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About Bladensburg

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Getting there and getting around

Bladensburg 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.

Conventional vehicles can access Bladensburg only during dry weather, and a high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended at all times. Driving south from Winton on the Winton-Jundah Road, drive about 8km then take a left turn along the Route of the River Gum.

From the turn-off it is 5km to a junction. Turn left to Bladensburg homestead (5km) or right along the Route of the River Gum to Bough Shed Hole camping area (12km).

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 the Queensland Transport or local council offices for current road conditions before your trip.

Park features

Bladensburg National Park conserves 84,900ha of Mitchell Grass Downs and Channel Country, including unique birdlife, plants and animals. Impressive flat-topped plateaus and residual sandstone ranges provide a scenic backdrop to vast grassland plains and river flats, river red gums and rocky scarp.

Bladensburg National Park encompasses areas of important Indigenous and pastoral heritage. The Koa People consider Bladensburg to be part of their traditional country, and the park is also important to the Maiawali and Karuwali People. Skull Hole is believed to be the site of a massacre of Aboriginal people in the late 1800s.

Pastoralists established a large station at Bladensburg—the homestead has been restored and is used as an information centre and ranger office. There are other sites within the park which offer reminders of the park’s early pastoral history.

Read more about the nature, culture and history of Central West Queensland parks.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camping is permitted at Bough Shed Hole camping area. A pit toilet is the only facility provided. Camping permits are required and fees apply.

Other accommodation

There is a range of accommodation available in and around Winton. See tourism information links for further information.

Things to do

Walking

Take the time to explore some of Bladensburg’s natural and historical attractions on foot.

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

Bladensburg homestead walk (allow 30–45mins) Grade: easy

Explore the restored homestead and its original complex, consisting of staff quarters, meat house and store. Obtain a Bladensburg homestead walk guide brochure onsite and discover outback station life from a time when 11 miles to Winton was a long way.

Driving

Take a scenic drive through grasslands and channels then climb the jump-up to Scrammy Gorge for spectacular views. You could also skirt the scenic waterholes of Surprise Creek, vast claypans and sites of significance to the Koa People.

Please practise low impact driving in Bladensburg National Park and never drive on claypans.

Scrammy drive—40km return (allow 2–4hrs)

Find out who Scrammy was and share his view over spectacular Bladensburg National Park. Starting at Bladensburg Homestead, Scrammy Drive takes you over black soil plains, through spectacular jump-up country to the walking track leading to Scrammy Lookout. Pick up a drive guide brochure at the old homestead before setting out. This drive can only be accessed by high clearance vehicles, a four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended.

Route of the River Gum—72km return to Winton (allow half a day)

Starting at the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton, the Route of the River Gum passes 15 places of interest in Winton Shire and through Bladensburg National Park. Pick up a drive guide brochure from the Waltzing Matilda Centre before you head off.

Viewing wildlife

Species lists are available from Wildlife Online.

Animals

Bladensburg is home to a wonderful diversity of birds, including emus, Australian bustards, Hall’s babblers, spotted bowerbirds and singing bushlarks.

Although more typically found in greater numbers further to the north and west, you may still see painted firetails and rufous-crowned emu-wrens among the spinifex and rufous-throated honeyeaters along creek lines.

Look for red kangaroos on the open Mitchell grasslands, eastern grey kangaroos in the lower creeks and wallaroos around mesa areas. During the day, dunnarts and planigales (native marsupial mice) will shelter from the sun in the clay soils’ deep cracks, but are active at night in the Mitchell grasslands.

Plants

The flat tops of mesas and plateaus support open woodlands of western bloodwood and mulga. The distinctive mineritchie or red mulga, with its characteristic curly red bark, lines some dry creek beds.

Lancewood covers the steep slopes of sandstone ranges and escarpments, while spinifex and Normanton box are found in the broad valleys. Bladensburg forms the south-eastern boundary of soft spinifex’s (Triodia pungens) range.

Much of the park’s northern half consists of vast cracking clay soils covered by Mitchell grass and scattered with small areas of gidgee woodlands.

Things to know before you go

Bladensburg National Park is close to Winton but 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. No fires are permitted in Bladensburg National Park.
  • 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 Bladensburg 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

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

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Bladensburg National Park.

Climate and weather

Visiting is recommended from April to September.

Be aware!

  • Summer temperatures reach 40°C—often over 45°C—during the day
  • 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 in Winton, 17 km from the park entrance.

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) and if this fails try 112. You could also contact the Winton Police Station on (07) 4657 1200, or try to make contact with people on UHF radio (try channel 1 duplex and scan for other local radio traffic).

Looking after the park

Everything in Bladensburg National Park is protected, including plants, animals and heritage sites and artefacts. Please appreciate, respect and help care for Bladensburg’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 Longreach district has unique attributes. They are managed to conserve their natural condition and protect their cultural resources and values. A management plan for Bladensburg will be developed in the future.

Tourism information links

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

Winton Shire Council
www.winton.qld.gov.au
75 Vindex Street, Winton
ph (07) 4657 2666
fax (07) 4657 1342
email

Waltzing Matilda Centre
(contact for Dinosaur Trackways)
www.matildacentre.com.au
50 Elderslie Street, Winton
ph (07) 4657 1466 or 1300 665 115
fax (07) 4657 1886
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
23 January 2014