Culgoa National Park

Closed due to current alerts 

Overview

Culgoa is a remote national park offering scenic views, free camping, birdwatching, picnicking, and a number of enjoyable day walks through the varied landscape.

Read more about Culgoa National Park

Some landscapes are iconic, like a scenic view ready-made for a postcard, or something out of legend. Culgoa is outback colours: ochre and brown and yellow, scorched by the sun. It’s also majestic river red gums and wide grassy floodplains, with wildflowers blooming after the wet season. And it’s the coolabah tree, a native species made famous by the bush ballad Waltzing Matilda. Indeed, Culgoa has more coolabah woodland than any other national park in NSW. In other words, it’s the sort of scene evoked in the popular idea of the Australian outback, filled with billabongs and buzzing rivers and croaking cicadas in dry leaves.

Visitors to Culgoa will find a fascinating park filled with Aboriginal history and the legacy of colonial pastoralists who once worked the land. And there’s plenty to do, too, from fishing in the river after the rains to birdwatching and spotting nocturnal animals – brushtail possums and little pied bats, for example, are most active at night. Self-sufficient campers will find a quiet retreat and day-trippers will find places to picnic near Brigalow-gidgee woodland. This is also a wonderful place for hiking, particularly in the cooler months. Culgoa offers a variety of day walks to appeal to all experience and fitness levels.

But perhaps the biggest draw is simply the solitude. Coming to Culgoa means getting away from everything else, and getting back to nature. Right on the edge of NSW, in many ways Culgoa gets to the heart of what makes national parks special in the first place.

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/visit-a-park/parks/culgoa-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Culgoa National Park.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Bourke:

    • One route follows the dirt River Road to Weilmoringle, where you turn left onto Enngonia Road. This is approximately 180km.
    • A sealed road option via Brewarrina is approximately 220km, though the last 20km from Weilmoringle is unsealed

    Park entry points

    Parking

    By bike

    Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

    By public transport

    For information about public transport options, visit the NSW country transport info website

    Best times to visit

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

    Spring

    After reasonable winter rains, the park erupts with blooms of native wildflowers, and animals begin to raise their young.

    Summer

    Summer in Culgoa can be incredibly hot, so hiking should be attempted by experienced walkers only. For everybody else, this is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the coolness of Culgoa River.

    Winter

    This is a great time to settle in at Culgoa River campground, with winter the best time for walking in the park. Wildlife is still abundant and birdwatching is superb.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    21°C and 34.9°C

    Highest recorded

    46.4°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    5.7°C and 19.6°C

    Lowest recorded

    -3.3°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    January

    Driest month

    August

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    207.1mm

    Facilities

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    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.

    Nearby towns

    Brewarrina (119 km)

    Stone fisheries were built on the bed of the Darling River (just downstream from the present day weir) - you can still see them today on a guided tour.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Bourke (217 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

    Nyngan (328 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

    Culgoa National Park is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    Rich cultural life

    Nebine Creek, Culgoa National Park. Photo: OEH

    Aboriginal Australians have a long relationship with Culgoa. Murrawarri people, from the Gandugari group, consider it traditional land and it has significant archaeological and cultural value. Other tribal groups include the Ngemba, Ngaampaa, Paakandji, Morawari and Budjiti, who work with the NPWS in discussions of land management. Today, Murrawarri descendants reside in the area around the park, including the townships of Weilmoringle, Brewarrina, Goodooga, Bourke and Enngonia. These people retain a strong oral history of the region, expressed as traditional knowledge, beliefs, personal history and attachment to the landscape.

    Under the shade of a coolabah tree

    Culgoa National Park. Photo: OEH

    Culgoa is the only national park in NSW with Brigalow-gidgee woodland. It also has the largest continuous tract of coolabah woodland left in the state, meaning plenty of opportunities to settle down in the afternoon 'under the shade of a coolabah tree'.

    • Culgoa Connellys track Culgoa Connellys track is an easy 8km return trail through open coolabah woodlands, with plenty of animals to see and opportunities for birdwatching and astronomy.
    • Mirri Mirru Yurun Mirri Mirru Yurun (River Bank walk) is an easy 1km walk along Culgoa River, with opportunities for wildlife viewing and a place to stop for a barbecue afterwards.

    Iconic plants and animals

    Culgoa River walk, Culgoa National Park. Photo: Dinitee Haskard

    Culgoa has enough animals to keep even the most knowledgable naturalist glued to their binoculars: 24 mammals, 170 species of bird, 29 lizards, seven types of snake, and 15 types of frog. If you're lucky, you might spot a long-necked tortoise - there are many varieties in the park. Even more special, Culgoa has one of the largest koala populations in northern NSW. 

    • Culgoa Connellys track Culgoa Connellys track is an easy 8km return trail through open coolabah woodlands, with plenty of animals to see and opportunities for birdwatching and astronomy.
    • Yuwura Yurun Yuwura Yarun (Sandhill track) offers the most comprehensive walk in Culgoa National Park, crossing diverse habitats and offering birdwatching and picnicking opportunities.

    Historic heritage

    Culgoa claypans, Culgoa National Park. Photo: OEH

    Charles Sturt was the first European explorer to venture here, in 1829, but colonial pastoralists were not far behind. By the 1860s, settlements were established right across the region, with large properties like Byerawering, Cawwell and Burban Grange, where Culgoa River campground can be found today. Culgoa National Park is committed to conserving the pastoral history of the area.

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Culgoa National Park has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents.

    Culgoa Claypans, Culgoa National Park. Photo: NSW Government