber Cutters Run - Moama to Barmah.Timber Cutters Run - Moama to Barmah. CLICK image for interactive Google Map

Touring Route Details:

Road/Track Distance (km) Cumulative (km) Turn Road Type
Goulburn Road 2.20 2.20 Right Sealed
Bangerang Road 7.25 9.45 Left Sealed
Stewarts Bridge Road 22.50 31.95 Left Gravel
Barmah-Shepparton Road 5.96 37.91   Sealed

About Barmah:

Trivia Time: Barmah is the only Victorian town north of the Murray River. (due to the winding nature of the river, this section has Victoria to the north of the river.)

Barmah is a small Murray River town that is known as the gateway to the superb Barmah National Park which is home to the largest forest of red gum in the world. It is the importance of the red gum forest and the appeal of the Murray River, which is central to the attractions in the area.

It is thought the town's name comes from a Yorta Yorta word 'Paama' meaning 'meeting place'.

In 1863-64 the railway line from Bendigo to Echuca was built and consumed large volumes of sleepers cut from the red gums in the Barmah forest. A punt began operation, joining the tracks from Echuca to Yarrawonga where they crossed the Murray River. In 1886 a town was surveyed on elevated ground near the punt, and the resulting Barmah village became a river outlet for wool from surrounding pastoral stations. It also became the shipping point for railway sleepers cut for domestic use and export to India and New Zealand.

By the 1950s there was evidence that the weirs built on the Murray River for irrigation were decreasing the flood frequency in the Barmah forest. The change of rhythm reduced the germination of red gum seedlings and interfered with the breeding of water birds. Effluent from human and farm activity also adversely affected water quality. Flood regulators were installed by 1959.

The Barmah National Park covers 28,500 hectares and with the adjoining Murray Valley National Park in New South Wales, forms the worlds largest River Red Gum forest. The complex ecology of the forest is possible due to the Murray River and its flooding regime that has created a diverse natural habitat for a variety of wildlife, especially waterbirds.
Internationally recognised and listed under the Ramsar Convention, the wetlands of forest represents all of the four freshwater wetland types in Victoria. The forest provides critical habitat for over 200 recorded species of birds, with Brolgas, Night Herons, Spoonbills, Sea Eagles and Azure Kingfishers can all be seen in the Park. River Red Gums line the Murray River for most of its length.

The iconic River Run Gums can reach 45 metres and live for more than 500 years. The trees need periods of flooding and can survive inundation for months. Their seeds are washed onto the higher ground during a flood and germinate and grow before the next deluge reaches them. Hollows and broken branches provide nesting for Galahs, Cockatoos, Cockatiels and various Parrots; while fallen branches offer habitat for other animals.

Barmah to Mathoura

Now the real fun begins!

The Murray River along Barmah River Road, Barmah, Victoria, AustraliaThe Murray River along Barmah River Road, Barmah, Victoria, Australia

Touring Route Description

The journey from Barmah to Mathoura (Picnic Point) follows the Murray River (on the NSW side of the river) through the Murray Valley National Park (Moria section) with excellent access to the river along well-maintained tracks through the forest.

shoutBarmah Lakes Alternative Route!

At times of flooding and after heavy rains, some of this route may be closed, an alternate way should still be possible. (Check with Parks Office: Murray Valley National Park (See Alerts) or call NPWS Moama office on 03 5483 9100)

  • Take left at Rushy Rd, off River Rd, and not Algeboia Rd which is further upstream.
  • Turn Right at Dora Rd
  • Once past Millewa Canal, go past Swifts Creek Rd and turn right at Porters Creek Rd (Poverty Point Rd)
  • See Map for detail.

Touring Route Details:

The River Road follows the river until Moira Creek Road (a right turn) which proceeds up to Moira Lake and westward along the Millewa irrigation channel. There is no route along the Murray River north between Moira Lake and Barmah Lake, hence the need to go around Moira Lake to the west.

Once around the lake, Swifts Creek Road heads east back to the Murray River and Swifts Creek campground.  Similar to the south of the lakes, vehicle access to the lakes along the Murray River is not possible, but from the north of the lakes, it is possible to reach the lakes via a walking trail.

