A regular flight for most of aircraft in our fleet; Cobar in western New South Wales is a town known for its thriving mining culture. But after spending a few days on the ground out there this week, a couple of our pilots found there’s more to Cobar than meets the eye.
As far as mining towns go, Cobar is up there (or should we say, out there) with the biggest. The rich red soil is laced with a ton of minerals, but most of our dealings out there involve Gold. There’s a ton of it. Well, there’s millions of tons of it, and since the 1880’s Cobar has grown to become a regional hub with three major mines and around 4000 people living on the area.
Getting there, is about an 8 hour drive from Sydney. There are airline flights to Cobar, but the one flight a day is usually filled by the mines – which is why we operate private charters to Cobar so regularly!
Route: Sydney (Domestic) – Cobar – Sydney (Domestic)
Duration: 2 Days
Flight time: 1 hour
Aircraft: Beechcraft King Air, Cessna Citation Mustang
Things to do in Cobar
- Play a round of Golf!
Believe it or not, Cobar has one of the best golf courses in central Australia. Of course the climate dictates a sand ‘green’ (which is actually brown) but all of the fairways and tee boxes have some decent grass growing thanks to a full time superintendent. We’ve played both the front and back 9’s on an afternoon layover in Cobar, and can vouch for the back 9’s unique look and challenging holes.
- Step back into Cobars rich Mining History
Just out of town is the Cobar Heriatage Centre in what used to be the mine administration building. It’s full of interesting items from waaaaay back in the old days of mining, and you’ll easily be able to fill half a day here.
- Check out the view from Fort Bourke lookout
Overlooking the whole region, and a huge open cut mine, the Forth Bourke Lookout is a MUST-SEE part of any visit, or charter to Cobar. There’s a well built viewing platform on top of the hill with signs pointing out local landmarks for hundreds of kilometers all around.
- Stop for a photo in front of the ‘Cobar sign’.
As far as signs go, Cobar has one of the best! It’s massive, and built into a huge rock wall at the entrance of town. There’s intricate steel sculptures of miners all over it, and of course at sunset, the brilliant red earth illuminates the whole area in a rich, warm light. Stunning!
Places to Stay in Cobar
In all the years coming to Cobar, we’ve been around to most of the hotels on offer, from the old Great Western Hotel, to the caravan park. But most recently we’ve settled on the Cobar Central Motor Inn. Their rooms have all been renovated to a conservative but modern style, staff are very friendly (thanks for the early check in Emily!) and it’s right across the road from the ‘Golfie’. More on that later!
Where to Eat in Cobar
- Gumnut Gifts and Homewates
The standout place to eat in Cobar, this little gift shop has a café tucked away down the back with home-made meals, exceptional coffee, T2 tea and great options for either breakfast or lunch. Look for the steady stream of customers with their take-away coffees in the morning, and you won’t miss it! (Or, they’re up the end, on the main street).
- Like most country towns, there’s a bakery, a café, a pub and a few burger joints.
- Because this country town is a little bigger than most, there’s also an Eagle Boys, and Subway.
- The Golfie
Just across the road from the Cobar Central Motor Inn, is the Cobar Golf and Bowling Club, known as the ‘Golfie’. Meals here can be either Australian, Chinese, Thai or anything in between, and are all served in Cobar sized portions at this typical country club.
- Maddies Café
Maddies gets a mention because they have free WiFi with any purchase, and the only carrier with signal in Cobar is Telstra.
How to get around, and Flights to Cobar
- On arrival to Cobar Airport, we’re met by our mate Ray with the Red Taxi. $25 gets you into town, and all the local knowledge you could ever need. Ray’s been living in Cobar for over 40 years, always answers his phone and turns up in record time. Thanks Ray!
- Airline flights to Cobar are a daily service through Rex, but they’re heavily booked by the mines. If you can get a set, there’s only one flight in and out a day, which usually lands at 11am with a stopover in Dubbo.
- Charter flights to Cobar fly any time, day or night and stay for as long as you need. All flights are direct from either Melboune, Brisbane or Sydney, and we can cater for up to 10 passengers in our Beechcraft King Air B200.