Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Diamantina National Park

Vast open plains stretching towards the horizon are broken only by the coolabah-lined channels of meandering rivers and creeks in Diamantina National Park. This large, remote park in Queensland’s Channel Country features sand dunes, claypans, ragged red-capped ranges, and the broad floodplains and braided channels of the Diamantina River, one of the state’s longest rivers.

Beyond the river flats are vast gibber plains and Mitchell grasslands. Trees at the western limit of their range include mountain yapunyah, Normanton box and red mallee. Myall Eremophila tetraptera, a native fuchsia which grows in the park, is considered vulnerable to extinction.

Diamantina National Park is home to many rare and threatened species such as the greater bilby, kowari, dusky hopping-mouse, kultarr, plains wanderer, peregrine falcon and two rare skinks.

The Kirrenderri people who lived here for thousands of years call Diamantina “Kurrawoolkani” and regard this place as their heartland. The park has a rich Aboriginal history and is also the traditional land of the Maiawali people. Once a working cattle property, Diamantina contains old station buildings, remains of the Mayne Hotel, stone hut ruins near Warracoota Waterhole and cemeteries.

Exploring Diamantina

Rich colours delight photographers who visit this diverse park. Camp or fish, or go canoeing, scenic driving or bird watching. Obtain a copy of the park guide and self-guided circuit drive brochure to help you explore the park.

You can bush camp at Hunter’s Gorge or Gum Waterhole. Take drinking water and a fuel stove.

See the park along the 157km Warracoota self-guided circuit drive, which takes visitors past sand dunes, floodplains, claypans, gibber plains and grasslands. Stop at Warracoota Waterhole and visit the old cattle yards, a large constructed dam and an old stock camp.

Go birdwatching around seasonal lakes and waterholes. See spoonbills, darters, galahs and budgerigars. Fish for yellowbelly and Welsh’s grunter in Mundewerra Waterhole at Hunters Gorge.

See the “Diamantina Gates” from Janet Leap Lookout. Here, the river is funnelled between the Guyder and Hamilton Ranges.

Enjoy spectacular wildflower displays after rain. Visit in the cooler months, April to September. Summers are very hot.

Getting there

Head south from Winton or Boulia or north from Windorah and Bedourie. Access is suitable for four-wheel-drive vehicles only and roads may become impassable or flooded after rain. Always check road conditions before travelling to the park. Access is through working pastoral properties. Leave gates as you find them. Take extra fuel. The closest supplies are at Boulia (183km), Winton (306km) or Windorah (350km).

Hunters Gorge is 14km from the park headquarters or 4km from the Boulia-Springvale Road. Gum Waterhole is 11km past the Hunters Gorge turnoff.

Sources & Further reading


Journey Back Through Time
Experience Australia
Aboriginal Australia
National Parks
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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading