NATURE & WILDLIFE

The Natural Wonders

Attractions

Events

Things to do

THE NATURAL WONDERS

Surrounded by five majestic rivers along with Mungo National Park, the heritage listed Willandra Lakes, and the astonishing floodplains and wetlands of Yanga National Park within the region, Balranald Shire boasts some of the most unique and spectacular landscapes and varied fauna and flora in outback NSW.

The 5 Rivers
The Murrumbidgee, Murray, Wakool, Edward and Lachlan Rivers make up the Five Rivers that meander within the Shire and are all on Balranald's doorstep.

The Balranald Shire is a bucket list spot for keen anglers and water sport lovers or those that just want to camp and chill and sit beside some of Australia's most iconic rivers and admire the natural environment and wildlife.

Yanga National Park
Yanga National Park is blessed with 170km of Murrumbidgee River frontage. The river is great for canoeing or swimming, and its banks provide excellent fishing and camping spots. On your visit, you'll notice the landscape's unique contrast of black and red country.  Vegetation on its black soil floodplains comprises river red gum forest and swampland, while its red soil varies from grass to saltbush to woodlands. Come and spot the differences yourself.
A large number of migratory birds rely on the Yanga National Park red gum wetlands. The park is a great place for birdlife and to see egrets, herons, spoonbills and glossy ibis using the wetlands as a resting, foraging and breeding ground. Walk to the bird hide at Yanga Lake to see great crested grebes and sea eagles. The park is also home to the endangered southern bell frog. This frog's calls' are said to resemble a distant motorbike.
Plants and animals you may see when you visit the Park include the Southern boobook, Common ringtail possum, kookaburras, River red gums and saltbushes.

Mungo National Park
Gaze in awe at scenery moulded by the elements and discover how climatic changes since the last ice age have shaped the land's geography. The park's lunette is perhaps its most astonishing feature. Comprising four layers of sand and silt deposited over tens of thousands of years, this
majestic sight almost defies description. Walk the ancient dry lakebed of Lake Mungo and photograph the spectacular etched dunes of the Walls of China. At night, sit back and be amazed at star-filled skies unlike anything you've seen before. 
With its thriving kangaroo and emu populations, Mungo's the perfect place for an up-close glimpse of Australia's coat of arms. You're sure to be amazed by the sight and sound of pink cockatoos in their hundreds, or the vision of harmonious bird species taking turns drinking from
ground tanks. There's a good chance you'll see a mallee ring-neck parrot - look for its striking green/gold colouring.
Plants and animals you may see when you visit the Park include emus, wedge-tailed eagle, red kangaroos & saltbushes.
The Murrumbidgee River at Balranald
Yanga National Pauk
Mungo National Park
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ATTRACTIONS

At Yanga NP

At Mungo NP

At Balranald

At Euston

The 5 Rivers

YANGA NATIONAL PARK

Attractions at Yanga Lake

Location:  From Balranald, travel east along Sturt Highway for 7km. Turn right into Yanga picnic area just over Yanga Creek.  Turn left at the Yanga National Park sign and drive 2km along unsealed road to Yanga Homestead & access to The Yanga Lake Viewing Deck and the track down to the Yanga Lake Walking Track & Bird Hide
Phone: Yanga Park Office:  03 5020 1764            
MAP & FURTHER DETAILS     


Yanga Lake Viewing Deck
For tranquil lakeside views and spectacular birdwatching, Yanga Lake viewing deck, near Balranald, is an ideal stopover while exploring Yanga National Park, part of Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. A great spot for a family picnic, prepare to be enthralled by a magnificent array of migratory and wetland birds.

From this elevated scenic lookout, you will be enthralled by sweeping 270 degree views of the immense 1,200ha wetlands. Look for Pelican Point to the south and Regatta Beach to the west. Keep an ear out for the rumbling call of the endangered southern bell frog.

Yanga Lake Bird Hide
Attracting over 150 species of birds, Yanga Lake Red Gum bird hide offers some of the most spectacular birdwatching in NSW. Accessed along Yanga Lake walking track, it is a great destination for families and nature-lovers alike. Located near Balranald, Yanga National Park, which is part of Murrumbidgee Valley National Park, is the perfect spot to have a picnic, unwind and get away from it all.

