The ‘Back of Bourke’ so the saying goes.
Bourke conjures up visions of a large dusty dry town, yet it is nothing like that at all. It is not a large town nor small but very green with bottle trees, palms and plenty of parks with lush lawns. The houses are varied in architecture but shady wide spreading verandahs are the order of the day. Best of all for caravanners there is a tall double bay truck wash to get rid of the red dust, the evidence of actually getting this far.
The Bourke court house is grand and elaborate. The post office of fretted timber in shades of pink is a thing of beauty. The Bourke wharf has been rebuilt and is three levels high to cater to the whims of the Darling River. It is hard to imagine the difficulties of piloting paddle steamers this far north from the wide brown Murray River.
Bourke is a town that has inspired writers. Henry Lawson was sent there by The Bulletin newspaper in1891 when Bourke was in the grip of a crippling drought. Yet over time he grew to understand it. “If you know Bourke, you know Australia.”