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About Diamantina

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Getting there and getting around

Diamantina National Park is part of the Diamantina catchment. To help you plan your visit to this remote area, go to the Parks of Central West Queensland web page.

Diamantina National Park can be reached by heading south from Winton or Boulia, north from Windorah or east from Bedourie. Obtain a Sunmap or RACQ map for details. A four-wheel-drive vehicle with high clearance is necessary as many outback roads are unsealed and wheel ruts can be deep.

Even small amounts of rain can make roads impassable so always be prepared and have at least a week’s worth of extra supplies in case of stranding. Check with Queensland Transport or local council offices for current road conditions before your trip.

Remember to carry extra fuel for driving within the park.

For protection of natural resources, entry to Diamantina National Park east of the Diamantina River Road is prohibited (PDF, 67K).

Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheelchair accessible facilities in Diamantina National Park.

Park features

Diamantina dunes. Photo courtesy Nella Lithgow.

Diamantina dunes. Photo courtesy Nella Lithgow.

This 507,000 hectare park is home to many rare and threatened species. Lake Constance and Hunters Gorge are important wetlands and support breeding populations of many resident and migratory birds.

Diamantina National Park was formerly a pastoral holding and became a national park in 1992. It sweeps across highly weathered sandstone ranges in the east, down to the floodplains of the Diamantina River and its tributaries, then across Mitchell grass plains to dune-fields reminiscent of deserts further west.

In the past, Maiawali and Karuwali Aboriginal people moved through every part of this landscape. Their strong spiritual connections remain today.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camping is permitted at Hunters Gorge and Gum Hole camping areas. A pit toilet and e-permit camping display are the only facilities provided. Camping permits are required and fees apply.

Other accommodation

See the tourism information links for information about accommodation in surrounding towns.

Things to do

Hunters Gorge is a great spot to paddle a canoe. Photo courtesy Nella Lithgow.

Hunters Gorge is a great spot to paddle a canoe. Photo courtesy Nella Lithgow.

A yellow-spotted monitor surveys its territory. Photo courtesy Mark Lithgow.

A yellow-spotted monitor surveys its territory. Photo courtesy Mark Lithgow.

Crimson turkey bush Eremophila latrobei. Photo courtesy Nella Lithgow.

Crimson turkey bush Eremophila latrobei. Photo courtesy Nella Lithgow.

Permanent waterholes are a perfect place to photograph waterbirds at Diamantina. Photo courtesy Mark Lithgow.

Permanent waterholes are a perfect place to photograph waterbirds at Diamantina. Photo courtesy Mark Lithgow.

Sandhill puncture vine provides splashes of bright yellow colour in the dunes. Photo courtesy Nella Lithgow.

Sandhill puncture vine provides splashes of bright yellow colour in the dunes. Photo courtesy Nella Lithgow.

Walking

When walking, wear sun protection and sturdy shoes, carry plenty of water, and follow other safety advice.

Warracoota Ruins—400m return (allow 45mins) Grade: easy

Explore several loose stone-walled structures thought to have been built by early pioneers. The Warracoota Ruins are located 3km west of Warracoota Waterhole along the signed Warracoota Circuit Drive. Follow park signs to a turn-around at the base of a small hill. Park your vehicle here and begin the short walk up-hill at the sign. There is no designated walking track. Please do not try to drive—heritage sites and artefacts are protected.

Driving

Please practise low impact driving in Diamantina National Park and remember to bring extra fuel if undertaking this drive.

Warracoota Circuit Drive—approximately 90km (allow 4-5hrs)

Follow the self-guided, one-way Warracoota Circuit Drive to explore pastoral relics and learn about the desert landscape and its importance to the Maiawali and Karuwali people. Pick up a copy of the park guide (available on park from the visitor information room or self-registration stand at one of the camping areas) before you go. The park guide provides detailed information about stopping points of interest.

Janets Leap lookout—approximately 8km return (allow 1hr)

Visit Janets Leap lookout for a bird’s-eye view of Diamantina Gates, where the many braided channels of the Diamantina River converge and push through a narrow gap between the Hamilton and Goyder ranges. The turn-off to the lookout is signed on the road to Winton—the drive to the lookout is 8km return from here.

Boating

Bring your canoe and paddle in the peaceful permanent waterholes and seasonal lakes.

Viewing wildlife

Species lists are available from the Wildlife Online web page.

Animals and birds

Diamantina's wildlife is highly diverse for arid Queensland, and animals found here include a number of rare and threatened species, including bilbies, kowaris, plains-wanderers, peregrine falcons, and two rare species of skink.

The park's large permanent waterholes attract many animals and are particularly good for birdwatching at dawn and dusk. While you are travelling around the park, keep an eye out for Hall's babblers, black falcons and oriental plovers.

