Darling River campground (Yapara Paaka Thuru)

Toorale National Park

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Overview

Camp by the riverbank at Darling River campground (Yapara Paaka Thuru) in Toorale National Park, near Bourke. Watch animals and birds flock to the river, go fishing, and discover the history and scenery of outback NSW.

Accommodation Details
Number of campsites 4
Camping type Tent, Caravan site, Camper trailer site, Camping beside my vehicle
Facilities Picnic tables, carpark
What to bring Drinking water, cooking water, topographic map, compass, gps
Price There are no camping fees at this campground but a $6 booking fee applies.
Bookings Bookings are required. Book online or call the National Parks Contact Centre on 1300 072 757.
Please note
  • This is a remote campground, with no toilet or water facilities, please make sure you arrive well prepared.
  • It's a good idea to pick up maps and brochures from the NPWS Bourke office or Bourke Visitor Information Centre.     
  • The weather in this area can be extreme and unpredictable. Check conditions and closures before you set out.
  • Please respect the wishes of the Kurnu-Baakandji People by protecting the natural and cultural features of the park.

If you're exploring Toorale or Gundabooka national parks, Darling River campground (Yapara Paaka Thuru), near Bourke, is a basic bush camp with limited facilities. Set up your tent, campervan or trailer in a peaceful spot beside the river, and see what makes this place so special to the Kurnu-Baakandji People.

The campground is ideally located for exploring the iconic Darling River drive, or Mount Talowla lookout with its sweeping views of the park. Discover the fascinating history of nearby Toorale Homestead, once the world's largest sheep station. Or, try your hand at fishing for yellow belly in the Darling River, beside the river red gums and coolibah trees.

It's a good idea to visit during the cooler months, between April and September. After the rains, the landscape comes to life with wildflowers, and the floodplains become a birdwatcher's paradise. Bring your binoculars to spot wedge-tailed eagles soaring above or spoonbills and Major Mitchell's cockatoos by the water. The Darling River is also a favourite watering hole for kangaroos, emus and goannas.

After a day of outback adventures, enjoy dinner against a magical sunset and starry night, as the kangaroos, emus and goannas come down to the river watering hole.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Also see

  • The Darling River at Yanda campground in Gundabooka State Conservation Area. Photo: Leah Pippos © DPIE

    Yanda campground

    Camp by the Darling River at Yanda campground in Gundabooka State Conservation Area, near Bourke. This remote campground offers caravan camping with fishing and paddling in Outback NSW.

  • Redbank Homestead, Gundabooka State Conservation Area. Photo: Boris Hlavica/NSW Government

    Redbank Homestead

    For a taste of outback heritage accommodation, historic Redbank Homestead, in Gundabooka State Conservation Area, offers fishing, paddling and walking, near Bourke.

  • Dry Tank campground, Gundabooka National Park. Photo: David Finnegan/DPIE

    Dry Tank campground

    Stay overnight in Gundabooka National Park at Dry Tank campground. Bring your tent, caravan or trailer to enjoy a night of national park camping near Bourke in outback NSW.

  • Belah Shearers' Quarters, Gundabooka National Park. Photo: John Yurasek/NSW Government

    Belah Shearers' Quarters

    Don't feel like camping? Experience national park accommodation with a difference at Belah Shearers' Quarters in Gundabooka National Park, near Bourke in outback NSW.

Darling River campground Yapara Paaka Thuru - overview map

Darling River campground Yapara Paaka Thuru - overview map

Map legend

Map legend

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/camping-and-accommodation/campgrounds/darling-river-campground-yapara-paaka-thuru/local-alerts

Bookings

Operated by

Park info

  • in Toorale National Park in the Outback NSW region
  • Toorale National Park and SCA is always open, but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Darling River campground (Yapara Paaka Thuru).

