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About Currawinya

Getting there and getting around

Currawinya's southern boundary lies adjacent to the township of Hungerford on the Queensland/New South Wales border.

All roads are unsealed and may become impassable when wet. Travel by four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended.

To reach the park office from the north, travel approximately 170 km south-west of Cunnamulla, turning towards Hungerford 4 km west of Eulo. If travelling from the south, enter the park via Hungerford, 217 km north-west of Bourke. The park office is 4 km north of the Ten-Mile Bore or 20 km north of Hungerford.

Access to the park is via working pastoral properties. Take care to avoid stock on unfenced roads and leave gates as you find them. Please respect the rights of property owners.

After good rains (whether in the local area or far upstream), flooding isolates the park from nearby townships for long periods and can submerge camp sites along the Paroo River. The road to the lakes is often closed after rain events.

Check park alerts or contact us for information on park conditions and closures.

Remember to carry extra fuel and water when driving within the park.

Maps:
Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheelchair-accessible tracks or facilities at Currawinya.

Park features

Lakes Wyara (top left) and Numalla (right) are separated by only a few kilometres of harsh, dry sand dunes. Photo courtesy John Porter, University of New South Wales

Lakes Wyara (top left) and Numalla (right) are separated by only a few kilometres of harsh, dry sand dunes. Photo courtesy John Porter, University of New South Wales

At 334,000 heactares, Currawinya is one of Queensland’s largest national parks.

The park’s lakes, rivers and wetlands are a striking contrast to the sandy plains and rocky ranges of semi-arid south western Queensland.

Two large lakes, separated by only a few kilometres of sand dunes, are the centre piece of a fascinating mosaic of habitats across the park. Lake Numalla is freshwater. The slightly larger Lake Wyara is saline.

Lined with coolabah, river red gums and yapunyah trees the iconic Paroo River meanders through the park, this 600km long river is the last free-flowing river in the entire Murray-Darling basin.

In the low foothills of the ranges and on sandy plains are endangered mound springs and soaks, formed by underground waters from the Great Artesian Basin.

These wetlands and waterways are among the most important inland waterbird habitats in Australia. Their international significance was recognised in 1992 with the designation of the Currawinya Ramsar site—one of only five listed RAMSAR sites in Queensland.

The entire landscape holds significant cultural heritage for the Traditional Owners—the Budjiti people. Evidence of thousands of years of Aboriginal occupation, and more recent relics of pastoral activities dating from the 1860s, are scattered across the park.

Read more about the nature, culture and history of Currawinya National Park.

Camping and accommodation

The Paroo River is the perfect place to camp, picnic, birdwatch or fish. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government.

The Paroo River is the perfect place to camp, picnic, birdwatch or fish. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government.

Camping

You can bush camp or picnic at Ourimperee waterhole behind the Woolshed (close to flushing toilets and a bush shower), or at several sites on the Paroo River near Caiwarro (at the park's eastern end). Alternatively, bush camp at Myninya—a semi-permanent wetland in the heart of Currawinya. All campers must be self-sufficient in food, water and fuel. Please do not collect firewood from the national park. Use fuel stoves instead.

Camping permits are required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

Other accommodation

There is holiday accommodation at Hungerford, Eulo, Thargomindah and Cunnamulla. For more information see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Travel on a network of dirt roads and discover the unique features of Currawinya National Park. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Travel on a network of dirt roads and discover the unique features of Currawinya National Park. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Pink (Major Mitchell) cockatoos are often seen feeding along roadsides. Photo: © Queensland Government

Pink (Major Mitchell) cockatoos are often seen feeding along roadsides. Photo: © Queensland Government

Shingle-back lizards and other arid zone reptiles live at Currawinya. Photo: © Queensland Government

Shingle-back lizards and other arid zone reptiles live at Currawinya. Photo: © Queensland Government

Located at the southern end of the Hoods Range, The 'Granites' have been dated between 230 and 310 million years old. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Located at the southern end of the Hoods Range, The 'Granites' have been dated between 230 and 310 million years old. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Driving

Roads are 4WD access only.

Drive to lakes Wyara and Numalla (85km round trip from the park office) to see some of inland Australia's most important wetlands and the variety of mulga lands habitats along the way.

Travel on the Beefwood Road (turn-off is 32km north-east of the park office) and pass 100-year-old gidgee fence posts, mulga and gidgee shrub, remnant stock yards and an old station hut.

Look for wildlife along the creek beds and clay plans on the 26km Werewilka Creek Circuit drive. Heritage enthusiasts should visit the old Caiwarro homestead site at the eastern end of the park (37km for the park office). Or reflect on a bygone era at the once bustling Currawinya Woolshed (4km from park office) and Boorara Woolshed (47km north of the park office).

