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About Moorrinya

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Getting there and getting around

Moorrinya park entrance. Photo: Tony Salisbury, Queensland Government

Moorrinya park entrance. Photo: Tony Salisbury, Queensland Government

Maps

From Townsville, travel south-west for 296km to Torrens Creek on the Flinders Highway. Moorrinya National Park is about 90km south of Torrens Creek on the Aramac Torrens Creek Road. If travelling from the south, the park is 180km north of Aramac, on the Aramac Torrens Creek Road. A directional sign marks the entrance to the park.

Access to the Shirley Shearing Shed camping area is marked by directional signs. From the entrance on the Aramac Torrens Creek Road, the track crosses Bullock Creek and travels for 6.5km through acacia and bluegrass communities. Turn right, just past the Shirley Homestead and travel 4.5km to a Y intersection. The camping area is 4.3km along the right-hand side road.

Four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended to access the camping area as the tracks are rough and become impassable to conventional vehicles after rain. Vehicle access is not maintained within the stock route. The park may be closed during the wet season (November to April). Check with the Department of Transport and Main Roads for road conditions and the Bureau of Meteorology for local weather information.

Wheelchair accessibility

Moorrinya National Park has no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Park features

A Moorrinya sunrise. Photo: Tony Salisbury, Queensland Government

A Moorrinya sunrise. Photo: Tony Salisbury, Queensland Government

Moorrinya National Park protects 32,607ha and is located in the heart of the Desert Uplands, protecting 18 vegetation communities in the Lake Eyre Basin, one of Australia's most important catchments.

This remote park has dry, flat plains criss-crossed by watercourses and covered in open eucalypt, paperbark and acacia woodlands and grasslands. Moorrinya is a wildlife refuge, protecting Australian icons such as kangaroos, koalas, emus and wedge-tailed eagles, as well as threatened species including the square-tailed kite, squatter pigeon (southern subspecies) and Julia Creek dunnart.

Moorrinya National Park was initially established as the sheep grazing property, Shirley Station. In the late 1970s, cattle replaced sheep and grazing continued until the park was established in 1993. Much of the sheep station infrastructure, dating back to the late 1940s, remains as a reminder of the spirit and hard work of the people who lived in this remote part of Queensland.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Seven camp sites have been established near the old Shirley shearing shed and a composting toilet is the only facility. A camping permit is required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

Other accommodation

A range of accommodation, including hotels, camping and caravan parks, are available at Torrens Creek, Hughenden, Pentland and Charters Towers. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Red-winged parrot at Moorrinya National Park. Photo: Brian Furby Collection.

Red-winged parrot at Moorrinya National Park. Photo: Brian Furby Collection.

Squatter pigeons are often seen at Moorrinya National Park. Photo: Brian Furby Collection.

Squatter pigeons are often seen at Moorrinya National Park. Photo: Brian Furby Collection.

Male ornate burrowing frogs can often be heard in the wet season. Photo: Eleanor Collins, Queensland Government

Male ornate burrowing frogs can often be heard in the wet season. Photo: Eleanor Collins, Queensland Government

Listen for calling ruddy treefrogs. Photo: Tony Salisbury, Queensland Government

Listen for calling ruddy treefrogs. Photo: Tony Salisbury, Queensland Government

Walking

Bullock Creek Walk (Grade: easy)

Distance: 200m return

Time: allow 15mins walking time

Details: Take this short stroll from the camping area to Bullock Creek. The track is not formed or marked. At the creek look for native fish including spangled perch Leiopotherapon unicolor, glassfish Ambassis sp. and silver catfish Plotosus argenteus. Waterbirds, such as the hoary-headed grebe Poliocephalus poliocephalus and Australasian darter Anhinga novaehollandiae, may be seen searching for food amongst the reeds. Shade is limited so try to walk in the cooler parts of the day.

Driving

Maps

Ride trail bikes and drive four-wheel-drives on Moorinya’s internal roads and firebreaks. Riders and drivers must be licensed and trail bikes and vehicles must be fully registered. Normal road rules apply and penalties will be enforced. Vehicle access is not maintained within the stock route. Expect to share the roads with pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles.

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

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

Mountain biking

Maps

Mountain bike on Moorinya’s internal roads and firebreaks. Expect to share the roads with wildlife, pedestrians and vehicles.

For more information, see cycling.

Viewing wildlife

The park is popular with birdwatchers and nature lovers—165 bird, 40 reptile, 17 mammal, nine frog and seven fish species have been recorded in the park.

