'Back o' Bourke' - beyond the black stump

The phrase 'Back o' Bourke' (meaning the outback, beyond the black stump) is deeply enmeshed in our language.

"If you know Bourke, you know Australia," wrote Henry Lawson.

Captain Charles Sturt was the first european to visit the place where Bourke is now located. Sturt, together with Hamilton Hume discovered the Bogan River and then, early in 1829, the upper Darling, which Sturt named after the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Ralph Darling.

The first european to construct a building in the Bourke region was colonial surveyor and explorer Sir Thomas Mitchell in 1835. Following tensions with the local people Mitchell built a small stockade to protect his men and named it Fort Bourke after then Governor Richard Bourke.

This first crude structure became the foundation for a fledgling community with a small number of agricultural and livestock farms established in the region shortly afterwards. The area truly started to flourish when its location on the Darling River had it recognised as a key trade centre, linking the nearby outback agricultural industries with the east coast trade routes via the Darling River.

Bourke was surveyed for a town in 1869 and soon established itself as the outback trade hub of New South Wales with several transportation industries setting up branches in the town. To be continued ...

A Darling discovery

Bourke's Darling river, a true national and international treasure!!!

The Darling river is totally unique from all other rivers in Australia and the world.
It's beautiful red river gums, large steep earthy banks, amazing fish, beautiful birds and abundant wildlife, can never be forgotten, once encounted.
For many the Darling river is their Darling, and they can never truly rest until they are back under it's beauty and/or presence!
The Darling river can nourish and refresh your being, and give you many answers to life. Just sit or lay quietly on it's bank, and problems or life's difficulties that you thought you have, can become easily fixed and/or insignificant, in the scale of the bigger picture!

Early Explorers
Charles Sturt
(Stuart's second visit to the Darling) The first person to glimpse upon the Darling at Bourke.

"A single glimpse of it was sufficient to tell us it was the Darling. At a distance of more than ninety miles nearer its source, this singular river still preserved its character, so strikingly, that it was impossible not to have recognised it in a moment. The same steep banks and lofty timber, the same deep reaches, alive with fish, were here visible as when we left it

Tomas Mitchell ( Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia)
Mitchell traveled 400 miles down the darling, before having to turn back in fear of having his men killed by not so friendly natives

PLATE 17: SCENE NEAR THE DARLING. 11TH JULY 1835.
DISPLAY OF DETERMINED HOSTILITY BY MESSENGERS FROM A TRIBE.

.Their means of existence
"The natives of the Darling live chiefly on the fish of the river, and are expert swimmers and divers. They can swim and turn with great velocity under water, and they can both see and spear the largest fish, sometimes remaining beneath the surface a considerable time for this purpose. In very cold weather however they float on pieces of bark; and thus also they can spear the fish, having a small fire beside them in such a bark canoe. "

EXPEDITION SENT TO EXPLORE THE COURSE OF THE RIVER DARLING, IN 1835.
Read more about Mitchell's expedition down the darling ...

Natures treasure chest

European explorers were very impressed by the richness and diversity of native fauna in the Bourke region.

Beautiful birds, animals, fish, colourful soils, rich diversity of flora, big open crystal night skies, wild untamed wilderness to explore, are but a few treasures that the Bourke region has to offer ..... to be continued

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Domain name for sale

The backobourke.com domain name is available for sale
$5,000 Negotiable

Contact the owner:
Mark Hull
Email: mark@whatscooking.com.au

Address:
21 Palmvale Drive, Goonellabah, NSW 2480
Phone:
0428 723 703

Silver Perch
Self sustaining populations of Silver perch are now extinct from the darling river at Bourke, NSW, Australia.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Terapontidae
Genus: Bidyanus
Species: B. bidyanus
Binomial name
Bidyanus bidyanus
(Mitchell, 1838)

Eel-tailed catfish
Self sustaining populations of Ell-tailed Catfish are now extinct from the darling river at Bourke, NSW, Australia.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Siluriformes
Family: Plotosidae
Genus: Tandanus
Species: T. tandanus
Binomial name
Tandanus tandanus
(Mitchell, 1838)

 

Image Gallery 'Back o' Bourke'

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Andrew Hull, latter-day Lawson. “Writers like Lawson, seeking to define Australia, found unique qualities in the landscape and the people out here. It’s the dynamics of these communities that inspire me to write poetry.”
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