About White Mountains
Covering 112,000ha, this rugged wilderness features spectacular white sandstone bluffs and gorges, and diverse plants and animals. A further 12,000ha are contained in a resource reserve on the eastern boundary of the park.
The park protects 14 different ecosystems in the Desert Uplands bioregion, making it one of inland Queensland's most botanically diverse parks. Lancewood forests, open woodlands, laterite pastures, heathlands and spinifex grasslands are spotted around the white sandstone outcrops, sand dunes and sandy flats in the Canns Camp area. Brilliant wildflowers and a host of animals are found throughout the park.
The park is a vast parched landscape for most of the year. However, when seasonal conditions are favourable it comes alive in the winter months with a colourful display of wildflowers. Dissected by the Great Dividing Range the headwaters of three major catchments exist within the park. Water flows east through several smaller streams to the Burdekin River which spills into the Coral Sea. The Flinders River flows north into the Gulf of Carpentaria. And water from Torrens Creek makes its way through to the channel country of western Queensland, eventually feeding into Lake Eyre in South Australia. The porous sandstone of White Mountains acts as a major recharge area for the Great Artesian Basin too.
Read more about the natural environment of White Mountains National Park.
Looking after the park
Parks and forests protect Queensland's wonderful natural diversity and scenery. Help keep these places special by following these guidelines:
- 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 strong sealed containers to avoid attracting insects and larger animals. Do not bury rubbish. Dingoes or other animals will dig it up.
- Protect water quality. Don't use soap, toothpaste or detergent in freshwater creeks and waterholes. Wash yourself and your cooking utensils at least 50m from fresh water.
- Use toilets where provided. Do not throw rubbish or contents of chemical toilet tanks into pit toilets. Where toilets are not available—bury toilet waste (and paper) at least 15cm deep and 100m away from camp sites, tracks and watercourses.
- 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 the tyres and undercarriage), all camping equipment and walking gear. If available, use a washdown facility provided in a local town.
- Domestic animals are not permitted in the national park. Please observe the before you visit guidelines for dog and pets.
- 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. Be mindful, some maps show roads that are private and not open to the public.
- Keep to designated tracks. Drive only on the formed roads as shown on map . Driving over vegetation, breaking branches, taking shortcuts and forming new tracks damages the environment.
- Never 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.
- Respect park neighbours and visitors—ensure the noise and dust from your driving does not upset others.
See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.
White Mountains National Park was gazetted in stages from 1990. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service manages the protected area to conserve its natural, cultural and historic values.
Tourism information links
Flinders Discovery Centre
37 Gray Street, Hughenden Qld 4821
Phone (07) 4741 2970
Charters Towers Visitor Information Centre
74 Mosman Street, Charters Towers Qld 4820
Phone (07) 4761 5533
For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.
The natural, cultural and historical significance of White Mountains
- There are currently no park alerts for this park.