Experience eight unique and spectacular national parks within reach of Broken Hill.
The national parks of NSW are spectacular to say the least. Each park has its own personality and offers something special and unique, rewarding each and every visitor with an experience they will never forget. Whether you enjoy bushwalking or mountain-biking, bird-watching or wildlife-spotting, camping or picnicking, there is something for everyone in an outback national park.
The NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, part of the Department of Environment & Conservation, manages a variety of national parks in the Broken Hill region. These parks, and the experiences they offer, are as diverse as the NSW outback itself.
KINCHEGA NATIONAL PARK
Kinchega National Park is located 100km south-east of Broken Hill, near the township of Menindee. The park features the mesmerising Menindee lake system, which itself boasts a wonderful array of birdlife and wildlife, with haunting river red gums rising from the water. With its ever-changing colours and rich pastoral and Aboriginal history, a visit to Kinchega will restore your sense of wonder. The park is also known for its pastoral heritage, and accommodation is available within the historic shearers’ quarters.
MUTAWINTJI NATIONAL PARK
Mutawintji National Park is located 130km north-east of Broken Hill. It is rich in Aboriginal culture and heritage, with the Aboriginal art present in the park dating back thousands of years. At every turn, the ancient wonders of Mutawintji reveal themselves, with the cultural significance of the place leaving you in awe. You’ll see Aboriginal rock engravings and ochre stencils and the remains of fireplaces, stone flakes and grinding stones. Kids and adults alike will enjoy listening to Aboriginal guides share their Dreamtime stories. Stay a little longer, and savour uninterrupted sunrises and sunsets and the mesmerising brightness of the stars.
MUNGO NATIONAL PARK
Mungo National Park is located 110km north-east of Mildura, and lies mostly within the Willandra Lakes World Heritage area. The park covers much of an ancient dry lake bed, and preserves one of the longest continual records of Aboriginal life in Australia, dating from around 50,000 years ago through to the present day. Take a guided tour to the incredible Walls of China, where erosion has sculpted sand and clay into fragile yet imposing formations, or explore on wheels with a cycling or drive tour through the stunning landscape. There are numerous other walks and areas to explore, including the Mallee Stop walking track; the Mungo Visitor Centre, Meeting Place and Woolshed; the Foreshore Walk; Red Top lookout; and the Zanci Homestead site and pastoral loop road. Remote camping is also possible, while a night’s accommodation in the historic Mungo Shearers’ Quarters is an experience in itself.
PAROO-DARLING NATIONAL PARK
Paroo-Darling National Park is located 80km north of Wilcannia. It is home to the Paroo Overflow, the only unregulated river in the Murray-Darling Basin and an area of outstanding conservation value and natural beauty. Spend a couple of days exploring the park, with Peery Lake in particular well worth a visit for its amazing birdlife. Enjoy a scenic picnic lunch, and be sure to bring your fishing rod along.
STURT NATIONAL PARK
Sturt National Park is located 330km north of Broken Hill, in the north-west corner of NSW. Known by some as ‘the kangaroo park’, it is a great place to experience Australian native animals including kangaroos, emus and eagles. The park is also known for its stunning landscape and breathtaking vistas, as well as the presence of the famous Dingo Fence, the longest fence in the world.
One of the best ways to explore the park is via a self-guided drive, or you could join a guided tour with one of the tour operators that visit the park. For a more up-close view of the landscape, try the short loop walks at Fort Greyor Dead Horse Gully, or head to Mount Woodhills to tackle the challenging summit walk, which rewards those who reach the peak with stunning views over this spectacular landscape.
GUNDABOOKA NATIONAL PARK
Gundabooka National Park is located about 50km south of Bourke, stretching from the Darling River on to the Gundabooka Range. The park offers a true outback experience, where the soil is red and the sky is blue, and everything in between is an endless mix of greens. The park features woodlands, floodplains, sand hills and the rugged Mount Gundabooka, a breathtaking peak that rises 500m into the sky and holds a great significance for the local Ngemba Aboriginal people.
There are a number of walks you could undertake, but be sure to explore the Mulgowan (Yapa) Art Site walk to see some ancient Aboriginal rock art up close. There are great places for camping, including sites for caravans, motorhomes and tents, or you can stay in the historic Redbank Homestead or the Belah Shearers’ Quarters.
CULGOA NATIONAL PARK
Culgoa National Park is located 100km north-east of Bourke and 100km north of Brewarrina. It is a place of isolation, but not of loneliness. Sit and relax in the shade of the coolabah trees flanking the floodplain of the Culgoa River and enjoy NSW’s only national park with brigalow-gidgee woodland. Watch the passing bustards, falcons, honeyeaters and cockatoos, spot emus and kangaroos on the open grass plains, or search for koalas in the majestic river red gums. You could also enjoy one of a number of walks along the riverbank through coolabah woodlands or over sand hills carpeted in wildflowers following spring rains, while a small camping and picnic area suitable for car-based and caravan camping is available for those wishing to witness the park at night.
TOORALE NATIONAL PARK
Toorale National Park is located about 80km west of Bourke, and can currently only be accessed with a Discovery guided tour. Mostly the NPWS Discovery tours are conducted in the autumn, winter and spring NSW school holiday periods. Experience big skies, dramatic sunsets and starry nights, and enjoy freshwater fishing and riverside camping.