Visiting Lochern safely
Getting there and getting around
Lochern National Park is part of the Cooper Creek catchment. To help you plan your visit to this remote area, download the Central West Queensland National Parks visitor guide .
From Longreach, take the Thomson Development Road south to the Tarcombe Tonkoro Road turnoff (103km), turn right and travel 33km to the park boundary.
From Jundah, travel north on the Thomson Development Road via Stonehenge to Tarcombe Tonkoro Road turnoff (110km), turn left and travel 33km to the park boundary.
The road from Winton (330km) via Lark Quarry can be rough and takes 4-5 hours. Watch the road for patches of bulldust (very fine dust) and road trains.
Even small amounts of rain can make roads impassable, always be prepared and have at least a week’s worth of extra supplies in case of stranding. Check Queensland Traffic or local council offices for current road conditions before your trip.
A four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended, access roads area unsealed and impassable in wet weather.
The information centre at Lochern National Park is wheelchair accessible.
This park is remote and rangers may not be on park to help you. You must be self-sufficient and prepared for emergencies.
It is vitally important that you read staying safe in Parks of Central West Queensland.
- Keep to designated roads and tracks, and drive with caution as road conditions can change quickly. Watch out for animals, they can appear on roads at any time of day though are generally more active at dusk and dawn.
- Stay with your vehicle if it breaks down. A vehicle is much easier to find than a person.
- Carry drinking water, whether driving or walking. Boil, filter or treat water from streams, rivers or waterholes before drinking.
- Never jump or dive into water. It may be shallow or hide submerged objects.
- Watch your step on escarpments. Edges can be unstable due to natural weathering, so stay away from the edge and take care where you walk.
- Wear protective clothing. Put on a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and wear sturdy footwear, not thongs.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times and be on the lookout for animals and insects that could scratch, sting or bite.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
In an emergency
In an emergency, phone Triple Zero (000). You could also try to make contact with other people on UHF radio (try channel 2 simplex for other local radio traffic).
We highly recommend you visit the Triple Zero website before visiting a national park or forest. Download the Triple Zero emergency app to help identify your location. Important: if there is no mobile coverage on any network, you will not be able to reach the Emergency Call Service via a mobile phone.
Before you visit
Lochern National Park is approximately 150km from Longreach, 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 stranding.
- Fuel stoves are recommended.
- Complete first-aid kit. Include sun and insect protection in your kit.
- UHF, satellite phone and/ or a personal locator beacons (PLB).
- Extra fuel and vehicle repairs. Frequent low gear and four-wheel-drive travel will use fuel more quickly on park drives. You should also bring extra spare tyres, oil and engine coolant and vehicle recovery gear.
Lochern National Park is open 24 hours a day. The park may be closed at times due to extreme weather or management operations. Check park alerts for the latest information on national park access, closures and conditions.
Permits and fees
Camping permits are required and fees apply.
- Book your camp site online.
- If you cannot book online, learn about our camping booking options or book at the camping registration stand upon arrival.
Other permits and fees
Various activities in national parks require a permit. Activities include commercial tours, social events, organised group visits, school excursions, scientific research, professional photography and the sale of photographs or vision of the park. Contact us for further information.
Domestic animals are not permitted in Lochern National Park.
Climate and weather
Visiting is recommended from April to September as summer temperatures reach over 40°C during the day, and summer rains often cause flooding. Rain can fall at any time of year and flooding can occur up to two weeks after rain has fallen elsewhere in the catchment, resulting in unexpected creek rises and road closures.
Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meterology.
Fuel and supplies
The nearest fuel and supplies are at Longreach (150km) or Stonehenge (45km).
- Lochern tourist drive (Eastern section) remains closed due to flood damage. 28 April to 23 June 2023