Gundabooka National Park
Mount Gunderbooka rises to 500 m among the rust-coloured cliffs, gorges and hills of the Gunderbooka Range. The region is of great significance to the local Ngemba people and the range has a history of ceremonial gatherings and rock art.
This park is near...
Bourke (50 km)
Best access routes
Gundabooka is 50 kilometres south of Bourke, off the Kidman Way. Roads are passable in dry weather only. Contact the local office to make bookings and obtain directions before visiting the park.
Road quality: unpaved sections
Facilities & things to do
>>Picnics & barbecues
Native plant communities
Culture & history
The Gunderbooka Range is a significant place for the Ngemba and Paakandji Aboriginal people of western New South Wales. It features prominently in the consciousness of Aboriginal people today and in particular the people of Bourke and Brewarrina.
The range provided a vital resource for Aboriginal people living in the area in dry periods. Creeks in the range are one of the few locations on the Cobar Peneplain that provide water in times of drought. The mountain and nearby Yanda Creek form part of an extensive travel network that linked the mountain with other waterholes, creeks and the Darling River.
Visitation and use of the area by Aboriginal people continued after European settlement in the 19th century. Anecdotal evidence suggests that its difficult terrain provided a shelter during massacres by European settlers. However subdivision of the land around the beginning of the 20th century and the movement of Aboriginal people onto missions made visitation more difficult.
The land and waterways, and the plants and animals that live in them, feature in all facets of Aboriginal culture – including recreational, ceremonial, spiritual and as a main source of food and medicine. They are associated with dreaming stories and cultural learning that is still passed on today. We work with local Aboriginal communities to protect this rich heritage.
To find out more about Aboriginal heritage in the park, you can get in touch with the local Aboriginal community. Contact the park office for more details.
History in the park
European exploration of the Darling River began in the early years of the 19th century and the Gunderbooka Range was noted by Charles Sturt during his explorations in 1829. From the mid 19th century, European settlement moved gradually north up the Darling River. Although 'Gundabooka' station was established adjacent to the river in 1857, the mountain range was situated away from the river and was only used sporadically by pastoralists.
However by the late 19th century, settlement had spread further into the interior and the mountain range was included in the neighbouring stations of Yanda and Gundabooka. These were subsequently subdivided as part of the soldier settlement scheme following World War One.
Three of these smaller stations, Ben Lomond, Belah and Mulgowan, now comprise the park. They are representative of the type of pastoral properties that existed in north western NSW in the mid twentieth century. All contain elements of historic interest including homesteads, quarters, shearing sheds and yards. The old homestead rubbish tips are also of archaeological interest.
These buildings are located in a landscape that itself tells of the history of pastoralism. Important items in the landscape include the old fences, areas where trees have been cut to provide fences, drought fodder, old tanks and telegraph lines.
The park was gazetted in 1996.
Information for this National Park has been supplied courtesy of The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service