Parks of Central West Queensland Outback Queensland

Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

About Central West Queensland

    Features of the parks

    The parks of Central West fall within two major catchments: the Cooper Creek and Diamantina River catchments. Idalia, Forest Den, Lochern and Welford national parks are part of the Cooper Creek catchment. Bladensburg, Diamantina and Munga-Thirri national parks, along with Lark Quarry and Combo Waterhole conservation parks, all fall within the Diamantina River catchment.

    Ten national and conservation parks covering more than 2.1 million hectares help protect the natural and cultural heritage of semi-arid western Queensland.

    Craggy escarpments and deep gullies tell of a land that has been alternately shaped by, then starved of, water for eons. Cretaceous sea floors and lakebeds laid down 65 to 140 million years ago form the base of the landscape, preserving fossils from shellfish to dinosaurs.

    Drainage lines of the Mitchell grass plains are visible for kilometres, identified by coolibah and river red gums—strikingly tall trees in a land dominated by stunted vegetation.

    Each park has distinctive values. A secret to appreciating their diversity is to learn about their similarities and differences.

    The parks of Central West are special. They contain areas of fragile geology, high numbers of endemic, rare and threatened and species, waterways of significance, relics of pastoral activities and are living cultural landscapes for Traditional Owner groups. For the purpose of natural resource conservation, access is restricted  to some areas, view Goneaway National Park restricted access area (PDF, 64.1KB) and Diamantina restricted access area (PDF, 67.4KB) .

    Read more about Central West Queensland’s nature, culture and history.

    Looking after the parks

    Everything in national parks and conservation parks is protected, including plants, animals and heritage sites and artefacts. Please appreciate, respect and help care for these parks’ outstanding natural and cultural values by leaving things as you find them, and encouraging others to do the same.

    • Leave everything as you find it. Everything, living and dead, is protected, including ruins and artefacts.
    • Keep food away from wildlife. Accidental or intentional feeding upsets the balance of nature and can make animals sick and/or aggressive.
    • Manage your waste. Take rubbish with you as no bins are provided. Pack food away immediately after meals and secure rubbish in sealed containers to avoid attracting insects and larger animals. Do not bury rubbish. Dingoes or other animals will dig it up.
    • Use toilets where provided. Do not throw rubbish down them. When toilets facilities are not available—bury toilet waste (and paper) 15cm deep at least 100m from water.
    • Stop the spread of weeds and pathogens. New introductions can spread and displace resident species and alter the local ecology. Soil from your camping gear and boots can contain weed seeds and foreign plant pathogens. Before you arrive clean all vehicles (especially tyres and the underside of your vehicle), camping and walking gear.
    • Domestic animals are not permitted in the parks. Please observe the before you visit guidelines for dog and pets.

    Practise low impact camping

    • Choose your site carefully. Use designated camping areas where provided, and take care to camp on park land (not private land).
    • Do not tie ropes to trees or drape things over vegetation. These plants recover slowly.
    • Set up camp away from animal nests and/or burrows to avoid disturbing them.
    • Be careful with fire. Preferably use a fuel stove for cooking, and use fireplaces (fire rings), where provided, not an open fire. Put the fire out with water when you leave your campsite. Don't collect firewood in the park—bring your own clean, milled wood. Obey fire restrictions.
    • Keep noise levels reasonable. Generators are prohibited, except for medical reasons (with Department of Environment and Science approval).

    Practise low impact driving

    • Keep to designated tracks. Driving off-track damages vegetation, causes erosion and creates confusing new tracks. Arid landscapes are fragile. Plants grow extremely slowly and tyre tracks remain for decades.
    • Be considerate—much of the land surrounding the parks is privately owned. Only cross private land on a designated track with the landowner’s permission. Leave all gates as you find them.
    • Do not drive on rain-affected roads. Even if you make it through, your vehicle will damage the road surface and make it dangerous for other road users.
    • Use wash down bays to remove seeds and pathogens from vehicles. Wheels pick up weeds and pathogens during travel and disperse them into parks.
    • Watchout for animals when driving. Parks are wildlife refuges.

    Protect watercourses

    • Never contaminate water. Take water at least 50m away from waterways to wash with detergent, soap or shampoo.

    Practise responsible fishing

    • Do not use frogs or other live bait. Invasive species may escape and establish a pest population. Severe penalties apply for using invasive species as bait. Practise responsible fishing and check your bait.
    • Comply with size and bag limits. Only keep what you can eat on-site. Contact the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for more information about fishing regulations.

    See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

    Management of the parks

    Each park in Central West Queensland has unique attributes. They are managed to conserve their natural condition and protect their cultural resources and values. The department is responsible for most parks in the area, however Winton Shire Council jointly manages Lark Quarry Conservation Park.

    Tourism information links

    Blackall-Tambo Regional Council/Visitor Information Centre
    108a Shamrock Street, Blackall
    ph (07) 07 4657 4637
    email or

    Longreach Regional Council
    96a Eagle Street, Longreach
    ph (07) 4658 4111
    fax (07) 4658 4116

    Diamantina Shire Council
    17 Herbert Street, Bedourie
    ph (07) 4746 1600
    fax (07) 4746 1272

    Bedourie Outback Visitors Centre
    13 Herbert Street, Bedourie
    ph 1300 794 257/07 4745 1630

    Barcoo Shire Council
    6 Perkins Street, Jundah
    ph (07) 4658 6900
    fax (07) 4658 6137

    Jundah Visitor Information Centre
    11 Dickson Street, Jundah
    ph (07) 4658 6930

    Wirrarri Visitor Information Centre
    29 Burt Street, Birdsville
    ph (07) 4656 2000
    email or

    Winton Shire Council
    75 Vindex Street, Winton
    ph (07) 4657 2666

    Waltzing Matilda Centre
    50 Elderslie Street, Winton
    ph (07) 4657 1466 or 1300 665 115

    Windorah Visitor Information Centre
    Maryborough Street, Windorah
    ph (07) 4656 3063

    For information on road conditions contact:
    Ph: 13 19 40

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

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.