BALRANALD

Beautiful Balranald 

Attractions

Things to Do

BEAUTIFUL BALRANALD

Balranald is full of surprises and the longer you stay, the more treasures you'll unearth.

Spectacular landscapes and waterscapes in the outback

Balranald is the Shire's main township and is a geographer’s living classroom.  It is surrounded by unique landscapes and riverscapes which encompasses five iconic rivers, the spectacular outback scape of world heritage listed Mungo National Park and the magical wetlands of Yanga National Park.  The area boasts spectacular bird life and fauna and heritage sites such as the Yanga Wool Shed, Yanga Homestead,  which are both in close proximity to the town.

Known as the gateway to Outback NSW, Balranald is the ideal destination for those travelling between Sydney and Adelaide on the Sturt Highway.

The AWARD WINNING Balranald Discovery Centre

The Balranald Discovery Centre is a state-of-the-art tourist complex and is a rare gem and surprise to find in an outback town.  The Centre has gained rave reviews from visitors and recently won a Silver Award at the 2015 NSW Tourism Award and Bronze at the Inland Tourism Awards.

The Discovery Centre comprises of three key buildings; the Interpretive Pavilion, the Visitor Information Centre and the Discovery Café. The precinct also includes an interactive playground, a skate park, historical buildings such as The Museum and Old Gaol, 24 hour RV stop along with tapped water and free warm showers!....Perfect!

Attractions and services all in close proximity

In close proximity to the Discovery Centre are other treasures including the Balranald Gallery, the Military & Heritage trails, the Funky Frog trail, the Memorial Bird Trail, the popular Swing Bridge and a buzzing retail strip which includes gift shops, clothes shops, chemist, butcher, bakery, cafés, take-away shop, hardware store, newsagent and two grocery stores.
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ATTRACTIONS IN & AROUND BALRANALD 

The Malcolm Building Museum

Location:  83 Market Street, Balranald
Opening Times: 10.00am - 4.00pm Daily 
Phone:  1800 444 043
Pop into the Visitor Information Centre for the key
   

Located at the Balranald Discovery Centre precinct, the Malcolm Building Museum is a perfect place to step back in time and view the collection of historic photographs and local artefacts from the historic "Malcolm and Beaty Stock and Station Agency.  Many other treasures from the past  are on display in the large display room. Access to the museum is via the Visitor Information Centre located at the Balranald Discovery Centre.

The Murrumbidgee River at Balranald

Location:  Along Court Street in Balranald and at
the "River Bend" at the end of We Street, Balranald
See the Visitor Information Centre for the best river spots around town!  83 Market Street, Balranald
  

Take to the majestic 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.  Make tracks for ‘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.

The Old Balranald Gaol (Lock-Up)

Location:  83 Market Street, Balranald
Opening Times: 10.00am - 4.00pm Daily 
Phone:  1800 444 043
Pop into the Visitor Information Centre for the key 

Built around 1887, the Lock Up included a Police Station and House attached.  The most infamous person held in the lock up was Ronald Ryan; the last man hanged in Australia in 1967.  Ryan started his life of petty crime here in Balranald at the age of 16 years when he robbed the local bank. A man by the name of Kelly was also held in the old Balranald Lock Up. According to stories, he would quite often climb the walls of the exercise yard to buy an ice-cream and would climb over the wall again with the ice-cream in hand and proceed to eat it.

The Balranald Gallery

Location:  51 Mayall Street, Balranald
Opening Times: Check with Visitor Information Centre 
Phone:  Gallery:  03 5020 2222                 
Information Centre:  1800 444 043
 

Visit the iconic Balranald Gallery which hosts regular local and traveling exhibitions. The Gallery also has some wonderful works from local and regional artists on display and a number of the artwork are available for purchase.

The Balranald Swing Bridge

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 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 Heritage Trail

Location:  Commence at the Discovery Centre pricinct and see the Visitor Information Centre Staff who will provide further details of the trail
Phone: Visitor Information Centre:  1800 444 043             

From the Balranald Discovery Centre follow the town's Heritage Trail.  This 1 1/2 hour walking tour takes in several of Balranald's most significant historical building and points of interest.  A series of plaques leads you on a fascinating journey through the town's history.

