Mulgowan (Yappa) Aboriginal Art Site walking track

Gundabooka National Park

Overview

Mulgowan (Yappa) Aboriginal Art Site walking track offers a unique Outback experience with Aboriginal rock art and birdwatching in Gundabooka National Park, near Bourke.

Where
Gundabooka National Park
Distance
1.4km return
Time suggested
45min - 1hr 15min
Grade
Grade 5
Price
Free
What to
bring
Hat, drinking water, sunscreen
Please note
This park or attraction is in a remote location and weather can be unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.

For an outback adventure that’s bound to inspire, head for Mulgowan (Yappa) Aboriginal Art site walking track in Gundabooka National Park, near Bourke. Be amazed by the fascinating Aboriginal rock art of the Ngemba and Paakandji people, set amongst unspoilt bushland. It’s an unforgettable ‘off the beaten track’ experience for all ages.

Following this challenging yet rewarding walking track along encompassing boulders, you might see hooded robins and pink cockatoos. Arriving at the enormous rock overhang, you’ll discover unique Aboriginal rock paintings that not only depict animal motifs, but dancers, hand stencils and hunting tools. The surrounding Gunderbooka Range and Mulareenya Creek is a significant area where ceremonies were held and the echoes of a vibrant Aboriginal culture can still be felt.

Take your time to soak up the tranquil setting before retracing your steps. If you’re keen to explore, try Bennetts Gorge picnic area and the nearby walk or pitch your tent beneath the vast desert sky at Dry Tank campground or Yanda campground.

Take a virtual tour of Mulgowan (Yappa) Aboriginal Art Site walking track 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/walking-tracks/mulgowan-yappa-aboriginal-art-site-walking-track/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Mulgowan (Yappa) Aboriginal Art Site walking track.

Track grading

Grade 5

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

    45min - 1hr 15min

  • Quality of markings

    Limited signage

  • Gradient

    Very steep and difficult

  • Distance

    1.4km return

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Rough track, many obstacles

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

On entering Gundabooka National Park from Kidman Way, 49km south of Bourke or 160km North of Cobar, drive along Ben Lomond Road for approximately 7.5km to the Mulgowan Heritage Site entrance on the left. Turn off, then drive for about 16km to the Mulgowan Heritage Site carpark.

Road quality

Check the weather before you set out as the road to Mulgowan (Yappa) Aboriginal Art site can become boggy when it rains.

Parking

Parking is available at Mulgowan Heritage Site.

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

Drinking water is limited or not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.

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.

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.

Nearby towns

Bourke (4 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 (24 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 (47 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

Mulgowan (Yappa) Aboriginal Art Site walking track 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)

Mulgowan Aboriginal Art Site Track, Gundabooka National Park. Photo: David Finnegan/NSW Government