You may also like to visit Hungerford on the Queensland/New South Wales border (20km south of the park office), where the historic Royal Mail Hotel still operates.

Walking

Visit The Granites, 10km north of Ten Mile Bore on the Boorara Road. Walk the 1.5km to a small outcrop of granite rocks, a unique feature of the park. Please respect the cultural significance of the area by not climbing on the granite rocks.

At the Budjiti Lookout take a short walk up a rocky slope and watch the sunset over an endless horizon. Located 44km north-west of the park office on the Boorara Road.

Remember to take water with you and walk carefully as the uneven track and rocks may be slippery.

Viewing wildlife

Extensive lakes and wetlands make Currawinya ideal for birdwatching. Walk rather than drive near the lakes and you will see more birds and preserve fragile ecosystems. Early mornings are best for seeing and photographing arid zone wildlife. See the description of the park's natural environment for more details about Currawinya's diverse wildlife.

Fishing

Fishing is permitted in some areas of Currawinya National Park along the Paroo River, but not at the lakes. See the ranger or on-site signs for details. Only live bait caught adjacent to the national park can be brought into the park.

Boating

You may canoe, kayak or swim on Lake Numalla or the Paroo River, but motorised boats and jet-skis are not permitted. Signs at lakes Wyara and Numalla show the activities permitted in particular areas.

Things to know before you go

Carefeul preparation is essential for a safe and enjoyable visit to this remote park. Photo: © Queensland Government

Carefeul preparation is essential for a safe and enjoyable visit to this remote park. Photo: © Queensland Government

Samphire Halosarcia pergranulata survives harsh conditions along the shoreline at Lake Wyara. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Samphire Halosarcia pergranulata survives harsh conditions along the shoreline at Lake Wyara. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Currawinya National Park is remote and you must be self-sufficient and prepared for emergencies.

Essentials to bring

  • Adequate water, food and emergency supplies. Carry at least seven litres of water per person per day and enough emergency food and water for at least seven days in case of breakdowns or stranding.
  • Fuel stove or gas stove for cooking.
  • Complete first-aid kit. Include sun and insect protection in your kit.
  • UHF, satellite phone and/or Emergency Locator Beacon (ELB). Mobile phone coverage is poor or not available in most areas.
  • Extra fuel and vehicle repairs. Frequent low gear and four-wheel-drive travel will use fuel more quickly on park drives. Fuel and supplies may not be available nearby. Use maps to plan refueling points and calculate how much extra fuel to carry. You should also bring vehicle repair tools, spare tyres, oil and engine coolant.
  • Pack warm clothing and camping gear as winter nights can reach -5°C.
  • Sturdy rubbish bags. Rubbish bins are not provided, please take all recyclables and rubbish with you.
  • A camera and binoculars for viewing wildlife.

Essentials to know

Currawinya National Park has areas of fragile geology, high numbers of endemic, rare and threatened species, wetlands of international significance and numerous relics of pastoral activities. The entire park is a living cultural landscape for Traditional Owners, the Budjiti peoples. For these reasons some activities are not permitted in the park.

  • Motorised boats and jet-skis are not permitted on the lakes, waterholes or Paroo River.
  • A minimum 1500ft above ground flying height must be maintained over the Currawinya Ramar site.
  • Climbing of the Granites is not allowed.
  • Fishing is only permitted along sections of the Paroo River.
  • Boorara Woolshed contains rotten timber, loose iron, rusty wire and nails. For public safety visitors must remain within the boundaries of the Boorara Woolshed viewing area. For this reason the Boorara Woolshed is a restricted access area (PDF, 188K).

Opening hours

Currawinya National Park is open all year and 24 hours a day, however wet weather may cause temporary closures. Check park alerts or contact us for information on park conditions and closures.

Permits and fees

Camping permits are required and fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Currawinya National Park.

Climate and weather

In summer, daytime temperatures can exceed 40°C. The cooler months of the year, from April to September, are the best times to visit.

During July, the average maximum temperature is 19°C, while overnight temperatures can fall to a frosty –5°C. Clear winter nights ensure magnificent starry skies.

Currawinya is in the semi-arid rangelands and has a low, variable rainfall and a high rate of evaporation. More than half the average annual rainfall of 295 mm falls during summer.

For more information see the tourism information links.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Cunnamulla, Eulo, Thargomindah and Bourke. Meals, diesel, unleaded fuel and limited groceries are available at the Royal Mail Hotel at Hungerford. For more information see the tourism information links.

Staying safe

Roads to and within Currawinya are long and dusty; drive safely and keep watch for wildlife. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Roads to and within Currawinya are long and dusty; drive safely and keep watch for wildlife. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Warning! Currawinya is remote and rangers may not be onsite to help you. You must be self-sufficient, responsible for your own safety, and prepared for emergencies.