The Yanga Homestead

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
Opening Times:  To see inside Yanga Homestead you'll need to pick up an audio guide and key from Yanga National Park Office 8.30am-4.30pm daily
Phone: Yanga National Park Office:  03 5020 1764        

Explore the wonderful Yanga Homestead and return to a time when Yanga was one of the Riverina’s most productive pastoral stations. Located in Yanga National Park, part of Murrumbidgee Valley National Park, the homestead was built around 1870, along with station outbuildings including stables, a gardener’s shed and station store. There are also rose gardens, restored and maintained by volunteers.
You can visit the Cook’s Cottage exhibition and wander around the grounds at any time. While you're here Marvel at the homestead’s unique Murray pine ‘drop log’ design. 
After you've explored the homestead, take the opportunity to explore the surrounding area along Yanga Lake walking track. As you walk, you’ll pass Yanga Lake viewing deck – a great place to see the lake’s Aboriginal heritage and birdlife.
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The Yanga Woolshed

Location:  From Balranald, travel east along Sturt Highway for 2km.  Turn right onto Windomal Road.Continue for approximately 3km before turning right at the sign to Yanga Woolshed
Opening Times:  Self-Guided Tour of the Woolshed is accessible at anytime subject to weather or fire conditions
Phone: Yanga National Park Office:  03 5020 1764           

Located along Murrumbidgee River, Yanga Woolshed was built in the late 1800s. Once the largest, most modern woolshed in the district, it housed 3,000 sheep and provided work for up to 40 shearers at a time.
Today, the woolshed is in Yanga National Park, part of Murrumbidgee Valley National Park, and you can wander through it on a self-guided tour, exploring its runs and pens, getting a feel for an authentic 19th century woolshed and a taste of Australian history. You’ll also find an interpretive display to fill you in on the history of the area – once Yanga Sheep Station.
Check out the viewing platform for great river views; it was once where the old wharf stood. Pack lunch and visit the nearby Yanga Woolshed picnic area or stay overnight at Mamanga campground.

The Military Trail

Location:  Commence at the Discovery Centre pricinct and see the Visitor Information Centre Staff who will provide further details of the trail.  The plaques run along River Street, Court Street & Market Street Balranald
Phone: Visitor Information Centre:  1800 444 043             

Balranald has a wonderful Military Commemorative Trail which chronicles and honours the lives and diversity of contributions made by Balranald Shire residents during times of international conflict.

Redbank Weir

Location:  From Balranald take the Balranald-Ivanhoe Road and drive just under 60km north of Balranald. Then turn right at the Oxley Road just after the Homebush Hotel
Phone: Visitor Information Centre:  1800 444 043             

Redbank Weir on the Murrumbidgee River. The weir is on the river upstream of Balranald and is in the heart of the Lower Murrumbidgee wetlands. The area around the weir has a grassed picnic area which provides a break for the traveller. Facilities include barbecues, tables and toilets.

The Funky Frog Trail

Location:  Commence at the Discovery Centre pricinct and see the Visitor Information Centre Staff who will provide further details of the trail. 
Phone: Visitor Information Centre:  1800 444 043           

WHAT’S THE CONNECTION with BALRANALD & FROGS?
When you visit Balranald, you will see the FUNKY FROG SCULPTURES dotted around town, the Welcoming Frog at the Discovery Centre and the frog merchandise at the Visitor Information Centre and in certain shops in town.
So what is the connection?.....It’s because of the endangered SOUTHERN BELL FROG also known as the Growling Grass Frog which lives in semi-permanent wetlands in south eastern Australia and is known to live in the wetlands of the BALRANALD SHIRE.

It’s a large handsome frog and is bright green in colour with splotches of gold, bronze and black along its back. Unfortunately it has disappeared from over 50% of its former range over the past 20 years. Scientists are unsure why it began to disappear, but disease, habitat loss, farm chemicals and exotic species may be likely causes.
Next time you visit BALRANALD stop by the Visitor Information Centre and the friendly staff will tell you all about the Southern Bell Frog and about the FUNKY FROG TRAIL you can walk to see all the frog sculptures around the town!

Balranald Low Level Weir

Location:  6km West of Balranald - Then turn off from the main road for 4 km

The low-level weir across the Murrumbidgee downstream is 6 km west of Balranald off the Sturt Highway. This weir, on the Murrumbidgee, is designed to create a pool in the river to maintain a regular supply of irrigation and town water. 
The weir incorporates the latest version of fish ladder so native fish can complete the migration essential to successful spawning.
The turn-off to the weir is 6 kilometres from town and is at the end of a 4 kilometre gravel road. Nearby is a grassed picnic area with barbecues and tap water. The Low Level Weir, is another popular local fishing spot.

