Exploring the Artistry: Sculpture Trail along the Lachlan

While sculptures might not typically captivate everyone, the setup and exploration of these sites are truly remarkable.

Michael Ellem
Nov 08 2023

Your next big trip out west might see you slowing down a little as you take in the art created along the Lachlan Valley Way.

This art is in the form of over twenty sculptures which have been created by some of Australia’s leading artists, over many years, with each artist telling their story behind their creation.

While sculptures might not typically captivate everyone, the setup and exploration of these sites are truly remarkable. It's an ideal family adventure as you journey down the road, anticipating the wonders that await at each stop. As you arrive at each site, the spectacular view of these magnificent sculptures against the backdrop of the picturesque landscape is truly captivating.

Sculptures Down the Lachlan were inspired by Sculptures by the Sea in 2011, thanks to Rosie Wingrove Johnston.

Commencing from the heart of Forbes town, these sculptures offer a fantastic opportunity for a leisurely stroll. Several installations are still in progress, promising new experiences for travellers along this trail.

These sculptures in town are central and could make for a good walk while you discover them. Like on the rest of the trail, some are still to be installed, so hopefully you will see new ones during your travels.

Each sculpture shares a fascinating story, readily accessible at the site or via the website link provided below.

For more information and planning, please visit: Sculptures Down the Lachlan Website

In town and bordering Lake Forbes are many stories known as story poles like this set on the West side of the lake.

And on the East side, there are many story poles and an education centre called Wiradjuri Dreaming Centre on Hill Street. The site was unfortunately closed when we visited however, the aboriginal culture is featured at the site and through the sculpture “Family Matters” which was installed in 2018.

If you are staying in the town of Forbes, you might like to take in one of the largest installations of a sculptured Goanna known as Varanus during your stay. This is magnificent and after seeing it during the day, being only 10 minutes out of town, we decided to see it at night with the Milky Way on display in its background.

In this area known as Gum Swamp, there are a number of bird hides to allow you to enjoy the birdlife frequenting the area.

There are other sculptures to be found here as well, so do a little research at the site to ensure you don’t miss them.

Traveling west towards Condobolin along Lachlan Valley Way, clear signage marks the path to each sculpture site. While the signage is conspicuous, a quick online search while on the route can ensure none of these remarkable installations are missed.

Use the signage and zero your trip meter for effective navigation. Each major installation comes with a recommended viewing point, complete with a plaque providing the complete backstory. The arrangement is designed to immerse viewers in the full narrative of each artwork.

Always keep in mind that there could be snakes in the area warming up in the sun, so keep your eyes peeled. Also, follow the guides marked up on the signs to ensure you enjoy the sites as much as we did.

Some of the sculptures have incredible detail with many hours spent utilizing industrial tools to create some incredibly unique artworks. This artwork “A bird in the hand” is made from chain with links all welded together locking in this creation forever.

And at the end of the road as you approach Condobolin, you will find one of the biggest installations, being “Utes of the Paddock”. Many artists have been combined here to create this beautiful piece of vehicle history which car lovers will really appreciate.

As these installations are an ongoing project of the area, I am sure you will see many more sculptures than what we have this weekend.

So, if you are heading into the heart of Western New South Wales and would like to take a look at these incredible artworks, allow yourself extra time, pack your camera, slow down a little and ensure you take it all in.


-Michael Ellem | Offroad Images

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Michael Ellem
Michael Ellem is a long term friend of the Club 4X4 Insurance and voice of The Campfire. He is also an expert adventure, 4X4 photographer from the renowned Offroad Images and has over 20 years experience in the industry.