Published: January 5th 2007January 5th 2007
The only town to have grown out of a fort. Explorer Major Thomas Mitchell built a tiny Stockade in 1835 to protect himself from the aborigines and naming it after the Governor Richard Bourke
Officially began in 1862 and remained the last outpost of civilisation before launching into the Never Never.
Located on the River Darling, in it’s heyday it was possible for wool to be in London just 6 weeks after leaving Bourke on the scores of paddle steamers that plied the river
(Quicker than sea mail today!!)
Went to the local info centre and collected some very interesting data.
One in Particular Back of Bourke “Mud Map Trails”
The 1st trail was to the stockade .but because of the rain unable to complete.
2nd trail “Lock and Weir” the only one to be built of this kind on the Darling.
Now obsolete finished in 1931
Just to the north there is access to the North Bourke Bridge the original one over 100years old and will be used only as a footbridge
It was built in England and brought in sections upriver by Paddle steamers.
to the Maritime heritage site this is real outback territory and fortunately the track was navigable very easy to get lost if you didn’t stick to the track. some amazing trees looked like a petrified forest in parts.
The Port of Bourke Hotel is where I stayed during the couple of days spent in Bourke Was originally called the Royal built in 1931 .but the original was built in 1870’s a shoot out in the bar left 2 police constables mortally wounded by the barmen. A real bunch of ruffians in those days
Before I left for Dubbo my next stop I thought I would try to see the stockade as the rain had abated and the track was passable, what a disappointment 15k’s along the dirt trck across the flood plain negotiating the track to find a piddling replica of the stockade I can’t believe it was this small I think the original was between the two brick pillars shown in the photos but at least I had seen it for what it was worth, can’t win them all.
There are more photos below