Timber Cutters Run - Barmah to Picnic PointTimber Cutters Run - Barmah to Picnic Point. CLICK image for interactive Google Map

Road/Track Distance (km) Cumulative (km) Turn Road Type
Barmah Road 1.00 1.00 Right Sealed
Barmah River Road 7.50 8.50 Right Gravel
Moria Creek Road 7.40 15.90 Left Gravel
Dora Creek Road 1.60 17.50 Right Gravel
Algeboia Road 0.90 18.40 Right Gravel
Dora Road 4.00 22.40 Left/Merge Gravel
Coolamon Road 4.30 26.70 Right Gravel
Swifts Creek Road 3.90 30.60 Right Gravel
Hut Road 7.60 38.20 Right/Merge Gravel
Poverty Point Road 2.70 40.90 Right Sealed
Picnic Point Road 1.00 41.90   Sealed

From Swifts Creek campground, the route heads north towards Picnic Point with lovely vistas of the Murray River.

The Murray Valley National Park:

In 2010 the Millewa, Gulpa and Moira State Forest was converted to a National Park, now referred to as the Murray Valley National Park. The well-known names are used for each section:

  • The Moira Section: Barmah to just north of the Gulpa Creek with the Cobb Highway being the western boundary and Murray River the east boundary.
  • The Millewa Section: From the Edward River in the west, running along the Murray to the west of Tocumwal)
  • Gulpa Island Section: Bounded by the Gulpa Creek and Edward River.

About Mathoura

Mathoura is an integral part of the Long Paddock touring route that retraces a historic cattle-run from Moama (just over the Murray River from Echuca), through Deniliquin, Hay, Ivanhoe and Wilcannia.

Along the way - at Moama, Mathoura, Deniliquin, Pretty Pine, Wanganella/Boorooban, Hay, and Ivanhoe - are various sculptures depicting the history of the route; in addition to interpretive signs to learn more about this iconic stock route.

Walking one of the many walking trails around Mathoura, NSW.Walking one of the many walking trails around Mathoura, NSW.

Mathoura began as a market garden and a pub on a drovers track (part of the Long Paddock) in the mid-1800s and built itself as a timber source for the developing young nation of Australia. Not surprisingly, timber remains an economic mainstay of the area ever since the woodcutters first arrived in the 1850s. The Red Gum timber is used for railway sleepers, furniture, landscaping, firewood, fence posts, and much more.

Mathoura is one of the best places to experience all that the forests and rivers have to offer. The town of Mathoura grew out of a need to service the drovers’ route of the Long Paddock between Deniliquin and Echuca. As the stock route became less critical, attention in the area turned to the treasured resource of the Red Gum forests, and soon the valuable timbers were harvested to help build our growing nation. Red Gum was a useful resource for roads in Melbourne as well as sleepers for the expanding railroads.

Mathoura See and Do:

The very well-appointed visitor information centre is a great place to learn about the area and can provide information on what the region has to offer including:

  • Local Forests and Wetlands
  • Indigenous Culture
  • River eco-systems
  • Reed Bird Hide
  • Heritage Trail
  • Walking Trails
  • Cadell fault/tilt and associated sand ridges
  • The original course of the Murray (Green Gully)
  • Picnic Point

The Barmah-Moira lake system in addition to the Edward River and Gulpa Creek makes the area an excellent place to experience an abundance of birdlife and some unique fishing spots along the way.

There are several excellent walks through the forest along the Gulpa Creek as well as fantastic forest drives that can be undertaken by car or bicycle; the peaceful nature of the latter enhanced by the natural beauty of the serene forests.

A short drive from Mathoura, along the now-sealed Picnic Point Road, through the forest along the Gulpa Creek, is Picnic Point Reserve. Located on a horseshoe bend of the Murray River Millewa, Moira and Barmah forests, it is a place of water activities, nature walks, accommodation and a new bar/cafe/restaurant aptly named The Timber Cutter.

In 2010 the Millewa, Gulpa and Moira State Forest was converted to a National Park, now known as the Murray Valley National Park.

Discover More About Mathoura

Mathoura (Picnic Point) to Gulpa/Edward Junction

edward river gulpa creek junction 1The junction of the Gulpa Creek and Edward River, north of Mathoura, NSW

While the run along the Murray River between Barmah and Picnic provides an insight into the river and forests around the Murray River, the route from Picnic Point to the junction of Gulpa Creek and the Edward River is something different.

