Paroo-Darling National Park

Overview

Discover Paroo-Darling National Park's rich history on a school excursion or camping trip to explore the Murray-Darling Basin. Enjoy kayaking, canoeing, fishing and picnicking opportunities.

Read more about Paroo-Darling National Park

At Paroo-Darling National Park, you’ll find the Paroo Overflow, the only unregulated river in the Murray-Darling Basin and an area of outstanding conservation value and natural beauty.

Spend a couple of days exploring the park - paddle or walk around Peery Lake, you'll be amazed by the birdlife - 60,000 birds were recorded in a recent survey. There are heaps of informal spots for a picnic - choose your own scenic place - and camping is available at Coach and Horse campground in the Wilga section of the park. Be sure to bring your fishing rod along to this popular fishing spot. 

With its frequent floods, this area is also the traditional home to the Ngiyeempaa and Paakantyi people and since European settlement has been an important pastoral area. The area’s rich history is waiting for you to discover.

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/paroodarling-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Paroo-Darling National Park.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    To get to the Peery section of Paroo-Darling National Park:

    • From the Barrier Highway at Wilcannia:
    • Travel north along the sealed road to White Cliffs (90km)
    • Then travel east along the unsealed Mandalay Road (20km)
    • Or from Wilcannia, travel north up the unsealed Wanaaring Road (80km)

    To get to the Wilga section of Paroo-Darling National Park:

    • From Wilcannia travel east along the Barrier Highway to the Tilpa Road turn off (5km)
    • Then travel north east along the unsealed East Tilpa Road (35km)

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Road quality

    • Unsealed roads

    Vehicle access

    • 2WD vehicles

    Weather restrictions

    • Dry weather only

    By bike

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

    Best times to visit

    It's a haven for waterbirds, so the best time of year to visit is when Peery Lake is full. Spring is a good time to see emu chicks and at other times you may see kangeroos, eagles and falcons.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    23°C and 36°C

    Highest recorded

    48.6°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    5°C and 19°C

    Lowest recorded

    -3.3°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    January

    Driest month

    September

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    173.2mm

    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.

    Visitor centre

    Nearby towns

    White Cliffs (73 km)

    Opals were discovered in the White Cliffs area as early as 1884. The town's first store and hotel opened in 1892, and miners soon arrived to dig their fortunes out of the ground. Make sure you buy an opal keepsake from one of the world's most unusual towns.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Wilcannia (167 km)

    The small historic town of Wilcannia is located on the famous Darling River in the NSW outback. The nearby remote Mutawintji National Park offers a uniquely Australian experience, with its historic Aboriginal sites and captivating rugged desert terrain.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Broken Hill (360 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

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

    European history

    Coach and Horses campround, Paroo Darling National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Pastoralists were also attracted to the banks of the Darling River. As well as water, it provided a major transport corridor. Riverboats began navigating the system in the 1850s, and Cobb and Co also ran several routes through this important pastoral region.

    Aboriginal heritage

    Aboriginal rock engravings in Paroo Darling National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    The Paakantyi and Ngiyeempaa People have traditionally made this area their home. The park is a historically and culturally important site: with its hearths, quarries and specialised microblade occupation sites, the area provides significant information about changing technologies and ways of life over the last 10,000 years.

    A unique and diverse ecosystem

    A mob of emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae) in Paroo Darling National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    The Paroo Overflow and its associated wetlands sustain a unique ecosystem, including such threatened species as the freckled duck and blue-billed duck. You may also see black-breasted buzzards, pink cockatoos, pied honeyeaters and any one of 55 bird species that visit the lakes. Peery Lake, a major part of the system, is part of an internationally significant wetland and protected under the Ramsar Convention.

    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

    • 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.

    • 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

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Paroo-Darling 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

    Paroo-Darling National Park is committed to upholding biodiversity and does this by protecting rare, vulnerable, threatened and endangered species. Conservation programs are regularly carried out in this park, and can include intensive research, surveying, data collection on species distribution and population, revegetation, fire management reviews and pest control.

    Conservation program

    DustWatch

    Recognising the threat dust poses to the Australian landscape, DustWatch is a community  program to monitor the extent and severity of wind erosion across the country. It is led by scientists from the Office of Environment and Heritage with support from local observers from government agencies and the community.

    Managing weeds, pest animals and other threats

    Pests and weeds have a significant impact to the ecosystems within Paroo-Darling National Park. NPWS carries out risk assesments for new and emerging weeds as well as fox and goat control to protect biodiversity in this park.

    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.

    Historic heritage in our parks and reserves

    NPWS strives to promote awareness and understanding of Paroo-Darling National Park, its historic heritage and abundant natural and cultural assets. NPWS actively supports research efforts and partnerships that assist park management, decision-making and conservation. Research findings, where possible, are interpreted, made available to the public, and implemented as required.

    Conserving our Aboriginal culture

    Paroo-Darling National Park is the traditional home of the Ngiyeempaa and Paakantyi people. Where possible, NPWS works alongside members of these communities to conserve and protect the park’s Aboriginal cultural heritage, and pursues opportunities for increased cultural connection. Research projects and programs to inform and educate park visitors are ongoing. Cultural site information is documented and preserved, and Aboriginal cultural material repatriated.

    Conservation program

    Paroo Darling National Park joint management program

    To acknowledge the commitment NSW National Parks has in working with the Paroo-Darling National Park Elders Council, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in November 2010. This agreement ensures that Aboriginal people have meaningful involvement in the management of the park, which features Aboriginal sites and places of cultural value.

    Sunset in Paroo-Darling National Park.