Nestled amongst the river red gums and old man saltbush, the hide is a great spot to watch the pelicans and black swans as they forage for food and bring up their young in these majestic waterways. Spring and autumn are great times for birdwatching as the lakes fill with birds such as white-bellied sea eagles and great crested grebes.

Yanga Lake Walking Track
For a beautiful lakeside walk that combines impressive scenic views and superb birdwatching, head for Yanga Lake walking track. This short track traces part of the eastern shoreline to link some of the most scenic features of Yanga National Park. Near Yanga Homestead, it is an ideal introduction to the tranquil beauty of the wetlands for families, school groups and nature lovers.

The track descends from Yanga Lake viewing deck through majestic river red gums and river coobas to the very shores of the immense lake. Enjoy a leisurely picnic as you soak in the natural beauty and serenity.

Regatta Beach at Yanga NP

Location: 
From Balranald, take Sturt Highway east for 6km.
Turn right onto Old Sturt Highway before Yanga Creek
Turn right into Yanga National Park

Phone: Yanga National Park Office:  03 5020 1764 
MAP & FURTHER DETAILS        

Enjoy swimming, boating, birdwatching and paddling in the tranquil lakeside waters of picturesque Regatta Beach picnic area in Yanga National Park.

Regatta Beach picnic area is a great spot for fishing, boating, swimming and birdwatching.


With large shady areas and sandy beaches, the calm lakeside spot provides great swimming and paddling opportunities for the kids, and is a popular spot with local boating enthusiasts. Launch the boat or kayak and explore the vast waterways, or try your hand at fishing. 

If you are feeling leisurely, sit back under the ancient river gums and enjoy watching the migratory waterbirds including pelicans, egrets and herons.
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MUNGO NATIONAL PARK

The Walls of China at Mungo NP

Location:  From Balranald follow the signs to Ivanhoe (Ivanhoe Road) for 53km. Turn left 3km after Box Creek Bridge (signposted) and follow this road until you reach the park. The Walls of China starts at Mungo Visitor Centre in the south western precinct of Mungo National Park
Opening Times: Mungo National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to weather conditons. Mungo Visitor Centre is not permanently staffed.   
Phone:  Buronga Park Office:  03 5021 8900            
MAP & FURTHER DETAILS     

After the lake dried up, winds swept storms of sand up from the lake floor, dumping it on the shoreline and creating the famous Mungo lunette. This is the site of the spectacular Great Walls of China, which have been carved from layers of the lunette. As the lunette erodes it reveals remains and fossils. The ancient dunes at Mungo are known as the "Walls of China". As the sands shift, ancient and extremely well preserved campfires, cooking hearths and burials as well as the remains of long extinct animals have been uncovered.
Seeing the Walls of China up close is best undertaken with a liscenced tour guide or a Parks' Ranger who can explain the significance of the lunette and its history. We highly recommend Outback Geo Adventures who run both day and sunset tours from Balranald.

Walls of China Viewing Platform
Located west of the Mungo Visitor Centre, the wheelchair-accessible lookout offers magnificent views across the famous World Heritage Willandra Lakes region.
A magnificent sight at sunrise or sunset, gaze across at the dramatic formations sculpted by wind and erosion. It's not just the scenic desert views that will take your breath away; these lunettes harbour vital clues to the evolution of life on earth.
MAP & FURTHER DETAILS

Nature Walks at Mungo NP

Locations:  
Grasslands Nature Walk Trail: The walk starts and finishes from the southern end of Main Camp

Mallee Stop Walking Track: The track starts from the Mallee Stop, around the eastern side of Lake Mungo on the Mungo Track

Zanci Pastoral Heritage Loop: Commences behind the Visitor Centre

Foreshore Walk: Starts behind the Meeting Place at the Visitor Centre and follows markers across the ancient shoreline of Lake Mungo

Red Top Lookout & Boardwalk: From the Visitor Centre in the south western precinct of the park you can access the Redtop Lookout & Boardwalk via the self-guided drive (Mungo Loop Track) 

Mungo Lookout: From the Mungo Lookout Road carpark, it's a short walk to the lookout from the carpark. 
Park Opening Times: Mungo National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to weather conditons. Mungo Visitor Centre is not permanently staffed. Phone: Buronga Park Office:  03 5021 8900            

Grasslands Nature Walk Trail 

Mallee Stop Walking Track 

Zanci Pastoral Loop 

Foreshore Walk     

Red Top Lookout & Boardwalk

Mungo Lookout    

Picnic areas to view wildlife at Mungo NP

Locations:  
Roswewood Picnic Area: 
Enjoy lunch and some birdwatching at this picnic spot. It's a well-positioned near walking tracks
From the Mungo Visitor Centre follow the Mungo Self-guided Drive tour to the picnic area. 

