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Pooncarie is a town of 226 (2021) in the Lower Darling region of Outback New South Wales. It's one of the state's least visited towns, and practically only exists as a base for visiting the northern ends of Mungo National Park. Still, the northern sections of Mungo NP have little to offer, meaning the town only exists as a waypoint town for those feeling adventurous to travel the unsealed Pooncarie Rd from Menindee to Wentworth.

What is now the town was en route of the Burke and Wills expedition, passing the area in Sept–Oct 1860. The town was only established three years later in 1863.



Get in

Road conditions can impede your ability to visit the town

Getting to Pooncarie is, to say the very least, tricky. There are only two roads to the town, both of which are unpaved and pass through some of the state's most desolate areas.

  • Pooncarie Road between Menindee and Wentworth is the main way to access the town. This road is mostly unpaved, often floods when the Darling River overflows, and is not-so-well-traversed.
  • Ivanhoe Road is the other road into Pooncarie, also unpaved, linking the town to Ivanhoe (along Cobb Highway/B75). This road passes through the northern edges of Mungo National Park, but is only connected to where all of the park's POIs are via a single unpaved track that's seldom used.

Flooding from the Darling River can impede your ability to visit Pooncarie; visiting Pooncarie during a flood may leave you stranded for days on end. Make sure you check the weather conditions from BOM before leaving.

While the town does have an airport, it has no scheduled flights, and it's unlikely there ever will.

Get around


The town area is smaller than 2 km2 (0.77 sq mi) and can be traversed on foot.



Although over 80 km (50 mi) away to the east, 1 Mungo National Park is the only attraction that is within a reasonable distance from the town. See the Mungo NP article for detailed information on visiting the park.

Apart from the remarkable wonder, the only other thing to see is the Darling River. However, the river can get really low at times and the river's poor water quality has led to the deaths of many fish – meaning it's probably not a good idea to dip your feet or swim in the river.


  • Pooncarie Field Day. A festival with some live country music and lots of rural exhibits (including some that can be confronting to some, such as sheep shearing). Occurs every two years.
  • 1 Pooncarie Racecourse (near airstrip). Used for horse-racing events.




  • 1 Old Wharf Cafe, 5 Darling St, +61 427 522 806. Tu–Su 8AM–4PM (closed M). Although it's the town's only half-decent eatery (that isn't part of a hotel), this cafe is one of the few remnants of Pooncarie being a port town (in rural 19th-century terms), sitting near the old wharf.







Go next


Your only options from here are either to Menindee or Kinchega National Park if you're heading north, Wentworth or Mildura if you're heading south, or Ivanhoe if you're heading towards the Cobb Highway (B75).

This city travel guide to Pooncarie is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.