Red-winged parrots Aprosmictus erythropteru, pale headed rosellas Platycercus adscitus and sulphur-crested cockatoos Cacatua galerita are often seen near the camping area, especially at dawn and dusk.

During the day look for koalas Phascolarctos cinereus sleeping in the canopy, and eastern grey kangaroos Macropus giganteus, common wallaroos Macropus robustus and red kangaroos Macropus rufus seeking shade from the sun’s heat. Double-barred finches Taneiopygia bichenovii and chestnut-breasted mannikins Lonchura castaneothorax are often seen feeding on and near the ground, as are squatter pigeons Geophaps scripta.

At night listen for the ‘woof woof’ call of barking owls Ninox connivens and look for sugar gliders Petaurus breviceps soaring between trees. During the wet season the park comes alive with the sounds of frog calls. Listen for ornate burrowing frogs Platyplectrum ornatum, greenstripe frogs Cyclorana alboguttata, ruddy treefrogs Litoria rubella and northern laughing treefrogs Litoria rothi.

Things to know before you go

The best time to visit is the cooler, drier months. Photo: Eleanor Collins, Queensland Government

The best time to visit is the cooler, drier months. Photo: Eleanor Collins, Queensland Government

Essentials to bring

To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable visit make sure you bring:

  • a first-aid kit
  • fresh water, as water is not provided
  • sealable containers for rubbish as bins are not provided
  • firewood—bring only clean, milled timber for use as firewood—collecting bush wood and kindling is prohibited
  • a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.

Opening hours

Moorrinya National Park is open 24 hours a day and is generally accessible from May to September. During the wet season (between November and April) the road into the park may be inaccessible. Visitors should check with the Department of Transport and Main Roads for road conditions and park alerts for up-to-date information.

Permits and fees

Camping permits are required and fees apply. Book your site online before arriving at the old woolshed. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

Large groups and commercial users will need to obtain an organised event activity or commercial activity permit.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Moorrinya National Park.

Climate and weather

Days can be very hot between October and March, reaching average temperature of 31ºC to 35ºC , and occasionally exceeding 40ºC. Wet periods occur during this time which makes access difficult or impossible. Visit in the cooler months, from April to September, when daily temperatures average a more pleasant 27ºC. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and basic supplies are available at Torrens Creek, about 90km north of the park. Charters Towers (about 250km north-east of Moorrinya) and Hughenden (about 178km north-west of Moorrinya) have a wider range of supplies. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Staying safe

Your safety is our concern but your responsibility.

  • Carry adequate drinking water. Treat water collected from creeks.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and a long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days.
  • Wear insect repellent, clothing and sturdy footwear to protect yourself from stings, scratches and bites.
  • Wear sturdy walking shoes.
  • Detour around snakes. Never provoke them.
  • Dingoes and wild dogs are potentially dangerous. Do not approach or feed dingoes and stay in groups when walking.
  • Beware of other road users. Vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians use access road in this park.

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

Looking after the park

Parks and forests protect Queensland's wonderful natural diversity and scenery. Help keep these places special by following these guidelines.

  • Fires are permitted only in designated fire rings. Collecting firewood in the park is prohibited.
  • Leave domestic animals at home.
  • Plants and animals are protected. Do not take or interfere with plants, animals, soil or rocks.
  • Rubbish bins are not provided. Do not bury rubbish—take it with you when you leave.
  • Do not use firearms or other weapons in the park.
  • Do not fossick in or remove any historical artifacts.
  • Unlicensed trail bike riders and drivers are not allowed in the parks. Riders and drivers must be licensed and vehicles must be fully registered.
  • Stay on the formed roads—off-road trail bike riding and four-wheel-driving is not allowed.
  • Avoiding driving and riding on unsealed roads during and after heavy rains.
  • Respect park users—ensure the noise and dust from your riding and driving doesn’t upset others.
  • Obey signs and safety notices.

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

Park management

Moorrinya National Park was gazetted in 1993. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) manages the protected area to conserve its natural, cultural and historic values under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

For more information see the Moorrinya National Park Management Plan (PDF, 554K).

Tourism information links

Charters Towers Visitor Information Centre
www.charterstowers.qld.gov.au
12 Mosman Street, Charters Towers QLD 4820
Phone: (07) 4761 5533
Email:

Flinders Discovery Centre
37 Gray Street, Hughenden QLD 4821
Phone: (07) 4741 2970
Email:

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

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
16 August 2018