Cobar Things to Do Tips by iandsmith
Cobar Things to Do: 21 reviews and 57 photos
Laurence O'Toole's Catholic Church
Just the place for the latter and, if your purpose is simply to visit Cobar then one is probably better off flying out there.
This church is the architectural highlight of the back streets with the oh-so-loveable name of Laurence O'Toole's Catholic Church. You'd have to be thinking Irish!
Road to the emu farm
Just a few kilometres out of Cobar, that's using country speak, there's a sign pointing to an emu farm (pic 1). It's an 84 km round trip which is probably a bit of a deterrent for most tourists (as it was for us) but there are also other things not that far away such as some of N.S.W. finest aboriginal art.
The Upper Western region is known for them. Outside Cobar at Mount Grenfell there are three main rock shelters with over 1300 richly coloured images including human and animal figures. There are also excellent examples of hand stencils which are made when the hand is placed on the rock and ochre is blown over the hand. There are also some interesting abstract linear designs. These displays, most of which are applied with either fingertip or brush, are highly thought of. Aborigines were drawn to the site by a semi-permanent waterhole in what was an otherwise arid area. Head along the Barrier Highway for 40 km towards Wilcannia then take the signposted turnoff along a good gravel road to the picnic-barbecue-toilet area 32 km from the highway.
Pictures 2-4 give you a good idea of what the country was like when in the grip of the great drought and pic 5 shows you just a couple of the hundreds of thousands of wild goats running around.
Strange man, strange sign
Couldn't help it really. I mean, the sign was so irresistible and Bob laid down with a somewhat motionless posture.
Fortunately, he was revived rather speedily when I bent over him and merely mentioned the possibility of mouth-to-mouth resusitation.
Address: Main street
Directions: The western end of town
Once you see a wrought iron verandah you are generally looking at a building in Australia that is from the 19th century though there are certainly many later examples as well.
Here the dates on the structures clearly indicate the late 19th century heritage of these shops in the main street.
Bull nose verandah
Anyway you look at meat today, it aint cheap!
Still, isn't it wonderful to see this building still being used for its original purpose for over 100 years.
To find you way around the town and, in particular, its historical buildings, maps are freely available from the tourist centre mentioned earlier.
Address: Main Street
Splendour on the plains
Buildings of major architectural interest include the Great Western Hotel (1898) in the main street which has the longest pub balcony in New South Wales. The pub's timber verandah with cast-iron balustrades and lacework balcony is100 metres long. Try doing that in an Olympic 10 seconds after you've had a few ales.
Displays in the grounds around the main Museum include the Far West Health Carriage which was moved around the Far West by railway, a Robey portable steam engine and some interesting displays of early mining equipment. You can see the Great Cobar Open Cut via a walkway from the museum.
It explains how in the 19th century it was all handworked and all underground until the early 1900s when mechanization commenced.
This is all outlined in pic 2 and 3 where you can also learn that 120 have died working the ore bodies in this town and that the name of the sculpture is, simply, The Cobar Miner.
A true standout
Great by name, great by nature.
It's quite surprising to see a structure of this calibre in a town like this. It's certainly a fitting name for a place that houses the tourist centre and lots of other stuff, including the Cobar Regional Museum that arguably could be the best rural museum in New South Wales.
The Museum has a permanent curator so there's ongoing attention to displays and it is constructed as a participatory museum where visitors can smell and touch things like homemade soap made from lard and kerosene and see the history of the Cobar district gradually unfold in a series of excellent displays.
The building is actually the former Mines Office (1910) and the museum commences with Aboriginal occupation, has displays of artifacts and bush foods, moves to displays on the problems of water shortages, looks at the bush skills required by Europeans to survive in this inhospitable land, and then has displays on growing up in Cobar. The upstairs section includes displays on the mining of copper, gold, silver/lead/zinc, and a pastoral section where a local woolshed has been accurately recreated.
It is open from Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00 pm and Weekends/Public Holidays 9:00am-5:00 pm. (Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day and New Year's Day)
Directions: Eastern end of town
Hard to miss
According to the "Guiness book of world records" this is the largest beer can anywhere. It is 5 metres tall and has a diameter of 2.5 metres. Not even my youngest son could drink that in a day.
Let's face it, when you're this far from anywhere you have to do something to attract tourists and, believe me, when you get to Cobar you'll be thirsty.
Address: Grand Hotel, Marshall Street Cobar NSW
This is an old ore stamping machine whereby the ore is crushed with the stampers rising and falling on a set of cams.
This piece of equipment is set up on the eastern edge of the town along with some scupltures and others pieces of mining plant.
It's quite interesting and dramatic, worth a look.
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