Be sure to read all essentials to bring and follow the guidelines below to help make sure your visit is a safe and enjoyable one. 

Before you leave

  • Thoroughly check the condition of your vehicle and pack vehicle spares and equipment, including two spare tyres, engine coolant and oil.
  • Check with Queensland Government traffic and travel information (Phone: 13 19 40) for current road conditions and the Bureau of Meteorology for weather conditions and extended forecasts.
  • Check the Park Alerts section of this website for current information on tracks and conditions.
  • Leave an itinerary with a friend or relative. Include travel routes and/or check-in points.
  • Pack reliable communication equipment and a list of local UHF radio channels and emergency contacts.
  • Pack for hot and cold conditions. Outback Queensland can be very hot during the day, and very cold (to below freezing point) overnight.
  • Contact us or relevant tourist information centres to help you plan your trip.

While visiting

Please take care. It is very easy to get lost. If your vehicle breaks down, stay with it! A vehicle is much easier to find than people.

  • Inform a responsible person of your itinerary.
  • Carry adequate supplies of food, water, fuel, vehicle spares and medical supplies.
  • Prepare for an extra four or five days in case you become stranded due to flooding. It is possible to be stranded away from your camp site, especially if visiting the lakes.
  • Keep to designated roads and tracks and drive below 40 km/h on the park's narrow, unsealed roads.
  • Always wear seat belts and look out for kangaroos, emus and other wildlife on roads.
  • Always carry drinking water, whether driving or walking.
  • Wear protective clothing. Wear a hat, long-sleeved shirt and sturdy footwear.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times and be on the lookout for animals and insects that could scratch, sting or bite.

In an emergency

  • In an emergency phone Triple Zero (000).
  • Mobile phone coverage is available at the Ranger station located in Currawinya National Park.
  • Satellite phones can be used at Currawinya National Park. Consider taking an Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). If you have an PLB, it should only be activated in a serious emergency situation, when there is no alternative way to raise assistance.
  • You could also contact the local Hungerford police station on (07) 4655 4088. Or the Eulo police Station on 46 554 838, Rangers and other visitors may be contactable on UHF radio Channel 2 (duplex).
  • The Royal Flying Doctor Service operates in this area. For more information that will help you enjoy a safe visit to this area, please read the guidelines Safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

Despite the enduring nature of the landscape, Currawinya's habitats are fragile and easily damaged. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Despite the enduring nature of the landscape, Currawinya's habitats are fragile and easily damaged. Photo: Robert Ashdown © Queensland Government

Help preserve this park's exceptional natural and cultural values by following these few common sense rules:

  • Leave everything as you find it. This includes plants, animals, rocks, ruins and artefacts.
  • Firearms and other weapons must not be used in national parks.
  • Leave your pets at home. Pets frighten wildlife, annoy other visitors, can become lost and are prohibited in the park.
  • Take care with fire. Clear away any flammable material for a metre around campfires and ensure your fire is out before you leave.
  • Bury toilet waste at least 15 cm deep and 150 m from any watercourse, bore or lake. Toilet paper is slow to break down in arid areas, so please burn toilet paper if it is safe to do so.
  • Use fuel stoves to reduce the need for firewood. Wood provides homes for wildlife and nutrients for the soil.
  • Please remove your rubbish from the park and leave campsites clean and tidy.
  • Do not contaminate lakes and rivers with detergents, soap, shampoos or human waste.
  • Drive only on declared roads indicated on the map and always wear seatbelts.

See Caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

Formerly a grazing property, 154,870 hectare Currawinya National Park was originally declared in 1991 to conserve representative samples of landscapes, vegetation and wildlife in the Mulga Lands Biogeographic Region.

In 2015 the purchase of Boorara (115,000 hectares (ha), Werewilka (53,000ha) and Bingara (21,000 ha) marked a significant addition to the reserve system and brought Currawinya National Park to a total area of around 344,000 ha.

A Management Plan (PDF, 299K) for Currawinya National Park guides the management of the area.

Currawinya National Park has been designated as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. For more information see the Australian Wetlands Database.

Tourism information links

Contact the information centres below for more information about activities, tours and accommodation in this region.

Cunnamulla Visitor Information Centre
www.paroo.info
Centenary Park, Jane Street, Cunnamulla, QLD 4490
ph (07) 4655 8470
email  

Thargomindah Visitor Information Centre
Dowling Street, Thargomindah, QLD 4490
ph (07) 4655 3399
fax (07) 4655 3374
email

Charleville Visitor Information Centre
Charleville Railway Station
King Street, Charleville, Qld 4470
ph (07) 4654 3057

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
2 July 2018