Wentworth is only a small town in NSW but you’ll find plenty of great things to do in the area. Known as the gateway to Outback NSW, this historical town on the NSW-Victoria border has plenty to offer visitors on a road trip! In this guide, we’ll talk about the nine best things to do in and near Wentworth, NSW. Certainly, this guide will help you sort out what to do during a road trip to the charming town.
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Wentworth NSW History
The Paakantyi (AKA the Barkindji or Barkandji) people are the Traditional Owners of the land that now occupy the Wentworth region of NSW. In 1830, Captain Charles Sturt arrived at Wentworth in NSW and over the following decades, European settlers displaced the Indigenous people from the land.
By the 1900s, Wentworth was one of Australia’s busiest inland river ports. Although, these days, the town isn’t a bustling place. Rather, Wentworth is a quiet and laidback place in outback NSW with plenty of great things to do in and around the town.
Fun fact: the Wentworth NSW population is around 8,000 people.
Location: Where In NSW Is Wentworth?
Wentworth is located in the far south-west of NSW on the NSW-Victoria border in Australia. The town falls under the Wentworth Shire Council local government area.
Given Wentworth isn’t close to any major cities in Australia, it’s likely you’ll be visiting on a road trip. To help get your bearings, please click on the image below to access an interactive map of the area on Google Maps.
Wentworth NSW postcode: 2648
The 9 Best Things to Do in Wentworth NSW
There are exceptional things to do and places to see in and near the town of Wentworth in NSW. Although, admittedly, because Wentworth is located near the much larger town of Mildura across the border, Wentworth is often overshadowed by its larger-sized Victorian counterpart. Many Australians know of Mildura but it’s likely that fewer have heard of Wentworth.
Undoubtedly, Wentworth deserves to be a stand-alone tourist destination in NSW. It’s not just ‘the smaller town’ outside of Mildura, but a worthwhile location worth a visit in its own right. That’s because Wentworth has its own excellent historical attractions as well as awesome nearby natural sites to explore. Indeed, Wentworth NSW tourism is on the rise!
Without further ado, let’s look at the best things to do in Wentworth NSW to help you with your trip planning.
Natural Attractions Near Wentworth NSW
We’ll be perfectly honest – we think the standout attractions in the Wentworth region are the spectacular natural sites near the town. So, in this best things to do in Wentworth list, we’ll kick things off with nearby natural attractions.
Attractions In Wentworth NSW
You’ll find all of the historical attractions in the town of Wentworth are listed and found on the Wentworth Trail (AKA the Wentworth Discovery Trail). The Wentworth Trail actually lists the best 36 things to do in the Outback NSW town! We’re not going to exhaustively detail all of these things to do in Wentworth, NSW.
Rather, we’ve handpicked the best things to do and places to see from the Wentworth Trail. We’ve listed them below and we’ll talk about them in more detail later in this guide.
- Convergence of the Murray River and Darling River
- Junction Park and Viewing Tower
- Junction Island Nature Reserve
- Old Wentworth Gaol
- Wentworth Pioneer Museum
- Fotherby Park: The Paddlesteamer Ruby
1. Mungo National Park (Lake Mungo)
If you visit Wentworth, or even Mildura for that matter, you must go to Mungo National Park – it’s easily one of the best national parks in NSW. Set on the now-dried Lake Mungo, its otherwordly lunar-type terrain spread throughout the dusty desert is truly awe-inspiring. But, this place is much more than just natural beauty. The historical and archaeological findings that have been found there are unbelievable.
There is evidence that Mungo National Park is one of the oldest places in the world (outside of Africa) to be occupied by humans. It’s estimated that the Indigenous people of Australia lived there between 50–60,000 years ago. Whilst, there are also archaeological findings of bones and artifacts belonging to the now-extinct megafauna.
There’s quite a lot to see at Mungo National Park. Certainly, you’ll need to spend at least a whole day exploring the national park. Here’s a rundown of all the best places to visit in the national park.
- Mungo Lookout
- Mungo Woolshed
- Walls of China
- Red Top Lookout
- Mallee Stop Walking Track
- Vigar Wells Picnic Area
- Zanci Homestead
2. Perry Sandhills
The Perry Sandhills is a phenomenal natural attraction just outside of the town of Wentworth in NSW. They’re made up of 822 acres of large red sand dunes conspicuously placed right next to the town. They don’t call Wentworth the gateway to the NSW outback for nothing!
The striking patterns, ripples and formations of the sandhills are absolutely incredible. That in combination with the enormous size of the endless sandhills is a truly mindblowing landscape.
Forming around 40,000 years ago after an ice age, the sandhills, similar to Mungo National Park, give rise to amazing archaeological findings. These include skeletal remains of mega-fauna and artifacts of Indigenous people living there concomitantly many years ago.
At one time, this area was sprawling with red gum trees. Over time, sand enveloped and dominated the landscape. As a result, the bush-type terrain has been swallowed by the red sand. So when you’re roaming the sandhills, you’re essentially walking on the canopy of a previously existing forest!