The Edward River and Gulpa Creek are anabranches of the Murray River meaning they leave the course of the river only to return further downstream. The Edward River flows from the Murray River upstream (north) of Picnic Point and flows northward while the Gulpa Creek flows westward before heading north (as a result of the Cadell Fault). The two meet up 20 km to the north.

Along the Picnic Point Road section, just past Millewa Road, be sure to check the Reed Beds Bird Hide.

The Reed Beds Bird Hide, Mathoura, NSW, Australia.The Reed Beds Bird Hide, Mathoura, NSW, Australia.

Touring Route Description

The route along the Gulpa Creek follows this winding waterway along the Cadell Fault as it meanders northward, and along the way, there are some beautiful, secluded, campsites and picnic areas to experience the wonders of this ethereal place fully.

Touring Route Details:

Timber Cutters Run - Picnic Point to Gulpa Creek and Edward River JunctionTimber Cutters Run - Picnic Point to Gulpa Creek and Edward River Junction. CLICK image for interactive Google Map

Road/Track Distance (km) Cumulative (km) Turn Road Type
Picnic Point Rd 14.80  14.80 Right Sealed
Gulpa Creek Rd 11.38 26.18 Right Gravel
Junction Rd* 5.65 31.83 End Gravel
- - - - -
Junction Rd* 5.65 37.48 Right Gravel
Gulpa Walliston Rd 0.96 38.44 Right Gravel
Cobb Highway 21 59.44 Right Sealed

Turn-around room at the end of the track is good, but might be a little tight for big caravans; in that case, consider the Edward-Gulpa Loop listed next which enables camping along the way (or at Mathoura or Picnic Point)  to explore the area.

The road, well maintained by National Parks, can be closed seasonally due to wet/flooding conditions.

To reach the Gulpa-Edward junction, turn right just before the Gulpa Creek Bridge and follow Junction Road all the way (not along any of the side roads/tracks). 

About Deniliquin

Deniliquin, or Deni as it is affectionately known, is a famous rural service town built around the Edward River and a series of lagoons that are surrounded by both parkland and state forest.

Apart from the iconic Deni Ute Muster (which is now in its twentieth year), the town is famous for its water-based activities and being the heart of an irrigation area that covers 725,000 hectares.

Agriculturally, the area produces rice, wool, beef, dairy products, wheat, barley, fat lambs, vegetables, fruit and timber.

Gulpa Creek- Edward River Loop

This loop along the Gulpa Creek and Edwards river can be started at any point along the route and head out for a beautiful day of touring. The circuit is not long, but with a day to do it, it allows for a more relaxed way to experience the area.

At times of flooding and after heavy rains, some of this loop may be closed. (Check with Parks Office: Murray Valley National Park (See Alerts) or call NPWS Moama office on 03 5483 9100)

Touring Route Details:

Timber Cutters Run - Edward River LoopTimber Cutters Run - Edward River Loop. CLICK image for interactive Google Map

Road/Track Distance (km) Cumulative (km) Turn Road Type
Millewa Road 2.21 2.21 Right Gravel
Picnic Point Road 4.36 6.57 Right Sealed
Gulpa Creek Road 4.01 10.58 Slight Right Gravel
Little Edwards Road 0.45 11.03 Right Gravel
Duggans Road 3.00 14.03   Sand
** Sand Ridge Woodlands   14.03    
Duggans Road 3.26 17.29 Left Sand
Little Edwards Road 0.43 17.72 Right Gravel
Gulpa Creek Road 10.80 17.37 Right Gravel
Junction Road 6.40 16.98   Gravel
** Gulpa-Edward Junction        
Junction Road* 6.40 23.77 Right Gravel
Gulpa Creek Road 0.68 24.45 Left Gravel
Taylors Bridge Road 4.93 29.38 Right Gravel
Tuppal Road 1.24 30.62 Right Gravel
Edward River Road 8.25 38.87 Right Gravel
Millewa Road 0.58 39.45 Right Gravel

Along this unique route, there are several places to see the sandhills and sand ridges that extend along the Cadell faultline, created as a result of sediment from the two ancient lakes being blown by the prevailing winds in a similar way to the Perry sandhills at Wentworth and the dunes at Lake Mungo. Of particular note, Sand Ridge Woodland, off Duggan Road, provides vehicles access to the hand ridge via maintained, sandy, tracks. (Not RV friendly... and always stay on the formed roads)

Sand Ridge Woodland

The Edward River

Deniliquin to Moulamein

The Edward River Werai Reserve Outback NSW Australia

Touring Route Description

With a stopover in Deniliquin, it is time to continue the journey towards Balranald but now we follow a very different waterway as the Edward now flows west, to the north of the Cadell Fault. 