Round Tank Picnic Area: 
Round Tank picnic area offers a picnic spot on Mungo Self-guided Drive tour, with excellent birdwatching opportunities
From the Mungo Visitor Centre follow the Mungo Self-guided Drive tour to the picnic area. 

Vigars Well Picnic: 
Vigars Well picnic area offers vast dune views, picnicking and birdwatching on the scenic Self-guided Drive tour
From the Mungo Lookout Road carpark, it's a short walk to the lookout from the carpark.

Park Opening Times: Mungo National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to weather conditons. Mungo Visitor Centre is not permanently staffed. 
Phone: Buronga Park Office:  03 5021 8900         

Rosewood Picnic Area   

Round Tank Picnic Area      

Vigars Well Picnic Area      

The Wildlife you can view     

Mungo Self-Guided Tour

Location: 
The Mungo self-guided drive tour starts at Mungo Visitor Centre in the south western precinct of the park.Opening Times: Mungo National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to weather conditons. Mungo Visitor Centre is not permanently staffed.   
Phone:  Buronga Park Office:  03 5021 8900            
MAP & FURTHER DETAILS

Mungo self-guided drive tour, also known as Mungo loop track, is a brilliant introduction to the awe-inspiring desert landscape and a chance to experience the historic significance of Mungo National Park in comfort. Crossing the ancient lake-bed to the Walls of China, the route takes in the iconic dunes and mallee country of outback NSW, before tracing the north-east shores of the lake.  To get the most of your outback tour, drop by Mungo Visitor Centre and pick up Driving the Mungo Story.

Stretch your legs at Walls boardwalk and then continue onto Red Top lookout and boardwalk which overlooks the dunes.
Emus and western red kangaroos are often seen bounding through the mallee scrub, and the park is home to numerous birds of prey. Keep your eyes peeled for the whistling kite, wedge-tailed eagle and brown goshawk.

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AT BALRANALD

The Ben Scott Memorial Bird Trail

Location:  Start on River Street at the corner of Market Street and follow the signs to the Bird Trail.  It is three kilometres north east of the township of Balranald.  See the Visitor Information Centre for more details - THE TRAIL IS SEASONAL - Contact the Information Centre for more details.

The Ben Scott Memorial Bird Trail is the perfect place to begin your bird-watching experience. Collect a list of Balranald’s bird species from the Visitor Information Centre then set off on the 4.5km walk to the trail.  A system of boardwalks and tracks will take you through the miniature wetland to the birdhides. The trail itself takes 45 minutes. Keep an eye out for Spotted Harriers, Rainbow Bee-eaters, Yellow Throated Miners, the Striated Pardalote and more.

The Balranald Swing Bridge & Nature Walk

Location:  Court Street, Balranald

From Court Street, cross the swing bridge over the Murrumbidgee River and follow the 2.4km track along the Murrumbidgee River.

Keep an eye out for Yellow Rosellas, kookaburras and the occasional echidna, not forgetting kangaroos and emus.

The Bend at Balranald

Location:  At the end of We Street, Balranald

The Bend is at the end of We St, Balranald. This popular fishing spot is easily accessible on foot. Or, for a different perspective launch a boat from the ramp near the bridge.

The Bend also has shady parking spots, picnic tables and toilets.
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AT EUSTON

Lake Benanee

Location:  13 Kilometeres East of Euston
  

With a white sandy foreshore, earth boat ramp and public toilets, Lake Benanee is one of Australia's most popular free camping spots.  The Lake is part of the Euston Lakes wetland and floodplain system, which also includes Dry Lake (Yellowbelly) and Lake Caringay.
In the early years, stockmen would drove cattle down from Queensland to the Victorian Gold Rush. If the Murray River was high when they arrived, they would stay at Lake Benanee until the river receded to allow the cattle to cross. As an endorheic lake, (one which has no significant outflow, but is reduced by evaporation) it provided water for stock while they waited. The Chinese built stock fences around the lake to contain the cattle and some of these fences can still be found around the lake today.

