For many, the outback begins west of the Darling River – a region rich in history, hospitality and natural beauty.

Story By Mark Muller

The smell of wood smoke and salt mixes as a drum of river water comes to the boil in the fading light. Stripes of sunshine catch the rising smoke. Through the gums the Darling slides by. A wet hessian sack full of fresh yabbies is lifted and tipped into boiling water. There are those who rave about crayfish, and others who melt at the thought of oysters, but for sweet, firm, succulent, mouth-watering goodness, nothing beats a hand-sized Darling yabby cooked in the waters in which it was caught, as far as John Lewis is concerned. John and his wife Trish are helping out on Bindara Station, which sits on the western bank of Darling River, and the yabbies are part of their reward. “Go on, tuck in!” John says through a grin as he serves up a full plate.
The Darling is for many the line at which the outback begins. Along the river’s length, travellers are able to take advantage of the hospitality of several stations such as Bindara. It is part of the Outback Beds network, an association of properties, B&Bs and hotels across Western New South Wales and up into Queensland devoted to sharing life in the outback with travellers.

This story excerpt is from Issue #90

Outback Magazine: Aug/Sept 2013