As the Edward River weaves its way towards the Murray River, it is joined by the Wakool and Niemur rivers as well as a few creeks.

This area is home to the Perrepa Perrepa and Wamba Wamba First Nations.

A highlight along this route is the Werai Reserve, an area that includes several of the waterways and is managed by NSW NPWS on behalf of the traditional owners. 

If the roads are flooded, please use the alternative route.

Touring Route Details:

Timber Cutters Run - Deniliquin to MoulameinTimber Cutters Run - Deniliquin to Moulamein. CLICK image for interactive Google Map

Road/Track Distance (km) Cumulative (km) Turn Road Type
Wakool Rd 11.45 11.45 Right Sealed
Calimo Rd 11.70  23.15 Right Unsealed
Colligen Creek E Rd 12.5  35.65 Right Unsealed
Old Morago Rd 3.68  39.33 Left Unsealed
Finn Rd 3.59 42.92 Continue Unsealed
South River Rd 30.27 73.19 Left Unsealed
Balpool Rd 35.1 108.29 Right Unsealed
Moulamein Rd 1.7 110 Destination Sealed

About Moulamein

The township of Moulamein is located 373 km north of Melbourne and 70 km northeast of Swan Hill, with the Edward River flowing through the centre of town.

Debate reins about the origin of the name with some believing it is named after the Burmese seaport of Moulmein in 1842 by an early settler to the area (Augustus Morris), while others attribute the name to a transliteration of a local indigenous word meaning 'the meeting of the waters'.

The reference to the meeting of the waters is due to the Billabong Creek flowing into the Edward River in the town. The Billabong Creek is the longest creek in Australia flowing over 320 km from near Holbrook to the east.

Settled as early as 1830, Moulamein is the oldest town in the Riverina and was its administration centre as it was an important crossroad and port where the paddle-steamers plying the Edward River could exchange cargo in the days when the river system was the most effective means of transport.

With the railway reaching Echuca in 1864 and becoming the most important port on the Murray River and Moulamein status as a transport hub started to decline.

Today it is a quiet little town on the banks of the Edward River and Billabong Creek servicing the surrounding wheat and rice-growing properties.

Moulamein - See and Do

  • The Old Court House
  • Old Wharf (Replica)
  • Moulamein Lake
  • The Old Bullock Drays

Moulamein - Kyalite - Balranald (Lake Paika)

The Edward River between Moulamein and Kyalite, Murray Shire, NSW, AustraliaThe Edward River between Moulamein and Kyalite, Murray Shire, NSW, Australia

Touring Route Description

The last section of the Timber Cutter's Run is pretty much all sealed road, but there are still some awesome places to access the Edward River and Wakool (which it flows into) for some camping, fishing, picnicking, or just some river relaxation.

Touring Route Details:

Timber Cutters Run - Moulamein to BalranaldTimber Cutters Run - Moulamein to Balranald. CLICK image for interactive Google Map

Road/Track Distance (km) Cumulative (km) Turn Road Type
Balranald Rd 30.0 30.00 Straight Sealed
Kyalite Rd 28.8  58.8 Kayalite Sealed
Yanga Way 35.2  94 Right Sealed
Sturt Highway 2.8 96.8 Left Sealed
Ivanhoe Rd 16.5 113.3 Destination Unsealed

About 12 km past where the Balranald Rd heads north (and you are continuing on Kayalite Rd) just before the sharp bend north (to the right) there are several access roads leading off to the south for probably the best access to the Edward which stretches for several kilometres.

Up next is the iconic Kayalite pub which is always well worth the stopover for refreshments, a meal, or even an overnight stay.

From Kyalite, it is a straight run along the Yanga Way to Balranald on the Sturt Highway west of Hay.

All good things must come to an end... and with Balranald on the horizon, there is only a short 10 minute (17km) drive to our accommodation destination, the wonderful Lake Paika Accommodation.

About Balranald

The quiet and pretty town of Balranald is located on the Murrumbidgee River 859 km from Sydney. Originally inhabited by the Wemba-Wemba Aboriginal group, who called the area 'Nap Nap', Balranald was probably the first town settled on the New South Wales side of the river. Balranald is now one of the major entry points to the Lake Mungo National Park and the recently opened Yanga National Park.