Euston Walking and Bike Trail

Location:  Access to bikes, prams and wheelchairs is available by parking under the bridge on the Euston side of the Murray River

This leisurely and peaceful 2.5km path links Robinvale and Euston on each side of the Murray River and provides an alternative view of Euston Weir and Lock 15.
Access for bikes, prams and wheelchairs is available by parking your vehicle under the bridge on the Euston side of the River and starting your walk from there. Alternately start from Robinvale by crossing over the bridge and take in the spectacle of the Murray from up high before walking.

The sealed surface of the track makes the path easy for walkers, cyclists and joggers and is shaded for most of the distance. Billabongs along the way provide a natural wetland environment for frogs, which croak loudly even throughout the day including the endangered Southern Bell Frog.

A pergola has been constructed approximately half way along the path to offer a perfect vantage point for an upclose, wide view of the river with flocks of pelicans and black swans in evidence. You may even see the occasional kangaroo.

Euston Regional Park

Location:  Northern bank of the Murray River, Euston
Phone:  National Park Office, Buronga:  03 5021 8900
MAP & MORE DETAILS     

Nestled along the northern bank of the Murray River, Euston Regional Park is the ideal spot to set up camp under a majestic river red gum.  Whether you are an angler, an avid birdwatcher or simply plan to relax by the river with a good book, Euston Regional Park has much to offer. The towering trees of the river red gum forests provide welcome shade to visitors and a myriad of plant and animal life, help stabilise river banks, and provide the perfect backdrop to sit by the river. Euston Regional Park was created in July 2010. It covers an area of 3274ha.
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THE 5 RIVERS

The 5 Rivers Fishing Trail

The Murrumbidgee at Balranald
Balranald has easy access to the Murrumbidgee River for the boating fraternity with two sealed boat ramps and trailer parking. Land based anglers can also enjoy the great fishing from the banks.

Anglers who achieve success in this part of the river can thank the dedicated efforts of the local angling club, which has put more than 100,000 native fish into the river. This proactive approach helps maintain the fish populations until nature provides the vital floods needed to improve numbers naturally.

Near Balranald the river has been slowed by irrigation infrastructure, and every fallen tree and log has fish-holding potential. In this part of the river there are some big Murray Cod and Yellow Belly waiting to ambush your lures or suck in a big bardi grub. Beyond Balranald, The Murrumbidgee snakes 170kms through Yanga National Park and provides an abundance of natural fishing spots.

The Murray at Euston
At Euston, 80km west of Balranald, the mighty Murray River flows. Lock Weir 15, just downstream from Euston, creates a very wide river upstream that provides an excellent water playground.

The river can be accessed by a number of boat ramps detailed on the Five Rivers Fishing Trail Map.
The water is predominantly deep with rock bars and old snags providing cover for a good number of large Murray Cod. Nearby, Lake Benanee which fills from the Murray River is a popular fishing and camping spot.

The Wakool & Edward Rivers at Kyalite
Kyalite, 36kms south of Balranald enjoys a reputation for the best Murray Cod waters in Australia. There is easy launching into the Wakool River from the sealed boat ramp and a fifteen minute journey upstream will place you at the mouth of the Edward River.

The Lachlan River at Oxley
Oxley, 90kms north of Balranald is situated on the Lachlan River. While there is no boat ramp access to the river, it is an ideal spot to test your land based fishing skills. In dry times the river will stop flowing at Oxley, so check on conditions before you head out.

Whether you chase Murray Cod, Yellow belly, Perch or Redfin, fishing the Five Rivers Fishing Trail will have you telling plenty of fishing tales. The Five Rivers Fishing Trail map provides an easy reference to all the best spots and can be picked up from the Visitor Information Centre.

