Toorale National Park

Overview

Explore the vast floodplain and beautiful rivers of outback NSW near Bourke on a car tour of Toorale National Park and State Conservation Area. You’ll enjoy great fishing and birdwatching.

Read more about Toorale National Park

Experience an outback adventure at Toorale National Park and State Conservation Area (SCA). Awe-inspiring skies, dramatic sunsets and starry nights under Australian floodplain landscapes are just a few things you can enjoy while riverside camping at Darling River campground (Yapara Paaka Thuru). Picnic by the river bank to the sight and sound of birds at Many Big Rocks picnic area (Karnu Yalpa).

Best visited between April and November, few places offer the rare opportunity to see the floodplain landscape come to life after rain like Toorale National Park and SCA. Located at the junction of Warrego and Darling rivers, the seasonal wetlands offer an abundance of birdlife, with ibis, pelicans, as well as iconic brolgas.

This park lies within the traditional lands of Kurnu-Baakandji People. You can learn about their culture as well as the historic significance of this region on a Discovery tour. It’s the perfect addition to an outback tour, taking in neighbouring parks such as Gundabooka National Park.

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/toorale-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

  • in the Outback NSW region
  • Toorale National Park and SCA is open sunrise to sunset, but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger

  • More
See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Getting there and parking

From Bourke:

  • Travel 10.5km north from Bourke on Hungerford Road
  • Continue for 21.5km and turn left at the sign to Louth, onto the unsealed Toorale Road (Rural Local Road 10).
  • Drive for 38km and, after crossing a stock grid, you’ll see a Toorale entrance sign.

From Louth:

  • Cross the bridge over the Darling River and travel 30km on the unsealed Toorale Road (Rural Local Road 10) towards Bourke.

Parking

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • All roads require 4WD vehicle

By bike

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

By public transport

Visit the NSW country transport info website for more information.

Best times to visit

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

Autumn

Enjoy the wide open spaces under clear blue autumn skies.

Spring

A great time to see outback wildflowers and emu chicks and make the most of some excellent birdwatching opportunities.

Summer

Escape the heat and relax beside Darling River as you enjoy a spot of fishing among natural surroundings.

Winter

It’s the best time to explore the wetlands after the autumn rains bring the vast natural floodplain back to life.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

21°C and 36°C

Highest recorded

48°C

Winter temperature

Average

4°C and 18°C

Lowest recorded

-3.5°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

February

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

197.6mm

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

Bourke (70 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

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

The People of Darling River

Aboriginal Discovery Coordinators at the reconstructed Bourke Wharf on banks of Darling River. Photo: P Nicholas/OEH

This country between the Warrego and Darling rivers is of spiritual and cultural significance to Kurnu-Baakandji People. The name Baakandji comes from the word ‘paaka’, meaning ‘Darling River’, so Baakandji are the People belonging to Darling River. Take a Discovery tour to learn about the culture and heritage of the region as well as local bush tucker such as wild orange, quandongs, wild plum bush, wild bananas and bush tomatoes.

Inland rivers

Darling River drive, Toorale National Park and State Conservation Area. Photo: Gregory Anderson

Toorale National Park marks the junction of two mighty inland rivers and provides one of only a few opportunities to access the Darling and Warrego rivers. Set up camp on the Darling riverbank, or spend a leisurely day checking out the local wildlife, birdwatching and fishing.

Rich pastoral history

Toorale Homestead precinct, Toorale National Park and State Conservation Area. Photo: Gregory Anderson

A relative newcomer to the national park family, Toorale was purchased in 2008. The large pastoral station and woolshed changed hands many times, and many people have a historic connection to Toorale, including Henry Lawson, who worked on the station for a short period during the 1890s.

  • Toorale Homestead precinct (Yarramarra) Toorale Homestead precinct (Yarramarra) is a must-see for outback travellers near Bourke. Built on the lands of the Kurnu-Baakandji People, Toorale Station was once part of the world’s largest sheep station.

Birdwatching spectacular

Australian pelican. Photo: Rob Cleary

After the rains, the vast natural floodplain springs to life and the wetlands bring an abundance of birdlife. A fabulous spot for birdwatching, bring your binoculars for the chance to see the iconic brolga, pink cockatoo, or the wide range of waterbirds such as the Australian pelican, pied cormorant and royal spoonbill.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

What we're doing

Toorale 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.

Planning for the future

The community is invited to have a say on the future of Toorale National Park and Toorale State Conservation Area by commenting on the Draft Plan of Management before 7 May 2018.

Have your say on the future of the Toorale National Park and Toorale State Conservation Area.

Toorale National Park and State Conservation Area. Photo: Gregory Anderson