Getting there and parking

Darling River campground is in Toorale National Park. To get there:

From Bourke:

  • Travel 10km north along Hungerford Road, then turn left onto Wanaaring Road.
  • Drive 22km then turn left onto Toorale Road, which is unsealed.
  • Travel 38km to the entrance of Toorale National Park.
  • Around 1.5km past the park entrance turn left at the Darling River Drive sign.
  • Follow the signs along Darling River Drive for 17.5km, until you reach Darling River campground.

From Louth:

  • Cross the bridge heading west and travel 2km, then turn right at the Tilpa sign.
  • Travel 25km on the unsealed Toorale Road. After crossing the stock grid, you’ll see the entrance to Toorale National Park.
  • Continue 28.5km on Toorale Road then turn right at the Darling River Drive sign.
  • Follow the signs along Darling River Drive for 17.5km, until you reach Darling River campground.

Road quality

Roads to and within Toorale National Park are unsealed and can be closed due to wet weather. Check with the NPWS Bourke office or Bourke Shire Council for the latest road conditions before you set out. Don't drive on closed roads – heavy fines apply.

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • Dry weather only

Parking

Parking is available at the campground.

Facilities

  • There are no toilet facilities at this campground, so please come prepared. The nearest toilet is at the Toorale Homestead precinct, 21.5km away.
  • Water is not available at this campground     
  • Rubbish bins are not provided. Please take your rubbish with you when you leave.

Picnic tables

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Camping safety

Whether you're pitching your tent on the coast or up on the mountains, there are many things to consider when camping in NSW national parks. Find out how to stay safe when camping.

Fire safety

During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Outback safety

Safety is of high priority in outback areas. In summer, temperatures can reach up to 50°C in some places. Food, water and fuel supplies can be scarce. Before you head off, check for road closures and use our contacts to stay safe in the outback.

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

Wildlife safety

Beware of wildlife when driving at dawn and dusk.

Accessibility

Disability access level - medium

Assistance may be required to access this area as the ground surface is unsealed.

Permitted

Fishing

A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.

Prohibited

Please respect other campers by not playing amplified music.

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dogs and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Learn more

Darling River campground (Yapara Paaka Thuru) is in Toorale National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Birdwatching spectacular

Australian pelican. Photo: Rob Cleary

After the rains, the vast natural floodplain springs to life and the wetlands bring an abundance of birdlife. A fabulous spot for birdwatching, bring your binoculars for the chance to see the iconic brolga, pink cockatoo, or the wide range of waterbirds such as the Australian pelican, pied cormorant and royal spoonbill.

Inland rivers

Darling River drive, Toorale National Park and State Conservation Area. Photo: Gregory Anderson

Toorale National Park marks the junction of two mighty inland rivers and provides one of only a few opportunities to access the Darling and Warrego rivers. Set up camp on the Darling riverbank, or spend a leisurely day checking out the local wildlife, birdwatching and fishing.

Rich pastoral history

Toorale Homestead precinct, Toorale National Park and State Conservation Area. Photo: Gregory Anderson

A relative newcomer to the national park family, Toorale was purchased in 2008. The large pastoral station and woolshed changed hands many times, and many people have a historic connection to Toorale, including Henry Lawson, who worked on the station for a short period during the 1890s.

  • Toorale Homestead precinct (Yarramarra) Toorale Homestead precinct (Yarramarra) is a must-see for outback travellers near Bourke. Built on the lands of the Kurnu-Baakandji People, Toorale Station was once part of the world’s largest sheep station.

The People of Darling River

Aboriginal Discovery Coordinators at the reconstructed Bourke Wharf on banks of Darling River. Photo: P Nicholas/OEH

This country between the Warrego and Darling rivers is of spiritual and cultural significance to Kurnu-Baakandji People. The name Baakandji comes from the word ‘paaka’, meaning ‘Darling River’, so Baakandji are the People belonging to Darling River. Take a Discovery tour to learn about the culture and heritage of the region as well as local bush tucker such as wild orange, quandongs, wild plum bush, wild bananas and bush tomatoes.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)