Bennetts Gorge picnic area

Gundabooka National Park

Overview

Stop and relax at Bennetts Gorge picnic area when you visit Gundabooka National Park. Enjoy a barbecue or bring a picnic hamper before walking on to Mt Gunderbooka.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
Gundabooka National Park
Accessibility
Hard
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water
Please note
Check the weather and road conditions before you set out as the roads to Gundabooka National Park may be closed.

Located on the western side of Mt Gunderbooka, just 50km from Bourke, Bennetts Gorge picnic area is a great place for a picnic lunch or barbecue.

The picnic area is also wonderful for birdwatching - keep your eyes open for the hooded robin and the diamond firetail. There’s easy access to the Valley of the Eagles walk from Bennetts Gorge picnic area, so when you’ve polished off your picnic lunch be sure to set off. The walk takes you to the base of Mt Gunderbooka.

Take a virtual tour of Bennetts Gorge picnic area captured with Google Street View Trekker.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

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/things-to-do/picnic-areas/bennetts-gorge-picnic-area/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about the Bennetts Gorge picnic area.

Getting there and parking

Bennetts Gorge picnic area is about 2km in from Corella Tank Road in the western part of Gundabooka National Park. Take the Kidman Highway from Bourke and turn right into the park. Look for the signs to Bennetts Gorge picnic area.

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • Dry weather only

Parking

Parking is available at Bennetts Gorge picnic area.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Gundabooka National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

It's a great time to visit the park with the weather being a bit cooler, and after summer rain, the park may be looking a little greener than usual.

Spring

Join in on a Discovery tour to find out more about the park, the amazing landscape and the animals who live here.

Winter

Crisp clear days await you, it's perfect weather for walking and if you don't feel like camping out, you can book into the comfort of Redbank Homestead.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

20°C and 33°C

Highest recorded

47°C

Winter temperature

Average

6°C and 17°C

Lowest recorded

-2.5°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

January and February

Driest month

June

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

108.8mm

Facilities

Toilets

  • Flush toilets

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

  • Gas/electric barbecues (free)

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

This park is in a remote location, please ensure you are thoroughly prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + 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.

Accessibility

Disability access level - hard

Wheelchairs can access this area with some difficulty

Prohibited

Pets

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

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Bourke (55 km)

Around 50km north of Gundabooka National Park is the town of Bourke. Considered the "Gateway to the real outback", Bourke is home to around 3,000 people and has a range of places to eat, garages and services, and plenty of things to do. 

 

www.visitnsw.com

Cobar (93 km)

Cobar is a flourishing town built around the thriving mining and pastoral industries. Mining commenced here in the 1870s, and today, the town is an important source of copper, lead, silver, zinc and gold. Find out about Cobar's rich past at the Great Cobar Heritage Centre.

www.visitnsw.com

Nyngan (180 km)

Explorer Thomas Mitchell camped at the site of the present-day town of Nyngan in 1835; the town site was surveyed in 1882. Wander the self-guided heritage trail to see many fine examples of buildings from this era.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Bennetts Gorge picnic area is in Gundabooka National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

An emphasis on conservation

Emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae) in Gundabooka National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

A visit to Gundabooka National Park offers the wonderful opportunity to spot some of Australia's rarest birds and animals. Several threatened species - including the little pied bat, kultarr, pink cockatoo and painted honeyeater - have been recorded in the area. The park also includes 21 different plant communities, including threatened plant species like the curly bark wattle.

  • Little Mountain walking track Ideal for outback birdwatching and walking with kids, Little Mountain walking track offers a gentle walk with scenic views of Gundabooka National Park, near Bourke.

An important place

Aboriginal paintings in Gundabooka Historic Site. Photo: David Finnegan

Gunderbooka range is highly significant to the Ngemba and Kurnu Baakandji people of western NSW. Before it became a national park, the area was home to the Ngemba and Kurnu Baakandji people of western NSW. Ceremonial events were held within the range. On your visit, you'll see Aboriginal rock art, with motifs including dancers and animals.

Pastoral history

Belah Shearer's Quarters, Gundabooka National Park. Photo: Boris Hlavica

Though noted by Charles Sturt in 1829, the Gunderbooka range wasn't used by pastoralists until the late 1800s. The range was included in neighbouring sheep stations which were then subdivided after World War I. Today, three of these smaller stations - Ben Lomond, Belah and Mulgowan - make up Gundabooka National Park. Check out the old homesteads, quarters, fences, tanks, shearing sheds and yards on your visit.

Rewarding walks

Bennetts Gorge picnic area, Gundabooka National Park. Photo: John Good

There are a number of opportunities to stretch your legs along one of the well-signed walks in Gundabooka National Park. Take the wonderful Mulareenya Creek Art Site track and see fascinating Aboriginal rock art. Walking the Little Mountain track is also well worth the effort with impressive views awaiting you at the summit.

  • Bennetts Gorge picnic area Stop and relax at Bennetts Gorge picnic area when you visit Gundabooka National Park. Enjoy a barbecue or bring a picnic hamper before walking on to Mt Gunderbooka.
  • Valley of the Eagles walk Valley of the Eagles walk starts at the popular Bennetts Gorge picnic area and explores the imposing Mount Gunderbooka in Gunabooka National Park.

The beautiful outback

Gorge in Gundabooka National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

Gundabooka National Park is located in northwest NSW, approximately 50km southwest of Bourke and 110km northwest of Cobar. The 63,903ha national park extends from the Darling river banks to the Gunderbooka range. Vast stretches of grassy woodlands, open plains and rust-coloured rock dominate the landscape.

  • Little Mountain walking track Ideal for outback birdwatching and walking with kids, Little Mountain walking track offers a gentle walk with scenic views of Gundabooka National Park, near Bourke.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Emu, Paroo Darling National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)

    The largest of Australian birds, the emu stands up to 2m high and is the second largest bird in the world, after the ostrich. Emus live in pairs or family groups. The male emu incubates and rears the young, which will stay with the adult emus for up to 2 years.

  • Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

    Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

    With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

  • Red kangaroo, Sturt National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Red kangaroo (Macropus rufus)

    The red kangaroo is one of the most iconic Australian animals and the largest marsupial in the world. Large males have reddish fur and can reach a height of 2m, while females are considerably smaller and have blue-grey fur. Red kangaroos are herbivores and mainly eat grass.

Plants

  • Mulga. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Mulga (Acacia aneura)

    Mulga are hardy Australian native plants found throughout inland Australia. With an unusually long tap root, the mulga is able to withstand long periods of drought.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

The view across the rocky george. Photo:Boris Hlavica