Out the Back of Bourke — Gundabooka NSW Rogaining Champs

Out the Back of Bourke (from outbackdictionary.com):

Australian expression which means any place which is remote or inconvenient. Based on an actual place west [sic] NSW which is an extremely hot country town known for cotton farming and dust storms.

  • Example: Where the hell is that place? It’s out the back of Bourke…”


Hello Wanderers,

3rd time lucky! This event has been cancelled, not once, but TWICE due to Covid. The Gundabooka Rogaine is the NSW state championships; you can read more at the link below, but trust that we’ve all been anticipating this event for years now. You don’t need to have qualified from prior events to enter, but it’s a long way and a lot of logistics. We’re likely to be taking off multiple days from work on either end of the weekend. I’m open to navigation/rogaine beginners, BUT, with the caveat that you have to be responsive and organised. Radio silence to e-mails will have me dropping you much quicker than for my other trips.

2022 NSW Champs

It’ll be held at Gundabooka National Park, 70kms south of Bourke, with 8hr and 24hr options.

For the uninitiated, rogaining is a sport of cross-country navigation. You will be handed a map with controls scattered through the area, and you have to plan a route that allows you to collect a many as possible within the time limit (penalty for lateness!). We’ve done a number of navigation workshops and will likely run a few more casual/local ones with the digital apps or other local nav events.

This event is definitely more suited at those who participate consistently in those or other navigation events past/future. It’ll be physically demanding and financially committing. We’d want to ensure everyone is compatible with their teammates and coordinate food/water/transport/entry-fees — need reliable, sturdy folk. We may want to do more in the area, like fishing or kayaking, and we’ll be trying to borrow a UTS bus to help with travel.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to rogaine and visit country that will be unfamiliar to most of us. Those making the effort to get to this event will be rewarded with an experience they will remember the rest of their life.

It is recommended that visitors spend some time around Bourke, Cobar & Brewarrina which are all quite interesting. The Darling, aborginal history pre and post white settlement, Kidman Way (cattle/sheep), agriculture, irrigation, mining and not forgetting the wildlife. There is quite a spectacular rock art site not far from the hash house, an old gold mining area in the park, as well as station homesteads. The drive along Yanda Ck to the Darling campsite is worth the trip. Bring the fishing rod (and permit), or kayak/canoe.”

Hope I’m not the only one keen to find out what the Middle of Nowhere looks like. The photos are oddly promising!

Yours Wayward or Widdershins,

Salome (Sam) Hussein



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