The population of Balranald Shire is approximately 2,500 people and the township has become renowned for the habitation of a frog! But not just any frog: Balranald is home to the highly endangered Southern Bell frog species (Litoria Raniformis) which is listed on the NSW Endangered Species List.

Gazetted a town on the 4th April 1851, Balranald is considered the oldest settlement on the Lower Murrumbidgee.

George James McDonald, the Commissioner for Crown Lands, named the town after the place he was from, Balranald on the Isle of Uist in the New Hebrides.
The town prospered on the primary industries of wheat, wool and red gum timber. Agriculture is still a strong factor for the economy of the town with farmers now growing canola, cotton, wheat, barley, fruit, grapes and vegetables.

Balranald is a potential geographer’s living classroom. It is a pivotal place of two great Australian landscapes, to the east the Riverina Plain and to the west the Murray Darling Depression.

Culturally, this area is rich in both Aboriginal and European history. World Heritage Listed Mungo National Park has attracted world attention arising from archaeological sites containing human remains of at least 50,000 years.

Aboriginal Culture is also in abundance at Yanga National Park. These days it’s a National Park that celebrates its Indigenous heritage, pastoral history and many natural wonders.

There is much to see and do in and around Balranald:

  • Visit the Interpretative Pavilion,
  • The Museum,
  • The Old Gaol,
  • The Wintong School and the Skate Park
  • The Discovery Centre
  • See Aboriginal Art and Craft at the Discovery Centre and The Gallery
  • Visit the Art Gallery with its many exhibitions
  • Walk the Heritage and Military Trails and see the Swing Bridge
  • Visit the Royal Theatre
  • Birdwatching enthusiasts can walk the Ben Scott Memorial Bird Trail.
  • Take an Outback Geo Adventure’s tour to Yanga and Mungo
  • Of course, Balranald also offers wonderful parks with playground equipment for those travelling with children.
  • A swimming pool in the heart of town is the ideal spot to cool off in the warmer months.
  • See interesting shops and enjoy the town’s restaurants and eateries

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Balranald to Tibooburra

Experience the awe-inspiring landscapes, indigenous heritage and ethereal wonderment of the iconic Lake Mungo before venturing across to the Darling River and onto the Corner Country of Outback Australia.

We respectfully acknowledge that the Barkindji people are the traditional custodians of this area of the Central Darling and so pay our respect to their elders, past and present.

Along the way, stay at some of the best outback farm-stays as well as the iconic Packsaddle Roadhouse.

This touring route starts at Balranald, located on the Sturt Highway between Hay and Robinvale (and Mildura further west) before heading along well maintained unsealed roads for an authentic outback experience.

road to lake mungo outback nsw australia 2285743 1

This touring experience is punctuated with a trip along the Darling River between Menindee and Wilcannia before heading to the opal town of White Cliffs, then past Mutawintji National Park before joining the Silver City Highway to Packsaddle and the run to Milparinka and Tibooburra.

 The adventure does not finish there though with Tibooburra providing the base for exploring the Corner Country of Outback Australia.

Drive Balranald to Cameron Corner, Outback Australia

Total Route Details:

  • Distance: 970 km - Mostly Unsealed Roads
  • Allow: Min 7 Days (6 Nights)


The touring route from Melbourne to the Corner Country continues from Lake Paika with the next destination being Lake Mungo.

Mungo National Park is part of the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area which covers 2,400 square kilometres and takes in all 19 lakes of the Willandra Lakes.

Lake Mungo is unique in terms of indigenous anthropology as it possesses evidence of continual human habitation for 40,000+ years. The lunar landscape of the Walls of China was created over millennia through a process of wind and rain erosion.

After Lake Mungo, it is a wonderful outback drive to the Darling River slightly downstream of the Menindee Lakes for a stay at Nelia Gaari Station and then a visit to Menindee and the Menindee Lakes.

The touring route heads upstream to our next station-stay at Nelia Gaari Station, about one hour southwest of Wilcannia.

With only a short drive to the next destination of Wilcannia where the Barrier Highway crosses the Darling River, there is plenty of time to experience Nelia Gaari or Warrawong on the Darling.

