Gundabooka National Park

Overview

Visit Gundabooka National Park and State Conservation Area, near Bourke in outback NSW, to see the imposing Mount Gunderbooka, go camping in the outback and see Aboriginal rock art.

Read more about Gundabooka National Park

Gundabooka National Park and State Conservation Area is a vast area rich in Aboriginal and European heritage that stretches from the banks of the Darling River, across the plains and over Mount Gunderbooka.

The park, featuring woodlands, floodplains, sandhills and the rugged Mount Gunderbooka that rises 500m above the park, is of great significance to the local Ngemba Aboriginal people. Be sure to take Mulgowan (Yappa) Aboriginal Art Site walking track to see some ancient Aboriginal rock art up close.

You’ll find the striking sight of weathered red soils against bright blue skies makes for excellent landscape photography, and you’re bound to see a range of birdlife along the park’s walking tracks. There are great places for camping, including sites for caravans, motorhomes and tents, or you can stay in the historic Redbank Homestead or Shearers’ Quarters.

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/gundabooka-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Getting there and parking

From Bourke:

  • Drive south from Bourke on Kidman Way for approximately 49km and turn right onto Ben Lomond Road

Parking

By bike

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

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

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 OEH pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Bourke (52 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 (114 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 (245 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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

What we're doing

Gundabooka 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. Here is just some of the work we’re doing to conserve these values:

Preserving biodiversity

NPWS aims to protect the biodiversity of all parks. Gundabooka National Park is no exception. Pest control programs in place in Gundabooka protect its native plants and animals.

Conservation program

BioNet

Uniting technology with the vast collection of information on biodiversity in NSW, BioNet is a valuable database open to any user. From individual plant sightings to detailed scientific surveys, it offers a wealth of knowledge about ecology and threatened species in NSW. 

Managing weeds, pest animals and other threats

Pests and weeds are a significant threat to the ecosystems within Gundabooka National Park. Pest management is a priority for NPWS, and Supplementary Pest Control takes place in this park. Other pest management strategies, including goat management and risk assessment for new and emerging weeds, are delivered to reduce the ongoing threat to this park's biodiversity values.

Conservation program

Wild dog control program

Wild dogs can have significant impacts on other animals and are regarded as pests. Our wild dog control program operates in many NSW national parks and reserves. When carrying out wild dog pest control, we aim to minimise the impact that they have on livestock and domestic pets, while maintaining dingo conservation in key areas.

Developing visitor facilities and experiences

NPWS strives to raise awareness of Gundabooka National Park’s natural and cultural values and their need for protection. The park encourages informed, sustainable visitor access through the provision of interpretive signage and other educational means. Significant sites are acknowledged, conserved and respected, and NPWS works with the community, local tourism bodies and councils in promoting and interpreting the park and its assets.

Conserving our Aboriginal culture

Gundabooka National Park boasts a proud legacy of Aboriginal culture. Aboriginal sites within the park are numerous and significant, and ongoing NPWS projects are in place to monitor their condition. Sites and facilities within the park are also carefully conserved as required.

Managing fire

NSW is one of the most bushfire prone areas in the world as a result of our climate, weather systems, vegetation and the rugged terrain. NPWS is committed to maintaining natural and cultural heritage values and minimising the likelihood and impact of bushfires via a strategic program of fire research, fire planning, hazard reduction, highly trained rapid response firefighting crews and community alerts.

Conservation program

Hazard reduction program

Managing fire-prone NSW national parks requires a three-pronged approach, including fire planning, community education, and fuel management. When it comes to fuel like dead wood, NPWS conducts planned hazard reduction activities like mowing and controlled burning to assist in the protection of life, property and community.

Mulgowan Walk, Gundabooka National Park. Photo: David Finnegan