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About Blackbraes

Getting there and getting around

The camping area is 2km beyond the windmill. Photo: Eleanor Collins, Queensland Government.

The camping area is 2km beyond the windmill. Photo: Eleanor Collins, Queensland Government.

Map

Blackbraes National Park is on the Kennedy Developmental Road and can be accessed via Hughenden or the Lynd Junction.

Hughenden access

From Townsville follow the Flinders Highway 380km south-west, or from Mount Isa, follow the Flinders Highway 520km east. At Hughenden, turn onto the Kennedy Developmental Road and travel north for 170km to the park.

Lynd Junction access

Access to the Lynd Junction is from Townsville (via Herveys Range), Charters Towers or Mount Garnet. From Townsville, follow Herveys Range Developmental Road for 109km through Herveys Range. Turn right onto the Gregory Developmental Road and travel 163km to the Lynd Junction. From Charters Towers, follow the Gregory Developmental Road north-west for 262km to the Lynd Junction. From Mount Garnet, travel 162km south on the Kennedy Highway to the Lynd Junction. The park is a further 95km south on the Kennedy Highway.

To access the camping area, follow the park road for 4.5km past the ranger base and turn right at the fork. Travel a further 14km and turn right at the windmill. The camping area is another 2km along this road.

The Kennedy Developmental Road is unsealed and may be temporarily closed or inaccessible after heavy rain. When dry, this road can be used by conventional vehicles with care. However, travellers should expect to encounter bulldust, corrugations, exposed rocks, creek crossings, other vehicles, native wildlife, cattle and road trains. Access to the park is recommended for four-wheel-drive vehicles only. Contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads to find out about local road conditions and the Bureau of Meteorology for weather reports and forecasts.

Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheelchair-accessible tracks or facilities in the park.

Park features

Blackbraes National Park encompasses two bioregions. Photo: Eleanor Collins, Queensland Government.

Blackbraes National Park encompasses two bioregions. Photo: Eleanor Collins, Queensland Government.

Adjacent to Blackbraes National Park are two regional parks—Moonstone Hill and Kennedy Road Gravel. The park and two reserves cover about 52,000ha, and straddle two bioregions—the Einasleigh Uplands and Gulf Plains. Undulating hills and ranges surround basalt outcrops, black soil plains and seasonal swamps. The park and reserves are above 850m elevation providing a wetter and generally cooler climate compared with the surrounding country.

Moonstone Hill Regional Park—a volcanic crater—is popular for fossicking gem-quality feldspar called moonstone. Moonstone emits a silvery-white to blue colour when turned in certain directions. Fossicking in the reserve requires a licence.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camp near Emu Swamp. The camping area is open during the dry season—usually from March to November. It may be closed at other times dependent on weather conditions. See park alerts for up-to-date information. There are no facilities so visitors must be self-sufficient. Camping permits are required and fees apply.

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation including motels and caravan parks in Hughenden. The Oasis Roadhouse on the Lynd Junction provides caravan accommodation. For more information see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Birdwatch at Emu Swamp dam. Photo: Eleanor Collins, Queensland Government.

Birdwatch at Emu Swamp dam. Photo: Eleanor Collins, Queensland Government.

Walking

Map

Fire trails (Grade: easy–moderate)

Distance: various
Time: various depending on route taken
Details: There are no formal walking tracks but visitors can walk along the roads and fire trails throughout the park. Expect to share the roads with trail bikes, vehicles and cyclists. Walkers must not enter private land, adjacent to the park and reserves.

Mountain biking

Mountain bike through Blackbraes National Park on the internal roads and fire breaks. Riders must not enter private land adjacent to the park and reserves. Expect to share the roads with pedestrians, trail bikes, vehicles and other cyclists.

Access to the park may be closed during the wet season. See park alerts for up-to-date information.

For more information, see cycling.

Trail bike riding and four-wheel driving

Ride trail bikes and drive four-wheel-drives through Blackbraes National Park on the internal roads and fire breaks. Vehicles and bikes must not enter private property adjacent to the park and reserves. Riders and drivers must be licensed and trail bikes and vehicles must be fully registered. Expect to share the roads with pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles.

Stay on formed roads—trail bikes and vehicles are not permitted off-road.

Access to the park may be closed during the wet season. See park alerts for up-to-date information.

For more information, see trail bike riding and four-wheel driving.

Viewing wildlife

Birdwatching at Emu Swamp dam is popular with over 30 waterbirds recorded from the park and reserves. At night, spotlight for greater gliders, rufous bettongs, bandicoots, insects, frogs and snakes.

