Australia: The Land Where Time Began
Lochern National Park
What's special?Lochern is in the heart of boom and bust country where flooding rains and devastating drought are part of daily life. The park protects habitats in Queensland’s Channel Country, Mitchell Grass Downs and Mulga Lands including mulga, hakea, western bloodwood and coolibah and gidgee woodlands.
All four species of Mitchell grass (bull, curly, barley and hoop) grow on the park. Whitewood and gidgee woodlands grow on stony ridges while sandplains support leopardwood and gidgee woodlands or mulga and eastern dead finish shrublands.
Lochern National Park has a 20km frontage to the Thomson River. The park’s many lagoons and waterholes are a refuge for birds and other wildlife. Forrest’s mouse, restricted to the arid inland, is at the eastern boundary of its range at Lochern. The threatened Major Mitchell (pink) cockatoo also lives in the park.
Exploring LochernLike the jolly swagman, you can camp beside a billabong at Broadwater Hole. Rediscover the park’s pastoral past by staying in the old shearers’ quarters. Visitors must be self-sufficient. Take fuel, food, water, first aid kit and vehicle spare parts.
Lochern is a great place for watching wildlife. See kangaroos, wallaroos, emus, brolgas and Australian bustards.
Go birdwatching early morning around the waterholes or in the sweetly-scented eastern dead finish and native fuchsia shrublands. See red-tailed black-cockatoos in spring and summer. Go fishing. Size and bag limits apply.
Explore the park along the 16km Bluebush Lagoon circuit drive which starts near the office. See Mitchell grass plains, gidgee woodlands and coolibah-fringed creeks.
See the shepherd’s yards and old shearers’ quarters. April to September are the best times to visit though nights can be cold. Summers are very hot.
WalkingThe park has no walking tracks but you can wander around the river and waterholes.
Getting thereLochern is 140km south-west of Longreach or 40km north of Stonehenge. The best access is from Longreach or Stonehenge along the Longreach-Jundah Road. Turn off 100km south of Longreach then follow the unsealed road about 40km to the park boundary. Drive a further 10km to the park office. Allow 4–5 hours for the journey from Winton. This access route is rough and dusty. Always check road conditions before you visit. Rain makes the roads impassable.
|Author: M.H.Monroe Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sources & Further reading|