Latest COVID-19 impacts—Qld national parks, state forests and recreation areas. Check the latest information and updates.
About Central West Queensland
The parks surrounding Longreach 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 regional parks, all fall within the Diamantina River catchment.
Thirteen national and regional parks covering more than 2.1 million hectares encircle Longreach to 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.
- Bladensburg National Park
- Combo Waterhole Conservation Park
- Diamantina National Park
- Elizabeth Springs Regional Park
- Forest Den National Park
- Idalia National Park
- Lark Quarry Conservation Park
- Lochern National Park
- Munga-Thirri National Park
- Welford National Park
Read more about Central West Queensland’s nature, culture and history.
Everything in national parks and regional 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. Most parks in the Longreach area have no toilets—bury toilet waste (and paper) 15cm deep at least 100m from water.
- Dismantle any firearms or other weapons. Pack them out of sight as they cannot be used in protected areas.
- Avoid transporting pests. Clean soil and plant seeds from your shoes and gear before you enter the park to avoid transporting weeds.
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.
- Use a portable stove. Fires are prohibited and collecting firewood in parks is illegal, as wood provides homes for wildlife and nutrients for the soil.
- Keep noise levels reasonable. Generators are prohibited, except for medical reasons (with Department of Environment and Science).
- 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 is privately owned. Only cross private land on a designated track or 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 tyres will damage the road surface and make it dangerous for other road users.
- Use wash down bays to remove seeds from vehicles. These are located at most towns in the district. Wheels pick up weeds during travel and disperse them into parks.
- Watch for animals when driving. Parks are wildlife refuges.
- Never contaminate water. Take water at least 50 m 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.
- 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.
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 manage Lark Quarry Regional Park.
Blackall-Tambo Regional Council/Visitor Information Centre
108a Shamrock Street, Blackall
ph (07) 07 4657 4637
fax (07) 4657 4913
email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Waltzing Matilda Centre
(contact for Dinosaur Trackways)
50 Elderslie Street, Winton
ph (07) 4657 1466 or 1300 665 115
fax (07) 4657 1886
For information on road conditions contact:
Phone 13 19 40 for 24-hour road reports.
For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.
The natural, cultural and historical significance of Central West Queensland
- There are currently no park alerts for this park.