Jump-Up walking track

Sturt National Park

Overview

Discover the landscape of Sturt National Park along the Jump-Up walking track; you’re likely to see Aboriginal sites, wildflowers and kangaroos along the way.

Where
Sturt National Park
Distance
2km loop
Time suggested
2hrs - 2hrs 30min
Grade
Grade 5
Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen, suitable clothing
Please note
  • There is a 4km loop if you’d like a slightly longer walk
  • Picnic facilities are available at Olive Downs campground
  • Check the weather before you travel to Sturt National Park as roads may be closed following rain

Take a walk among the Jump-Up landscape of Sturt National Park; striking flat-topped mesas that are the remains of an ancient mountain range.

As you walk, you’ll have a good view of the surrounding plains, predominantly covered with mulga bushland; however you might be lucky enough to see a carpet of wildflowers following heavy rains. Further away, you’ll be able to see the low-lying gibber plains.

Keep your eyes open for wallaroos, kangaroos, lizards and eagles as you walk and be sure to look out for rock engravings, middens and scarred trees along the way; evidence of the Wangkumara people’s long connection to this ancient landscape.

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/walking-tracks/jumpup-walking-track/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Jump-Up walking track.

Track grading

Grade 5

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    2hrs - 2hrs 30min

  • Quality of markings

    No directional signage

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    2km loop

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Rough unformed track

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

Jump-Up walk starts at Olive Downs campground, located off the Jump-Up Loop Road, about 50km north of Tibooburra.

Parking

Parking is available at Olive Downs campground.

Best times to visit

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

Autumn

A great time of year to visit when daytime temperatures are pleasant and night times not too chilly.

Spring

Depending on the rainfall the park's wildflowers, including the distinctive red Sturt Desert Pea will be on show throughout the park.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

22°C and 36°C

Highest recorded

47.6°C

Winter temperature

Average

5°C and 17°C

Lowest recorded

-2.8°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

February

Driest month

August and September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

178.2mm

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

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.

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

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.

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.

Visitor centre

Nearby towns

Tibooburra (40 km)

Tibooburra is the most remote town in Outback NSW. It's also the gateway to Sturt National Park, where you can camp out under the stars. Features of the park include rolling red sand dunes, flat-topped mesa, eagles, corellas and kangaroos.

www.visitnsw.com

Wilcannia (291 km)

The small historic town of Wilcannia is located on the famous Darling River in the NSW outback. The nearby remote Mutawintji National Park offers a uniquely Australian experience, with its historic Aboriginal sites and captivating rugged desert terrain.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Jump-Up walking track is in Sturt National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

A vast and varied precious landscape

Rocky hills in Sturt National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Tibooburra means 'heaps of rocks' in the local Aboriginal language, and you can't miss the rocks - ancient granite tors that surround Tibooburra and line the road on the way to the park. This contrasts with the red sand of the desert on the western side of the park and with the 'Jump Ups' that rise from the plains in the central part of the park. Wherever you go in Sturt National Park, you're sure to be inspired by the dramatic changes in scenery and amazed by the true scale of the vast, arid expanse of outback.

  • Jump-Up Loop Road drive A fantastic self-guided car tour of the outback country of Sturt National Park, Jump-Up Loop Road drive offers scenic desert views, historic heritage and excellent birdwatching.
  • The Granites walking track Explore the geological history of Sturt National Park along The Granites walking track. See wildflowers, kangaroos and lizards as you walk over the ancient boulders.

Ancient connections

Sturt's Tree walk, Sturt National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Sturt National Park is the traditional land of the Wangkumara People, whose Country extended from what is now southwest Queensland and northeast South Australia down through Tibooburra to Milparinka. The Wangkumara People travelled widely throughout this large and arid land to make the most of waterholes, permanent soaks, useful plants and animals. Today there is much evidence of the Wangkumara People's connection with this land - throughout the park you might notice middens and stone relics; reminders of the role this landscape played as the giver and sustainer of life.

  • Jump-Up walking track Discover the landscape of Sturt National Park along the Jump-Up walking track; you’re likely to see Aboriginal sites, wildflowers and kangaroos along the way.

A waterbird oasis

Lake Pinaroo, Sturt National Park. Photo: OEH

Lake Pinaroo is around 80 km north west of Tibooburra and 24km south east of Cameron Corner. In 1996, it was listed as an internationally important wetland under the Ramsar Convention because of its retention of water for long periods, and the rarity of wetlands in arid NSW. Lake Pinaroo plays a crucial role in the survival of many plants and animal species, and supports large numbers of waterbirds and waders, including international migratory species and threatened species. When full, Lake Pinaroo is a stunning contrast to the dry landscapes of Sturt National Park. You can see waterbirds like the freckled and blue-billed ducks, and large flocks of unique desert birds such as the budgerigar, when the lake is full. Try Camping or bushwalking near this beautiful lake, or go along one of the three self-guided scenic drives through the park. You can also visit cultural heritage sites such as the old homesteads, a historic woolshed and Sturt's tree (when Lake Pinaroo is dry).

Life of birds

Red kangaroo (Macropus rufus), Sturt National Park. Photo: John Spencer

The ephemeral Lake Pinaroo was classed as a Ramsar wetland area in 1996 and is the largest terminal basin in this area of NSW. When Lake Pinaroo contains water, it's home to countless species of waterbirds, including threatened waterfowl like the freckled duck and the blue-billed duck. You might even see brolgas and grey falcons hunting prey.

  • Sturt’s tree walk Charles Sturt’s expedition into the Australian outback is an historic event. The walk across the dry lakebed of Lake Pinaroo takes you to the site of a marked tree.
  • Wells walk Take a break from drive touring to explore the Corner Country of Sturt National Park along the Wells walk. Explore varying outback landscapes and pass historical relics.

Heritage values of the homestead

Outdoor Pastoral Museum, Sturt National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Historic Mount Wood Homestead is located on the oldest sheep station in northwest NSW, taken up around 1881. Listed on the State Heritage Register, it’s one of the most complete examples of a self-reliant sheep station in the region, spanning 368,385 acres. It was a hub for washing sheep wool on the long journey by camel train or cart to Wilcannia, prior to shipping. Today, the woolscour is a rare example of a complete set of wool washing equipment, and the only 19th century station-based scour in NSW to survive intact. Surviving the harsh outback, you can still see the original stone hut built in 1890, a stone homestead (1897), and an art deco-styled homestead (1935). There’s also a woolshed, shearers’ quarters, woolscour, blacksmith shop, stables, windmills and outstations. The  buildings provide a fascinating window into pastoral life and changing technology over almost 100 years.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Sturt's desert pea. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Sturt's desert pea (Swainsona formosa)

    One of Australia’s most famous desert wildflowers, Sturt’s desert pea is found across inland arid regions of Australia, including far west NSW. One of the most easily-recognised Australian native plants, Sturt’s desert pea thrives in red sandy soil, or loam, and has vibrant red leaf-shaped flowers with a black centre, known as a ‘boss’.

  • Saltbush. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Saltbush (Atriplex nummularia)

    A hardy Australian native plant, the saltbush is a small spreading shrub that can withstand dry salty soils such as those found in the desert plains of western NSW. It is grey-white in colour and has small spear-shaped succulent leaves. It flowers from December to April.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

Sturt National Park. Photo: Dina Bullivant