Southern Cross Plane Relica

Location:  118 Market Street, Balranald
Opening Times: Check with Visitor Information Centre      
Information Centre:  1800 444 043
Entry is by gold coin donation.   

On Saturday 11th November 1933, Sir Charles Kingston Smith landed in his famous Southern Cross plane in a Balranald for a short visit. A replica of the Southern Cross plane which appeared in a documentary was acquired by the local community group Friends of the Southern Cross with the goal of slowly restoring the plane.   The replica is stored in a large warehouse in Balranald for viewing along with other memoriabilia, vintage cars and historical artifacts
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THINGS TO DO IN BALRANALD - A checklist

THE BALRANALD DISCOVERY CENTRE

  • A perfect way to start your Balranald adventure is at the Balranald Discovery Centre.  The Visitor Information Centre is located at the precinct as well as the Interpretive Pavilion, the Discovery Cafe, the playground, the skatepark, heritage buildings and the Men's Shed....all great attractions to visit! 

  • The Visitor Information Centre staff will help you to put an itinerary for all the attractions see and places to go to that suit your length of stay and priorities. 

HERITAGE & CULTURE at BALRANALD

  • The wonderful place to start your Heritage & Culture experience in Balranald is at the Balranald Discovery Centre precinct.  From there  you will be able to visit:
  1. The Interpretive Pavilion
  2. The Museum (Get the key from the Visitor Information Centre which is located at the Discovery Centre)
  3. Old Gaol (Get the key from the Visitor Information Centre)
  4. The Wintong School

  • While you are at the Discovery Centre pop into the Visitor Information Centre to pick up a flyer on the Heritage Trail and start your Heritage Trail walk from there!

  • Another wonderful Trail to walk at Balranald is the Military Commemorative Trail which chronicles and honours the lives and diversity of contributions made by Balranald Shire residents during times of international conflict.  Pop into the Visitor Information Centre and the friendly staff will advise on the best place to start this memorable trail

  • While in town take a scroll to the Balranald Gallery on Mayall Street which is the heart of the arts and cultural activities in Balranald.  There are regular exhibitions as well as a wonderful showcase of local artwork

  • From Balranald it's a short drive to both Yanga National Park's Woolshed and the Homestead and must stop and see and do.  At each location you will learn more of the history and heritage of Yanga's sheep station

THE MURRUMBIDGEE RIVER at BALRANALD

  • Throw in a line along the river that winds through the town of Balranald.  You can access boat ramps from the Balranald Caravan Park on Court Street and also at The Bend at the end of We Street.  The Bend is also a lovely spot to relax and have a picnic

  • While in Balranald, walk over the Swing Bridge on Court Street which crosses the Murrumbidgee River and follow the 2.4km nature walk track along the river
 
  • Take a leisurely drive 60km north of Balranald to Redbank Weir which is in the heart of the Lower Murrumbidgee wetlands. Take a picnic with you and enjoy the picnic facilities there
 
  • Another weir and picnic spot to visit is the Balranald Low Level Weir which is located 6km West from the town

FAMILY FUN at BALRANALD

  • The children will love the Funky Frog Trail! There are some wonderful frog scultures scattered around town.  Start at the Discovery Centre and take a photo with the Welcoming Frog in front of the Visitor Information Centre then pop into the Visitor Information Centre and the friendly staff will give you a guide to the trail!...Have fun!

  • While you are at the Discovery Centre the children can have fun at the fabulous Discovery Playground and fun at the Discovery Skate Park

  • Also at the Discovery Centre you will find the Interpretive Pavilion which is a magical place where all your senses are treated to a multi-media & interactive historical interpretation of the Shire’s history .  The children will love all the different things to see, hear and touch!

SHOPPING & PAMPERING at BALRANALD

  • For a small town, Balranald has a lovely selection of shops to meet all your needs! From gifts, fashion clothing, homeware & hardware, groceries, hair and beauty, a wellbeing centre for some pampering, stationary & magazines, books, butcher and more, there's something for everyone!  CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE SHOPS & STORES AVAILABLE!

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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