  • See the description of the park's natural environment for more details about wildlife in Blackbraes National Park.
  • To plan a spotlighting trip, see spotlighting.

Other things to do

Gem fossicking

Fossicking at Moonstone Hill Resource Reserve is popular with gem collectors and lapidary enthusiasts. Fossicking in the reserve requires a licence.

Things to know before you go

Essentials to bring

To enjoy your time in these parks remember to bring:

  • sufficient water
  • a fuel stove for cooking
  • a first-aid kit
  • sunscreen and insect repellent
  • rubbish bags.

Opening hours

Blackbraes National Park is open 24 hours a day. The camping area is open during the dry season—usually from March to November. It may be closed at other times dependent on weather conditions. See park alerts for up-to-date information. Contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads to find out about local road conditions and the Bureau of Meteorology for weather reports and forecasts.

Permits and fees

Camping permits are required and fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

Fossicking in Moonstone Hill Regional Park requires a licence.

Permits are required for commercial or organised group activities. Contact us for further information.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Blackbraes National Park or the regional parks.

Climate and weather

In summer, daytime temperatures can exceed 35°C. The cooler months of the year—May to August—are the best times to visit. Night time temperatures can drop below 6°C and frosts can occur during this time. Most rain falls in the summer months—December to March—and there is little rainfall in winter. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Hughenden and the Lynd Junction. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Staying safe

  • This area is isolated so it is important to plan trips carefully and be prepared for emergencies.
  • Carry at least one form of communication equipment. Satellite phones and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are the most effective in this area. Mobile phone coverage is unreliable.
  • Carry plenty of drinking water and try to walk and ride in the cooler part of the day.
  • Wear appropriate helmets and safety gear and be realistic about your cycling and riding abilities.
  • Ride and drive to the conditions.
  • Carry adequate food, first-aid equipment, fuel and basic vehicle repair equipment in case of unexpected delays or breakdown.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

  • Do not enter private property without the owner’s permission and leave gates as you found them.
  • Everything in the park is protected—leave everything as you found it.
  • Leave pets at home—domestic animals are not permitted in national parks.
  • Take rubbish home as bins are not provided.
  • Toilets are not provided. Bury human waste and toilet paper at least 15cm deep and 100m from the car park, fire trails and any water bodies to guard against pollution and the spread of disease.
  • Limit the spread of weeds by ensuring clothes, shoes, gear, bikes and vehicles are clean and free of seeds before arriving at the park and reserve. Remove, wrap and place seeds in your rubbish.
  • Ride and drive on formed roads as shown on map (PDF, 79K). Off-road riding and driving damages the environment.
  • Unlicensed trail bike riders and drivers are not allowed in parks and reserves. Riders and drivers must be licensed and vehicles must be fully registered.
  • Motocross is not permitted in parks or reserves.
  • Avoiding driving and riding on unsealed roads during and after heavy rains.
  • The use of firearms is not permitted in national parks.

Spotlighting

If planning a spotlighting trip there are a few things that will make the experience memorable:

  • Keep bulb wattage to 30 or less. This will increase the chance of finding animals (by not warning them of your arrival) and will extend your viewing time.
  • Bring binoculars to get a good view.
  • Use your senses to find wildlife. Look for eye shine, listen for leaves rustling and inhale the smells.
  • Use a white light to explore, then add a red or orange filter to view wildlife. Cellophane is useful.
  • Remember that loud voices and sounds will scare away the wildlife and ruin your experience.
  • Lights should never be trained on nesting birds—this can cause them great distress.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

Formerly Blackbraes Pastoral Holding, Blackbraes National Park and the associated resource reserves—Moonstone Hill and Kennedy Road Gravel—were gazetted in 1998. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) manages the protected area to conserve its natural, cultural and historic values.

Tourism information links

Flinders Discovery Centre
www.flinders.qld.gov.au
37 Gray Street, Hughenden QLD 4821
Phone: (07) 4741 2970
Email:

Charters Towers Visitor Information Centre
www.charterstowers.qld.gov.au
12 Mosman Street, Charters Towers QLD 4820
Phone: (07) 4761 5300
Email:

At the Creek Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre
www.atthecreek.com.au
34 Burke Street, Julia Creek QLD 4823
Phone: (07) 4746 7690
Email:

Kronosaurus Korner Information Centre
www.kronosauruskorner.com.au
91–93 Goldring Street, Richmond QLD 4822
Phone: (07) 4741 3429
Email:

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

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
15 September 2016