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EVENTS - Celebrating our natural environment

The Murrumbidgee Fishing Classic - Catch & Release

Location:  On the Murrumbidgee River at the Balranald Caravan Park, Court Street, Balranald
When:  3rd Weekend in March each year
Contact:  Contact the Balranald Caravan Park for details

The Balranald Murrumbidgee Classic is on each year in March and is a fully catered Anglers and Lions Club combined two day fishing competition.
The Balranald Murrumbidgee Classic is a catch and release fishing competition with a maximum of 200 anglers and 2 per boat. 

Fishing is bank or boat, up to five kilometres either way from the boat ramp at the caravan park.

Entry cost includes breakfast, lunch and roast dinner, and a ticket into the raffle.

HIGH VALUED PRIZES!

Camping is available at Balranald Caravan Park.
Raffles also run over the weekend.
LOTS OF FUN!

The 5 Rivers Outback Festival

Location:  On the banks of the Murrumbidgee River at the Balranald Caravan Park, Court Street, Balranald
When:  2nd Weekend in October each year
Contact:  Contact the Festival Coordinator on 0473 509 064 and the Festival Website at http://www.5riversoutbackfestival.com.au  

The 5 Rivers Outback Festival is staged on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River at the Balranald Caravan Park grounds.  The Festival celebrates Balranald's connection with Water, Wool, Wood and Wheat and all that is wonderful about living in a rural and outback NSW community.

The 5 Rivers Outback Festival provides a valuable platform to showcase Balranald Shire many attractions including the Shire's stunning natural wonders, which boasts five rivers, majestic River Red Gum forests and two spectacular National Parks (Mungo & Yanga).

Balranald is a small town with a big heart! Locals work tirelessly volunteering their time to stage the fantastic festival every year on the second weekend in October.

The Festival's popularity rises each year and brings the community together.  Visitors love to participate in the community spirit and many visitors book there stay a year in advance to attend the festival.

The Festival's program is jam paced with unique events, local talent and great entertainment!

Past performers at the Festival have included:

  • Wendy Matthews
  • Joe Camilleri & the Black Sorrows
  • Amber Joy Poulton
  • Paul Costa
  • Paul D'Auraugo & Band

Annual Release of Native Fingerlings at Kyalite

Location:  At Kyalite - Wakool & Edward Rivers
Phone:  For details on all your fishing and camping needs contact the Kyalite Pub on 03 5038 2221
  

Since 1990 during the long weekend in March every year, regardless of conditions, the Kyalite Pub releases assorted native fingerlings into the Edward and Wakool Rivers. 

The first release was financed by a raffle run at the Pub.   Because of your continuing  support the Pub has been able to maintain the momentum and every year the raffle is drawn during Pubs' Inter-Club Fishing Competition.  The restocking long weekend is a real family weekend where children are encouraged to participate and have loads of fun!
Next time you call into the bar support the Pubs' restocking program.
A NSW Fishing Liscence is essential and must be kept on you when fishing in NSW waters.

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THINGS TO DO

Nature

Birding

Fishing

NATURE

  • Mungo National Park is a must-see for visitors to our region. Pack a picnic, plenty of water and make an early start on the 149km drive north-west.

  • Start your experience with a tour of the Mungo Visitor Centre. Here you can learn about the history and cultural significance of the site. Join an Aboriginal Discovery Tour led by representatives of the Paakantji, Ngyiampaa and Mutthi Mutthi tribal groups.

  • Choose from a range of self-guided walking tours starting at the Meeting Place. The walks vary from an easy 10 minute stroll along the Mungo Lookout trail to a more challenging Foreshore Walk.

  • One of the park best known attractions is a series of lunettes known as the ˜Walls of China™. You can join an Aboriginal Discovery Tour to find out more or follow the boardwalk for a self-guided experience.

  • Learn about local plants and animals with a walk along the Grassland Nature Trail or trek the Zanci Pastoral Heritage Loop. Drive the Mungo Loop before heading for the comforts of Balranald.

  • Take to the river and see Balranald'™s natural beauty from a different perspective. From the caravan park on Court St, hire a kayak and life jacket and enjoy an easy hour-long paddle along the Murrumbidgee River.

  • Then hike or bike the Bidgee Nature Trail through local River Red Gum forest. From Court St, cross the swing-bridge and follow the 2.4km track along the Murrumbidgee River. Keep an eye out for Yellow Rosellas, kookaburras and the occasional echidna, not forgetting kangaroos and emus.

