No other township in New South Wales so perfectly represents the outback than Milparinka. The 53 residents have banded to preserve the towns heritage and ensure that Milparinka takes its rightful place alongside the great colonial mining towns of Kalgoorlie and Broken Hill.
In 1844 an expedition led by the famous inland explorer Charles Sturt spent six tortured months close by at Preservation Creek where Sturt's second in charge, James Poole, finally perished from scurvy. Sturt was an optimist and trotted around the outback with a whaling boat, hoping to sail it on the fabled Great Inland Sea. Today a replica rests at nearby Tiboorurra.
Gold of any real quantity was never found at Milparinka instead the town serviced the nearby fields at Mount Browne, Albert and Tibooburra. The real prize at Milparinka was something even more valuable - water. In 1881 the government agreed to sink a well at Milparinka and proceeded to find water at 140 feet. Up until then the prospectors had been 'dry-blowing' for their gold with many falling victim to dysentry. The new water supply boosted the towns health and saw many miners take their gold into town to process with water from the new well.
A local supply of sandstone meant that the buildings at Milparinka are constructed in the manner of the larger goldfields towns such as Bathurst rather than a cobbling of tin and weatherboards structures common to many outback towns. In it's heyday Milparinka supported 4 hotels, a newspaper, library, Cobb & Co depot and various shops and government offices. Restoration has begun on some of these magnificent buildings and the police station, courthouse and gaol and kitchen are once again a proud testament to life in 1880's Milparinka.
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