What’s even more impressive is that wind erosion causes the sandhills to continuously move, shift and evolve. This not only creates a new and exciting landscape but uncovers undiscovered relics and remains.
3. Australian Inland Botanic Gardens
Located just outside of Wentworth, NSW, the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens is the first semi-arid botanic gardens in the Southern Hemisphere! During a visit, expect to see plenty of fantastic native species found in this area of the outback. What you’ll see is not merely barren plants and flowers found in the desert – the gardens’ main attraction is actually a magnificent display of colour-coordinated roses.
Best of all, it’s free to visit. But, a donation is appreciated. The Australian Inland Botanic Gardens are usually open every day from 10am–4:30pm. There’s also a cafe on site. Additionally, on Saturdays, there are extra tours and events going on.
Wentworth Trail From the Wentworth Visitor Centre
Now you know all about the best natural attractions near Wentworth in NSW, let’s look at the best things to do in the town itself. Essentially, the best things to do involve exploring historical attractions and natural sites in the town. As mentioned, by following the Wentworth Trail, you can visit all of the main places of interest.
Starting at the Wentworth Visitor Information Centre (66 Darling Street), you’ll see all of the most noteworthy places in Wentworth, NSW. In this things to do in the Wentworth list, we’ll focus on the Confluence of Murray and Darling Rivers, Junction Park, Junction Island, Old Wentworth Gaol, Wentworth Pioneer Museum and Fotherby Park.
For your information, these are some of the other places of interest listed on the Wentworth Trail.
- The Old Wentworth Post Office
- Crown Hotel
- Rendelsham House
- Captain Sturt Hotel
- Ink Berry Tree
- Royal Hotel
- Model Paddlesteamer Display
- Wentworth Wharf
- Customs House
- Lock 10 & Weir Restaurant
- Tractor Monument (AKA the Ferguson Tractor Monument)
- Town Hall
- Saint Francis Xavier Church
- Saint Francis Xavier Primary School
- The Uniting Church (St Andrews)
- Rendelsham (AKA The Nunnery)
- Saint Ignatius Catholic School
- Lockmaster’s Residence at Lock 10 and Weir
- The Common
- Wentworth Cemetery
- Wentworth Military Collection
- Wentworth Public School – 1881 Classroom
- St John the Evangelist Anglican Church
- The Rectory
- Wentworth Court House
- Wentworth Showgrounds Entrance Gates
- Hospital and Water Tower
- Junction Island Ski Reserve
- Thegoa Lagoon
4. Convergence of the Murray River and Darling River
Other than being known as the Gateway to Outback NSW, Wentworth is well-known as the area where the Murray and Darling Rivers meet. Interestingly, the Murray River is the longest river in Australia totalling 2,508km. It begins in the Australian Alps, draining the western side of the mountains and winds it away across Australia’s inland plains, forming the NSW-Victoria border. The river then continues into South Australia, concluding at Lake Alexandria by the ocean.
In comparison, the Darling River is Australia’s third largest river measuring 1,472km. It begins in northern NSW and retires as it meets the Murray River at Junction Park in Wentworth, NSW! If you include all of the Darling’s tributaries, it totals 2,844km, making it even longer than the Murray! Together, the Murray and Darling rivers make up the fourth-largest river system in the world!
Of course, one of the best ways to enjoy the rivers is to hire a kayak or canoe and go for a paddle along the river stream!
5. Junction Park and Viewing Tower
By visiting Junction Park and climbing up the Viewing Tower, which runs off Cadell Street, you’ll enjoy a fantastic view of the Murray and Darling Rivers meeting. Visiting early in the morning means you’ll have pleasantly still water. This creates a marvellous mirror reflection of the sky and Junction Island. So, it’s worth visiting in the morning before the day’s activities disturb the water.
We recommend walking the easy trail in Junction Park to see more of the beautiful Murray River.
FYI – sometimes there can be a significant difference in the rivers’ colours. In times of drought, when the river flow is minimal, this leads to ideal conditions responsible for the growth of blue-green algae in the Murray River. Although it creates a fascinating contrast between the rivers, unfortunately, the algae deteriorates the water quality. It has forced the NSW government to take action to treat it in the past!
So, from the viewing platform, the further away Murray River may have a greenish tinge. In contrast, the nearer Darling River, a clay-based river, will have a more milkier appearance! As mentioned, to see this phenomenon, you’ll have to visit during times of drought. So, you’ll have to keep an eye on the Wentworth NSW weather to judge whether your visit will time with this contrast in river colours.
6. Junction Island Reserve
If you want to explore more the convergence of the Murray and Darling Rivers, it’s possible to access Junction Island Reserve – the sliver of land separating the rivers. From the town, you can cross over the Darling River on the Silver City Highway, pass Fotherby Park, cross the Tuckers Creek and join a trail that leads to Junction Island. On the island, there is a walking track you can follow.