The final section of this great touring experience includes a bit of the back-country of Outback NSW via the iconic opal town of White Cliffs, Australia's oldest (seam) opal field, then over to Packsaddle past Mutawintji National Park.

The final run from Packsaddle to Tibooburra is along the Barrier Highway and should include a stop at Milparinka, about 30 minutes south of Tibooburra.

Lake Paika to Bindara

Route Sections:

  • The route to Lake Mungo: 
    • Ivanhoe Rd > Hatfield Penarie Rd (36 km)
    • Marma Box Creek Rd (62 km)
    • Gampang Rd (28 km) - Lake Mungo
    • Gampang Rd >Top Hut Rd (57 km)
    • Pooncarie Rd > High Darling Rd > Polia Rd (67 km)
    • Old Pooncarie Rd (54.8) - Bindara Station
  • Details:
    • Distance: 315 km - about 4 hours (excluding Mungo visit)
    • Road Surface: Unsealed

Leaving Lake Paika, the route continues on bitumen before turning onto the unsealed Hatfield Penarie Rd where you will soon experience that dramatic landscape of the lakes region.

Lake Mungo is an hour’s drive, and a must for a stop to explore Mungo National Park.

Leaving Lake Mungo, it is a short drive (57km) back to the sealed Wentworth-Pooncarie Road which heads north. Before Pooncarie the route crosses the Darling River and weaves its way along the western bank up to Bindara Station, a wonderful place to experience life on the lower Darling, as well as the owners' passion for organic produce.

Bindara Station to Nelia Gaari Station

  • Route:
    • Bindara-Tandou Rd
    • Lake Tandou Rd
      • Menindee
    • Menindee-Wilcannia Rd
      • Nelia Gaari Station
  • Details:
    • Distance: 158km - about 3 hours
    • Road Surface: Unsealed

The drive from Bindara Station to Menindee is only about an hour, and you should allow at least a few hours to explore Kinchega National Park and the Menindee Lakes; the lake system is fed from the Darling River. When the lakes are full, it is a sight to behold.

After experiencing Menindee for a few hours, our next stopover is at Nelia Gaari Station about 1 hour’s drive from Menindee (unsealed).

With a choice of serviced accommodation or what many say is the best camping on the Darling River, it is well worth a 2 night stay with hosts Greg and Lily.

Nelia Gaari Station to Warrawong on the Darling

A short drive along the western side of the Darling River will have you in Wilcannia in a little over an hour. Time to settle and relax at Warrawong on the Darling.

  • Route:
    • Menindee-Wilcannia Rd
  • Details:
    • Distance: 85km - about 1 hour
    • Road Type: Unsealed

Warrawong on the Darling to Packsaddle

The trip on this section is nothing short of amazing with the run to White Cliffs along sealed roads then some great back-country roads up past Mutawintji National Park which is well worth a visit and even a camping stopover if you are equipped. A lot to explore.

After Mutawintji, some more touring through some amazing landscapes and the route west joins up to the Silver City Highway for the run north.

  • Route:
    • Barrier Highway (3 km)
    • Opal Miners Way (93 km)
    • Whipstick Rd (43 km)
    • Henry Roberts Rd (32 km)
    • Wonnaminta Rd (64 km)
    • Silver City Hwy (12 km)
  • Details
    • Distance: 248 km - about 4 hours
    • Road Type: Mostly Unsealed

Heading out from Wilcannia, it is a nice (sealed) drive up to the opal town of White Cliffs.

Packsaddle Roadhouse to Tibooburra

We respectfully acknowledge that the Maliangaapa, Wadigalis and Wangkumaras people are the traditional custodians of this area of the Corner Country and so pay our respect to their elders, past and present.

After a great stay at Packsaddle Roadhouse, only the home stretch remains for the Tibooburra destination.

About 40 minutes south of Tibooburra be sure to drop into Milparinka to explore the history of the area and appreciate the effort that has gone into restoring this small town. You won't be disappointed.

Due to its proximity to Tibooburra, should you miss visiting Milparinka on the way up, it is easy enough to do it as a day trip when based in Tibooburra (or elsewhere in the Corner)

  • Route:
    • Silver City Hwy
    • Stopover at Milparinka
  • Details
    • Distance: 158 km - about 2 hours
    • Road Type: Mostly Sealed

After a great drive up from Balranald, it is time to settle in and explore all the wonderful experiences on offer around the Corner Country.