  • In the afternoon, set a course for Woolpress Bend, part of Yanga National Park. The 65km drive will take you to the northern-most reaches of the park. Keep an eye out for goannas, emus and Red Kangaroos. Marvel at the Eastern Great Egret as it hunts in the shallows of Yanga'™s wetlands. You might even hear the distinctive call of the nationally endangered Southern Bell Frog.

BIRDING

  • The Ben Scott Memorial Bird Trail is the perfect place to begin your bird-watching experience. Collect a list of Balranald's bird species from the Visitor Information Centre then set off on the 4.5km walk to the trail.

  • A system of boardwalks and tracks will take you through the miniature wetland to the birdhides. The trail itself takes 45 minutes. Keep an eye out for Spotted Harriers, Rainbow Bee-eaters, Yellow Throated Miners, the Striated Pardalote and more.

  • Enjoy lunch in town then relax by the river. Take the Bidgee Nature Trail, starting in Court St. Here you can see Red-rumped Parrots, Pied Butcherbirds and White-plumed Honeyeaters just to name a few.

  • As the day draws to a close, head to nearby Yanga National Park and camp out under the stars, ready to begin day two of your bird-watching experience.

  • Wake up to the sound of birdsong! Yanga National Park is home to more than 150 species of birds. The various vegetation communities are home to several threatened species and huge numbers of colonial nesting waterbirds, some of which migrate between Australia and Asia.

  • From the viewing deck behind Yanga Homestead you can enjoy panoramic views of the lake and skies above. You can follow the walking trail along the lake's edge to the birdhide where you might catch sight of a Sacred Kingfisher or Great Crested Grebe.

  • Next on the agenda is a visit to ˜The Willows™, 25kms east of Balranald. This semi-arid site provides a different perspective on the park and its inhabitants. Major Mitchell Cockatoos, Grey Crowned Babblers, Hooded Robins and Spotted Bower Birds have all been recorded in this area.

  • Finish the day with a trip to Woolpress Bend at the northern end of the park. Wedge-tailed Eagles are commonly seen feeding along the roadside and soaring in the skies above.

FISHING

  • Grab some bait, a fishing licence and a Five Rivers Fishing map and take on the Five Rivers Challenge!

  • To start your Challenge head north to try your luck in the Murrumbidgee and Lachlan Rivers.

  • There are plenty of spots to choose from including Redbank Weir on the Murrumbidgee River. Just under 60km north of Balranald, you can find barbecues, picnic tables and public toilets on site.

  • If the Lachlan River is running, head to the tiny township of Oxley to tempt the Murray Cod.

  • Follow the Sturt Highway 6km west to the Low Level Weir, another local fishing spot popular for fishing by the locals

  • ˜The Bend at the end of We St, Balranald. This popular fishing spot is easily accessible on foot. Or, for a different perspective launch a boat from the ramp near the bridge.

  • Next on the Five Rivers Challenge list is to head towards the Edward, Wakool and Murray Rivers.

  • Head south 37km and stop off at the Kyalite Hotel for some local fishing insight (and supplies) before heading to your chosen fishing spot on the Edward or Wakool Rivers.

  • Enjoy the scenery and test your fishing skills before heading back to town for a hearty lunch.

  • At Euston (80km west on the Sturt Highway) you will find the mighty Murray River. On the way, stop off at Lake Benanee. When full, Lake Benanee covers an area of about 750 hectares. Enjoy a picnic on the beach, make use of the public amenities and await that first nibble.

  • Finish the Five Rivers Challenge on the banks of the Murray River at Euston then call into the pub or club and share your fishing tales with a few of the locals.

  • If you visit Balranald around March participate in the Murrumbidgee Fishing Classic

  • If you visit Balrand around the 2nd weekend of October, make sure you join the fun for the 5 Rivers Outback Festival....book early!

For more information about the range of Things to Do, contact the Balranald Visitor Information Centre on 1800 444 043

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Balranald Visitor Information Centre

Balranald Visitor Information Centre

Phone:     1800 444 043

Address:  Balranald Discovery Centre
83 Market Street, Balranald

Email:      infocentrestaff@balranald.nsw.gov.au