Kinchega National Park

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Overview

Camp beside the Darling River among the majestic river red gums of Kinchega National Park. Explore Aboriginal and pastoral history on a school excursion and marvel at the range of birdlife.

Read more about Kinchega National Park

Featuring the mesmerising Menindee lake system with its wonderful array of birdlife and haunting river red gums rising from the water, Kinchega National Park offers visitors a unique experience of the Australian outback.

With its ever-changing colours – the green lake bed as the water retreats and beautiful reflections in the flood – and rich pastoral and Aboriginal history, a visit to Kinchega will restore your sense of wonder.

Take your caravan to Emu Lake campground, pitch your tent on the banks of the Darling River or stay in the Kinchega Shearers’ Quarters. Don’t miss visiting the historic Kinchega Woolshed and Old Kinchega Homestead for a taste of the area’s pastoral heritage or enjoy a billy tea with the Barkindtji Aboriginal Elders on a Discovery tour to find out about the park’s Aboriginal history.

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/kinchega-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Broken Hill:

    • Take Menindee Road, which becomes Nr Menindee - Broken Hill Road as you leave town
    • This takes you all the way to Menindee and the entrance of Kinchega National Park

    From Ivanhoe:

    • Take the Cobb Highway for 4km out of Ivanhoe
    • Turn left onto Ivanhoe-Menindee Road and follow for 200km to Menindee and the entrance to Kinchega National Park

    Park entry points

    Parking Show more

    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 Kinchega National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

    Spring

    It's a great time for a camping trip when the weather is a bit cooler and the park is springing to life after the sleepy winter.

    Summer

    Cool off after a hot day of exploring in the park's rivers or lakes.

    Winter

    Throw in your line below Weir 32 on the Darling river – you might catch a golden perch. You'll need a current NSW recreational fishing licence though, and you must abide by bag limits and protected species fishing laws.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    18°C and 34°C

    Highest recorded

    49.7°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    5°C and 19°C

    Lowest recorded

    -3.5°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    May and October

    Driest month

    April

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    150.6mm

    Facilities

    Maps and downloads

    Fees and passes

    Park entry fees:

    $8 per vehicle per day. The park has a pay and display envelope payment system - please bring correct coins.

    • All Parks Pass - For all parks in NSW (including Kosciuszko NP) $190 (1 year) / $335 (2 years)
    • Multi Parks Pass - For all parks in NSW (except Kosciuszko) $65 (1 year) / $115 (2 years)
    • Country Parks Pass - For all parks in Country NSW (except Kosciuszko) $45 (1 year) / $75 (2 years)
    • Single Country Park Pass - For entry to a single park in country NSW (except Kosciuszko). $22 (1 year) / $40 (2 years)

    Annual passes and entry fees (https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/passes-and-fees)

    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 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.

    In some parks, high levels of blue-green algae can occur in lake systems and in rivers in the Outback. Please avoid direct contact with blue-green algae in the water and as surface scum at all times.

    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

    • Kinchega Visitor Centre
      673 Woolshed Drive, Menindee NSW 2879
    • Kinchega Visitor Centre is always open but it's unstaffed (self service)

    Nearby towns

    Menindee (1 km)

    Menindee is the gateway to Kinchega National Park, where the Darling forms a chain of natural lakes. Make sure you see this amazing sight as the sun sets of the dead river gums in the lakes.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Broken Hill (111 km)

    About 10 km from Broken Hill, in the middle of the Living Desert Reserve, is Sundown Hill, the site of the Living Desert Sculptures. Follow the easy walking trail that takes you past these beautiful sandstone sculptures, even more striking in this desert setting.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

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

    The colourful beauty of the floodplains

    Pigface on the floodplains of Kinchega National Park. Photo. Julieanne Doyle

    When the Darling river fills, majestic river red gums break the surface and birdlife flocks to the lake system by the thousand. When it empties, the land is a beautiful bright green. In spring you'll see vibrant splashes of purple as the Darling river pea begins to flower. Sitting outside your tent just before nightfall is a special time - the sunsets at Kinchega are out of this world.

    • Menindee Lakes and Kinchega guided tours Sign up for this wide-ranging tour of Kinchega National Park and other scenic Outback highlights with the experienced guides of Broken Hill City Sights and Heritage Tours.
    • Morton Boulka picnic area This remote lakeside picnic area buzzes with birdlife, offers the chance to paddle and swim, as well as explore unique Aboriginal Heritage in Kinchega National Park.

    Pastoral heritage

    Kinchega Woolshed, Kinchega National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Encounter Australia's pastoral history at the classic, colonial historic Kinchega Woolshed and Old Kinchega Homestead, and learn of the trials and tribulations of early settlers. Kinchega is the location where Burke and Wills picked up William Wright, manager of Kinchega Station. His failure to meet Burke and Wills at the assigned time sealed the doomed expedition's fate.