Alternative Direct Routes

Driving to the Corner Country from Melbourne is possible via some great touring routes while the two best options provide an easy/direct route as well as nice adventure route along the Long Paddock (unsealed).

The most direct route to Tibooburra from Melbourne is via the Calder freeway to Mildura, downstream to Wentworth before heading north along the Silver City Highway to Broken Hill and onto Tibooburra. 

drive melbourne cameron corner alternatives

Wentworth, where the Murray River and Darling River meet, is a great stopover point for those interested in our two mighty rivers and also a great base for a trip to Mungo National Park.

Broken Hill, the oasis in the outback which many feel it is the capital of Outback NSW, is a large and prosperous outback city that has become a premier travel destination known for its icon artists, living indigenous culture, the beautifully evocative Living Desert Reserve with internationally renowned Sculpture Symposium. Nearby Silverton (Mad Max fame) is a must to visit.

The alternate route from Melbourne to Tibooburra is north via the Murray River town of Echuca, well worth a stopover for a day or two, before heading north to Wilcannia via the Cobb Highway and the Long Paddock which passes through Hay. The Long Paddock between Hay and Wilcannia is an unsealed dry weather only road.

From Wilcannia, it is a drive west to Broken Hill then joining up with the Silver City Highway to Packsaddle and Tibooburra. If you want the adventure of the Long Paddock to continue, joining up with the adventure route from Sydney from Wilcannia though to White Cliffs and Mutawintji NP is a good option.

The Final Push - Cameron Corner

There are a few different ways to get to Cameron Corner from either Milparinka or Tibooburra; and also from Broken Hill (for those that took a more direct route to Broken Hill.

Drive Broken Hill to Cameron Corner

Besides the obvious route of heading straight up the barrier highway to Tibibburra (or Milparinka) then westward through Sturt National Park to Cameron Corner, there are two wonderful adventure (unsealed) routes to the Corner.

Sturt's Steps Touring Route

Sturt's Steps follows a route that approximates that taken by Captain Charles Sturt during his 1844-45 inland expedition. With no public roads across the Barrier Ranges, we begin the journey further north than the line taken by the expedition.

Leaving Broken Hill the journey begins at the old Yanco Glen turn-off on the Silver City Highway and heads over the ranges past Mt Gipps Station and Tarrawingee township ruins before meeting the road running northward from Silverton.

> More More information on Sturts Steps Touring Route

Along the Dog Fence Touring Route

Leaving Broken Hill head out to historic Silverton to take in the many attractions. Enjoy lunch at one of several business houses before taking the road northwards across the Mundi Mundi Plain, heading for an overnight stay at Pine View adjacent to the Wild Dog Fence. Sturt's waterhole on Flood's Creek is located on Pine View.

The journey continues northwards across the sand dunes of the Simpson-Strzelecki dune fields before turning eastward after Smithville. Well signposted along this road (which leads to Milparinka) is the turn-off to the north which goes through to Waka where it meets the road from Tibooburra to Cameron Corner.

> More More information on Along the Dog Fence Touring Route

Heading to Cameron Corner from Milparinka takes in some wonderful history and historic landmarks like Depot Glen, Pooles Grave and Mt Poole, before joining up with the main route between Tibooburra and Cameron Corner (Cameron Corner Road). Head out to the Corner along Cameron Corner Road and return along this road to reach Tibooburra, with Fort Grey a primary point of interest on the way.

Cameron Corner Loop, Drive to Cameron Corner from Tibooburra, Outback NSW, Australia

Depot Glen & Mount Poole:

During the 1840s, explorer Charles Sturt set out in search of the fabled inland sea and, while travelling north through this area, was in despair due to the lack of permanent water and at one stage was going to return to Adelaide. But one of his party, James Poole, discovered a permanent waterhole about 15km northwest of Milparinka that provided a perfect base in the harsh wilderness. The place was named Depot Glen.

With this as a base, the advanced party headed north. A few kilometres from Depot Glen, the was a hill (now named Mount Poole) that not only provided a lookout for Sturt's expedition but is where the remaining party built a rock cairn in order to occupy the time of the base party while they waited for Sturt's return.

It is an amazing experience to stand on top of Mount Poole and, like Sturt's party, look out to the horizon, as they did. They had little to occupy their time, except for building the cairn, and were truly isolated.

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