7. Old Wentworth Gaol
Certainly, it’s the colonial-styled Old Wentworth Gaol that gives Wentworth a classic and timely feel. The locally made terracotta bricks lined with bluestone trim certainly had an old-timey feel. You’ll be hard-pressed to find more impressive colonial-style architecture in Australia. For that reason alone, seeing this landmark exceeded our expectations.
Built between 1879 and 1881, the diminutive single-storey brick building was the first Australian-designed gaol. It was built to help with the overcrowding of lock-ups. It was in use until 1927 and then became part of Wentworth Central School!
8. Wentworth Pioneer Museum
The Wentworth Pioneer Museum is a fantastic museum, which houses some impressive artefacts and relics. By visiting the museum, you’ll learn more about Wentworth’s heritage, including replicas and fossils of the mega-fauna found at Perry Sandhills.
9. Fotherby Park: The Paddlesteamer Ruby
Last but not least, you’ll need to visit Fotherby Park. The park is actually a Wentworth Rotary Club initiative, originally developed to house the Paddlesteamer Ruby. Certainly, back in the day, there used to be paddle steamers galore down at the river port at Wentworth. These days, this paddle steamer and others are retired, whilst the Paddlesteamer Ruby is undergoing ongoing refurbishment. At certain times of the year, it’s actually possible to step on board the steamer to check it out.
Tips To Help Plan Your Trip to Wentworth NSW
So there you have it – the best things to do in Wentworth, NSW. We hope this guide will help you to discover the best of Wentworth and its surroundings. Despite being a small country town, it’s filled with interesting landmarks and natural attractions. Personally, visiting Wentworth exceeded our expectations. We hope that you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what’s on offer there, and will consider visiting soon!
Now, let’s look at some other practical tips to help you plan your visit. Let’s start with places to eat in town.
Where to Eat: Best Food and Wine
If you’re looking for a bite to eat, you’ll have to head to Wentworth’s famous old pub – the Crown Hotel. Otherwise, the Lock 10 and Weir Restaurant is another firm favourite. If you’re looking to visit a nearby vineyard during your road trip, consider Trentham Estate Winery on the Murray River just outside of Mildura.
Other Things to Do in the Area: Travel Inspiration
Most people who visit Wentworth in NSW will also cross the border to visit Mildura in Victoria. Being a much bigger town, Mildura certainly has more in the way of restaurants and accommodation options. The drive from Wentworth to Mildura is only around half an hour, so you could easily drive over the border to check out the neighbouring border town.
Otherwise, Wentworth is where the increasingly popular Darling River Run starts or finishes, which is a four-day road trip exploring Outback NSW. Certainly, by doing the Darling River Run, you’ll get to explore more of the surrounding areas of Outback NSW.
How to Get to Wentworth NSW
Despite being located in NSW, Wentworth is much closer to Adelaide in South Australia and Melbourne in Victoria. The drive time from Sydney is around 11 hours, from Adelaide is 5 hours and from Melbourne is 7 hours. So, it’s probably too far to travel for a weekend trip from any of these cities. Indeed, with its location in the outback, your trip to Wentworth NSW may have to tie into a longer road trip from either of these cities.
Wentworth NSW Accommodation
Given Wentworth is only a small town in NSW, it doesn’t have tonnes in the way of accommodation. But, you should still hopefully be able to find something to your liking. With this in mind, let’s look at the best accommodation options in Wentworth.
- Best motel – Wentworth Central Motor Inn: this is the most highly-rated motel option in Wentworth. Guests rate the comfortable, clean and cosy rooms. Whilst, there’s an outdoor swimming pool to enjoy.
- Best hotel – Wentworth Grande Resort: undoubtedly, the Wentworth Grande Resort is the best accommodation option in Wentworth NSW.
- Best holiday home – Bellview Holiday House: this is a great option if you’re looking for a holiday home with a bit more room.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for in Wentworth, you could always base yourself in Mildura or Gol Gol and do day trips to Wentworth. One of the best accommodation options in the region is the Mildura Riverview Motel in Gol Gol, just outside of Mildura. From the highly-rated motel, you’ll enjoy superb views of the Murray River.
Travel Essentials For Wentworth NSW
- Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger – we always travel with a portable charger to make sure our phone and camera don’t run out of juice.
- Nikon D3400 Digital SLR Camera – a fantastic entry-level professional quality camera.
- Beam Electronics Car Phone Holder – if you’re following the Wentworth Trail on your phone, this car phone holder will make following the directions much easier and safer.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Snap Fleece Jacket – if exploring Wentworth and surrounds in winter, you’ll need to rug up in the mornings.
FAQs About Wentworth NSW
Below, we’ll answer the most frequently asked questions about Wentworth in NSW.
What Is the Origin of the Name?
The town was named in 1859 after William Charles Wentworth – a prominent politician and explorer.
What Is Wentworth NSW Known For?
It’s known as the gateway to Outback NSW and is famous for the place where the Murray and Darling Rivers meet.
How Far Is it From Wentworth to Broken Hill?
It’s around a 266km drive away, taking approx. 2.5–3 hours.
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