    • Geography of Homestead Bend Geography of Homestead Bend in Kinchega National Park is a school excursion for Stage 4 (Years 7-8) students focusing on geography. Learn how the Homestead Billabong was formed and how the environment changes as it leaves the Darling River.
    • Kinchega Visitor Centre Find useful tourist information at Kinchega Visitor Centre. Get details on birdwatching and touring the Darling River and Menindee Lakes near Broken Hill in outback NSW.
    • Kinchega Woolshed Visit the beautiful historic Kinchega Woolshed for a glimpse into Australian pastoral history and imagine the heyday of this place, where six million sheep were sheared.
    • Menindee Lakes and Kinchega guided tours Sign up for this wide-ranging tour of Kinchega National Park and other scenic Outback highlights with the experienced guides of Broken Hill City Sights and Heritage Tours.
    • Old Kinchega Homestead tour Old Kinchega Homestead tour is a Stage 2 (Years 3-4) school excursion in Kinchega National Park, focusing on HSIE. Take a walk around the Old Kinchega Homestead ruins with a NSW National Parks ranger, and learn about life on the land for Aboriginal people and life on a pastoral station during the pioneer days.
    • PS Providence historic site Step back in time at the historic site of the explosion of the PS Providence on the banks of the Darling River in Kinchega National Park.
    • Woolly tales tour On this school excursion in Kinchega National Park, Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students will learn about Kinchega's vast pastoral history and woolshed operations while taking a guided tour of the historic Kinchega Woolshed.
    Show more

    Life in all its splendour

    Emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae) in Kinchega National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Lace monitors patrol the banks when it's warm, the Peron's tree frog sends out a call like laughter in the night and flocks of pink and black cockatoos use tree hollows to nest. Remember not to collect firewood - fallen timber is the home of the kultarr, a small, mouse-sized marsupial with large ears, long delicate legs and a thin tail tipped with a dark tuft.

    • Kinchega National Park field study Join a ranger in sampling abiotic factors and use these to assess the abundance and distribution of plants and animals on the floodplain sand dune interface, as part of the Preliminary Biology or Senior Science field studies.

    Aboriginal cultural heritage

    River Drive campground, Kinchega National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

    This is the traditional land of the Paakantji nation who came together to share the bounty of the flood. These river people caught fish by spearing from a canoe or while diving and used nets and fish traps made from baskets. Artefacts and special sites in the area date back an incredible 35,000 years. Many of the staff at Kinchega are of Aboriginal descent and can provide a wealth of information and knowledge about the area. You could also participate in a Discovery tour to find out more about the Aboriginal culture and history of the park.

    • Games and fun activities at Kinchega This is a program of fun games and activities we can play together in Kinchega National Park or Discovery rangers can visit your school. Designed for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students with a focus on HSIE, choose some of these games: the Aboriginal site game, tracks and traces, Barkindji bush foods or the threatened species game.
    • Kinchega Visitor Centre Find useful tourist information at Kinchega Visitor Centre. Get details on birdwatching and touring the Darling River and Menindee Lakes near Broken Hill in outback NSW.

    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

    • 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.

    • 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’.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (6)

    What we're doing

    Kinchega 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

    Kinchega National Park embraces programs dedicated to preserving rare, vulnerable, threatened and endangered native species. Programs to maintain biodiversity are in effect within this park and include extensive research and the surveying of identified species. Efforts to minimise threats to such plant, animal and bird species are ongoing.

    Managing weeds, pest animals and other threats

    Pests and weeds have a significant impact to the ecosystems within Kinchega National Park. Pest reduction of introduced species, such as goats, as well as carrying out risk assessments for new and emerging weeds, is an important part of the work NPWS does to protect the biodiversity values of this park.

    Historic heritage in our parks and reserves

    The historic heritage of Kinchega National Park is preserved through a variety of NPWS programs that embrace its pastoral and cultural past. Heritage revitalisation, history interpretation and documentary surveying projects are ongoing in this park, along with the implementation of conservation plans. Continuing interpretation of Aboriginal heritage is also conducted in conjunction with local land councils and the Aboriginal community.

    Developing visitor facilities and experiences

    Kinchega National Park works to keep its visitors safe and informed, and this extends to issues of signage. Displaying up to date, easily understandable and interpretive signage is an ongoing priority in this park.

    Conserving our Aboriginal culture

    Kinchega National Park boasts abundant cultural values and is extremely important to Aboriginal people. NPWS works with local Aboriginal land councils on decision-making regarding the interpretation of cultural sites within the park. Site conservation and maintenance of interpretive signage are ongoing, and efforts continue to enhance the recognition of the park’s Aboriginal heritage.

    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.