Cobar got its name from the Aboriginal word 'kubbur', meaning 'burnt earth'. The story goes that three European settlers were camping at Kubbur watering hole near where Cobar is today when they noticed the unusual colour of the water. They took samples and showed them to the publicans at the Gilgunnia Pub who identified them as copper ore. From this discovery, the Cobar mining industry was born. The mines made Cobar so prosperous that at one point the town had a population of 10 000 and its own stock exchange. Mines still operate, including the CSA Copper Mine which is the deepest in Australia. Today Cobar is a surprisingly green and picturesque outback town.
Cobar Visitor Information Centre, cnr Barrier Hwy and Twelfthh St; (02) 6836 2448
Nearby national parks
Great Cobar Outback Heritage Centre This centre has displays on the local mining of copper, gold and silver-lead-zinc, an authentic re-creation of a local woolshed and displays on Aboriginal culture. Learn about the chronic water shortages in the early days of European settlement and the bush skills the settlers needed to survive the harsh environment. The Centenary of Federation Walking Track begins here and is a 2 hr scenic walk past mines and a slag dump. Barrier Hwy; (02) 6836 2448.
Commonwealth Meteorological Station: visitors can view the radar tracking process and the launching of weather balloons at 9.15am and 3.15pm daily (Eastern Standard Time); Louth Rd; inquiries (02) 6836 2149.
Golden Walk: tour the operating Peak Gold Mine or view from observation deck; Kidman Way; (02) 6830 2265.
Self-guided heritage walks and heritage bus tours: historic buildings including the courthouse and the Great Western Hotel (with the longest iron-lace verandah in NSW), and mining and agricultural sites around town; brochure from visitor centre.
Mt Grenfell Historic Site The 5 km Ngiyambaa Walkabout leads visitors on a scenic tour with breathtaking views of the Cobar area. There are hundreds of Aboriginal stencils and paintings of great cultural significance in spectacular reds, yellows and ochres on rock overhangs along the trail. Picnic and barbecue facilities are available. Off Barrier Hwy; 67 km NW.
The Old Reservoir and Devil's Rock:
The Old Reservoir and Devil's Rock:Devil's Rock was a site for ceremonial rites for the Ngemba people. Good swimming and watersports at the reservoir; 3 km N.
Mount Drysdale: deserted mining town where visitors can investigate old mine shafts and remains of the town. Features historic Aboriginal sites including rock wells; permission required (02) 6836 3462; 34 km N.
Cafes & restaurants around town
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Caravan parks around town
Cobar Caravan Park 2 kmThis park appeals to us each time we stay here. The neat, well-maintained place is located on the Barrier Highway about 1 km west of the shopping centre. There are good amenities and it is an ideal overnight stop for... Find out more
Rest areas around town
Cobar rest area 2 km
Just off the highway. On the south side of town.
Florida rest area 49 km
82km W of Nyngan (R) or 50km E of Cobar (L)
Well off the highway surrounded by scrub.
Meadow Glen rest area 63 km
63km W of Cobar (R) or 197km E of Wilcannia (L)
Well off the highway among some shady trees.
Bahloo rest area 100 km
27km NW of Coolabah (L) or 24km SE of Byrock (R)
Just off the highway among a few trees.
What's on around town
Festival of the Miner's Ghost: Oct.