Many Big Rocks picnic area (Karnu Yalpa)

Toorale National Park

Closed due to current alerts 

Overview

Enjoy an outback picnic at Many Big Rocks picnic area (Karnu Yalpa) in Toorale National Park, near Bourke. You can also birdwatch or fish by the banks of the Darling River, under a shady coolibah tree.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
Toorale National Park
Accessibility
Medium
What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen, snacks, drinking water, sturdy shoes, suitable clothing, clothes for all weather conditions, insect repellent
Please note
  • This is a remote picnic area, 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. You may want to bring a topographic map, compass or GPS.
  • 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.

Many Big Rocks picnic area (Karnu Yalpa) is a tranquil stop along the Darling River driving route. Enjoy a picnic lunch by a bend in the river, under the coolibah trees and river red gums. Spend some time fishing from the riverbank or natural rock weir to see if the yellow belly or cod are biting.

Stretch your legs with a walk along the water's edge to catch a glimpse of waterbirds like cormorants and spoonbills. Chances are you'll also spot emus, kangaroos bouncing around, or a wedge-tailed eagle soaring above.

After your break, you'll be ready to continue exploring Toorale National Park. Visit Toorale Homestead to see the outback's pastoral history, or learn about the Kurnu-Baakandji People and their strong connection to these lands. At Mount Talowla lookout you'll be greeted with vast outback views of the floodplains, and seasonal wildflowers, stretching towards Mount Gunderbooka.

At the end of the day, the basic Darling River campground (Yapara Paaka Thuru) is located 500m from the picnic area. You can also camp, or stay at an old homestead or shearer's quarters, in Gundabooka National Park.

The best times to visit are during the cooler months, between April and September.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Many Big Rocks picnic area - overview map

Many Big Rocks picnic area - 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/things-to-do/picnic-areas/many-big-rocks-picnic-area/local-alerts

General enquiries

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 the Many Big Rocks picnic area (Karnu Yalpa).

Getting there and parking

Many Big Rocks picnic area 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, and continue for 1.5km.
  • 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 18km, until you reach Many Big Rocks picnic area.

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 and turn right at the Darling River Drive sign.
  • Follow the signs along Darling River Drive for 18km, until you reach Many Big Rocks picnic area.

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 Many Big Rocks picnic area.

Facilities

  • The nearest toilet is at the Toorale Homestead precinct, 22km away.
  • Water is not available, so make sure you bring plenty of drinking water for your stay.
  • Rubbish bins are not provided. Please take your rubbish with you when you leave.

Picnic tables

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

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 picnic area ground surface is unsealed.

Permitted

Fishing

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

Prohibited

Camp fires and solid fuel burners

Camping

You can camp at the basic Darling River campground (Yapara Paaka Thuru), located 500m from the picnic area.

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

Many Big Rocks picnic area (Karnu Yalpa) 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)