bourke cemetery gateFrom nuns, to farmers, to Afghan camel traders... Bourke's historic cemetery is a unique place in outback New South Wales.

Across western NSW, cemeteries hold fascinating stories about some of the region's early settlers and significant citizens.

In Bourke, the town's cemetery is the final resting place of renowned Australian ophthalmologist, Dr Fred Hollows; but it's also where a number of other people who were integral in establishing towns across the region are buried.

Under a searing sun, the red soil is cracked and parched. The blue sky is big, like a dome stretching 180 degrees from horizon to horizon either side of you. A few sporadic trees rustle in the breeze, while birds chirp in the distance and flies buzz an incessant drone.

"There's so much history in this town," said historian, Cathy Simpson.

Read on and see the background story here...