Get a taste of the outback with a trip to Gundabooka National Park, located only 50kms from Bourke.
The park, dominated by vast plains, rugged bushland and the ever-imposing Mount Gundabooka, is rich in Aboriginal history and offers a wonderful escape from city life.
1. Walk the Little Mountain Walking Track
This 5km track meanders through thick mulga, outback grevilleas and large mounds that are home to mulga ants. At the end of the designated walk, there is a great viewing platform allowing uninterrupted views across the plain towards Gundabooka Mountain.
Mount Gundabooka rises 500m above sea level and has been formed from millions of years of constant weathering from the winds and rain. For those keen, an informal trail leads you to the base of the mountain, but you need to be well prepared and experienced for this hike.
2. Visit the Mulgowan (Yappa) Aboriginal Art Site
Gundabooka NP is an area rich in Aboriginal history, and the rock art sites allow visitors to get a real sense of their enduring culture. Wander along the walking track and discover unique Aboriginal rock paintings that depict animal motifs, dancers, hand stencils and hunting tools.
3. 4WD to Bennetts Gorge area
Red sandy roads with a few corrugations make up most of this easy-going 12km track, which leads to Bennetts Gorge, right at the base of the looming Mount Gundabooka. The picnic area provides plenty of welcome shade, toilets and views across the plateau – which are nothing short of spectacular.
4. Camp at Dry Tank campgrounds
Located right in the heart of Gundabooka NP, Dry Tank campground is not only a great place to base yourself, but it’s also the start of many popular walking tracks. There is parking for daytrippers, private areas for camper trailers and tents hidden in the mulga, and a large open area for group camping with several picnic tables with a nearby toilet.
5. Explore a true outback landscape
As soon as you cross into the park, it feels like the real outback, with the typical red roads and stunning white gums towering over the mulga bush.
It’s a great feeling to sit beside a fire (campfires are permitted in the park – so bring your own timber) in Gundabooka as the mulga scrub seems to go quiet and the air has a relaxed feel to it. The stars are as bright as some city lights and it makes for a great ambience.
The park also serves as a reminder that you don’t need to head hundreds of kilometres inland for a true outback experience.