Narriearra Caryapundy Swamp National Park

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Overview

Narriearra Caryapundy Swamp National Park is in the far north-west corner of NSW, in Channel Country, east of Sturt National Park and Tibooburra. It's a great destination for outback travellers.

Read more about Narriearra Caryapundy Swamp National Park

Aboriginal Traditional Owners have a strong connection to Country at Narriearra Caryapundy Swamp National Park.

Drive the 74km Caryapundy lookout loop drive and stay the night at Caryapundy lookout campground along the way. When Caryapundy Swamp is full, you’ll have ringside seats to observe the visiting water birds. At Caryapundy tank bird hide, keep an eye out for the beautiful, vulnerable blue-billed duck. 

Closer to the park's entrance, you’ll also be able to visit the historic Whittabrinnah Hotel precinct and do the heritage walk around it. Explorers Burke and Wills struck camp in the area in the 1860s, around 10 years before the old hotel was built.

In wet years, the Bulloo River floods out on Narriearra, terminating in huge temporary wetlands. These enormous semi-permanent lakes in the desert are known as Caryapundy Swamp and the Bulloo Overflow. They attract massive numbers of nesting water birds and other wetland wildlife.

The park supports many diverse ecosystems. Stands of whitewood trees rise from sand dunes, and low open saltbush shrubs grow across vast grasslands. There are lignum wetlands on the floodplains, and coolabahs line the creeklines in the park's south. Wedge-tailed eagles, red kangaroos and brolgas are just some of the extraordinary wildlife you’ll see here.

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/narriearra-caryapundy-swamp-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

  • in the Outback NSW region
  • Narriearra Caryapundy Swamp National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather, road closures or fire danger.
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Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Narriearra Caryapundy Swamp National Park.

Map


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Getting there and parking

The drive to Narriaerra Caryapundy Swamp National Park takes around 1hr from Tibooburra, 5hrs from Broken Hill and around 6hrs from Bourke.

From Tibooburra:

  • Travel 26km east of Tibooburra along Tibooburra Road, to where it becomes Narriearra Road.
  • Continue travelling straight onto Narriearra Road, and drive for another 19km. You'll pass through 2 gates to enter the park.
  • Whittabrinnah Hotel precinct is the first area you’ll reach after entering the park. It's 10km into the park, past the second gate and park entrance sign.

From Broken Hill:

  • Take the Silver City Highway through Packsaddle to Tibooburra.
  • Turn right onto Tibooburra Road and head towards Wanaaring for 26km, to where Tibooburra Road becomes Narriearra Road.
  • Continue travelling straight onto Narriearra Road, and drive for another 19km. You'll pass through 2 gates to enter the park.
  • Whittabrinnah Hotel precinct is the first area you’ll reach after entering the park. It's10km into the park, past the second gate and park entrance sign.

From Bourke:

  • Travel to Wanaaring and onto The Cut Line towards Tibooburra.
  • Turn right onto Narriearra Road and follow the signs to the park. You'll pass through 2 gates to enter the park.
  • Whittabrinnah Hotel precinct is the first area you’ll reach after entering the park. It's10km into the park, past the second gate and park entrance sign.

Parking

Road quality

The roads from Tibooburra or Bourke and the roads within this park are unsealed gravel roads that may be closed in poor weather. It's a good idea to check conditions before you set out and take plenty of water, petrol and supplies.

  • Unsealed roads

Parking

Parking is available.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Narriearra Caryapundy Swamp National Park:

Autumn

This is a good time of year to visit. Daytime temperatures are pleasant and the nights are not too chilly.

Spring

In spring cassias, wattles, fan flowers and other desert wildflowers bloom and fill the park with vibrant colour. Note that if you visit within 1 to 3 months after good rainfall, roads may only be open to 4WD vehicles, and some roads in the northern part of the park may not be open at all.

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.

There is almost no mobile phone coverage within this park. Limited coverage may be available on the Telstra network with a Telstra Cel-fi signal booster.

Camping safety

Whether you're pitching your tent on the coast or up on the mountains, there are many things to consider when camping in NSW national parks. Find out how to stay safe when camping.

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.

Wildlife safety

Keep yourself and our wildlife safe by understanding the risks of wildlife encounters and how to avoid them.

Permitted

Camping

Generators

Please be considerate of others and don't run your generator all night in the campground.

Prohibited

This park contains significant natural and cultural heritage sites. To protect these, please stay on public roads, take care of these precious areas and don't disturb or remove any objects.

Camp fires and solid fuel burners

Fishing

Gathering firewood

Horses

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

Tibooburra (45 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

Broken Hill (377 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

Bourke (418 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

Learn more

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

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Australian pelican. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus)

    The curious pelican is Australia’s largest flying bird and has the longest bill of any bird in the world. These Australian birds are found throughout Australian waterways and the pelican uses its throat pouch to trawl for fish. Pelicans breed all year round, congregating in large colonies on secluded beaches and islands.

  • 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.

  • Echidna. Photo: Ken Stepnell

    Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

    One of only 2 egg-laying mammals in the world, the short-beaked echidna is one of the most widespread of Australian native animals. Covered in spines, or quills, they’re equipped with a keen sense of smell and a tube-like snout which they use to break apart termite mounds in search of ants.

  • 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.

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.

  • River red gum, Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Photo: Paul Childs

    River red gum (Eucalpytus camaldulensis)

    Australian native plants, majestic river red gum trees are widespread across Australian inland river systems. The river red gum is a dominant tree species of the Murray-Darling basin which spans NSW, Queensland and Victoria. This iconic native eucalypt grows to a height of 30m and is thought to have a lifespan up to 500-1000 years.

  • 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

What we're doing

Narriearra Caryapundy Swamp 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.