Native long-haired rats are noted for periodic population explosions in channel  country following exceptionally good rain or floods. In response, the rat's predators, such as inland taipans, letter-winged kites and eastern grass owls also increase in numbers.

Plants

The floodplains, braided channels and waterholes of the Diamantina River and its tributaries are lined with coolibahs, river red gums, lignum, blue bushes and grasses. Beyond the river flats are vast gibber plains and deep, cracking clay soils supporting grasslands dominated by Mitchell grass.

In the south-west, sandhills and claypans are dominated by cane grass communities, while stark limestone ranges in the park's centre support shrubland and grassland communities that are rare in the region.

Two rare Eremophila species—rock fuchsia bush and gypsum bush—are found in the park. To date, the gypsum bush has been recorded in only 10 locations on and around Diamantina.

Trees such as lancewood, mountain yapunyah, Normanton box, red mallee and myall, although more typically found in greater numbers in other climatic regions, are also found here.

Other things to do

Photography

Capture Diamantina’s rich desert colours, diverse wildlife and beautiful flower displays as a souvenir of your visit.

Discovering cultural heritage

Diamantina National Park contains several sites of cultural significance and is particularly rich in Indigenous habitation and spiritual sites. Remnants of settler history include the remains of Mayne Hotel, which closed in 1951 (located just near the eastern park boundary), stone hut ruins near Warracoota Waterhole and cemeteries. The 20 registered graves recorded in the park date from 1884 to 1944.

Displays in the visitor information room at the old homestead explain more about the park’s heritage.

Please remember, heritage sites and artefacts are protected. Leave everything as you find it.

Things to know before you go

Diamantina National Park is 306km from Winton, 183km from Boulia, and 350km from Windorah, and you must be self-sufficient and prepared for emergencies.

Essentials to bring

  • Adequate water, food and emergency supplies. Carry at least seven litres of water per person per day and enough emergency food and water for at least seven days in case of stranding.
  • Fuel stove. Camp fires are permitted, except when fire prohibitions or fire bans are in place. 
  • Complete first-aid kit. Include sun and insect protection in your kit.
  • UHF, satellite phone and/or an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). Mobile phone coverage is poor or not available in most areas of Diamantina National Park.
  • Extra fuel and vehicle repairs. Frequent low gear and four-wheel-drive travel will use fuel more quickly on park drives. You should also bring vehicle repair tools, spare tyres, oil and engine coolant.

Opening hours

Diamantina National Park is open all year however wet weather may cause temporary closures. Check park alerts or contact us for information on park conditions and closures.

Permits and fees

Camping permits are required and fees apply.

Commercial photography permits are required if you intend to sell any photographs taken of Queensland’s parks and forests. Organised event permits are required for organised group activities that may interfere with general public use. Contact us for further information.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Diamantina National Park.

Climate and weather

Visiting is recommended from April to September as summer temperatures can reach up to 50°C during the day, and summer rains often cause flooding. Rain can fall at any time of year and flooding can occur up to two weeks after rain elsewhere in the catchment, resulting in unexpected creek rises and road closures.

Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Fuel and supplies

The nearest fuel and supplies are at Boulia (183km), Winton (306km) or Windorah (350km).

Staying safe

This park is remote and rangers may not be on park to help you. You must be self-sufficient and prepared for emergencies.

It is vitally important that you read staying safe in Parks of Central West Queensland.

In an emergency

In an emergency, phone Triple Zero (000). You could also contact the local police stations: Boulia (07) 4746 3120, Bedourie (07) 4746 1220, Longreach (07) 4658 2200. Other visitors may be contactable on UHF radio (use Channel 2 duplex and scan for other local radio traffic).

Looking after the park

Everything in Diamantina National Park is protected, including plants, animals and heritage sites and artefacts. Please appreciate, respect and help care for Diamantina’s outstanding natural and cultural values by leaving things as you find them, and encouraging others to do the same.

Please read looking after parks in Central West Queensland.

Park management

Each park in the Central West Queensland district has unique attributes. They are managed to conserve their natural condition and protect their cultural resources and values. A management plan for Diamantina National Park will be developed in the future.

Tourism information links

Waltzing Matilda Centre
(contact for Dinosaur Trackways)
www.matildacentre.com.au
www.dinosaurtrackways.com.au
50 Elderslie Street, Winton
ph (07) 4657 1466 or 1300 665 115
fax (07) 4657 1886
email

Diamantina Shire Council
www.diamantina.qld.gov.au
506 Herbert Street, Bedourie
ph (07) 4746 1202
fax (07) 4746 1272
email

Longreach Regional Council
www.longreach.qld.gov.au
96A Eagle Street, Longreach
ph (07) 4658 4111
fax (07) 4658 4116
email

For information on road conditions contact:

Queensland Transport
www.131940.qld.gov.au

Phone 13 19 40 for 24-hour road reports.

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
21 October 2016