There are many things to do and see in the two national parks located within the beautiful Balonne Shire. You can set up your own bush camp, go for bushwalks and experience nature, do a spot of bird watching, and immerse yourself in the abundance of flora and fauna.
To make the most of your national park experience, ensure you plan ahead and are well prepared with adequate equipment and supplies. To book an e-permit to camp in both of our National Parks, you can either book online via www.qld.gov.au/camping ;or phone 13 74 68 (13 QGOV). Stay up to date with detailed national parks information; visit Queensland National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks.
Thrushton National Park
For the serious bush campers and four-wheel drive enthusiasts, this is nature at its best. There are no facilities, so prepare to be totally self-sufficient and well-equipped. Thrushton National Park is approximately 40km northeast of Bollon and accessible via dirt roads (dry weather only).
On arrival to the 4WD camping area, you will discover the ruins of the Thrushton homestead and woolshed which serve as a reminder of the area's previous life as a sheep property. The homestead was originally part of Dunkeld Inn, near Thallon and was relocated via 40 horse-drawn carts in 1921. There is a diverse range of plants and animals that thrive within Thrushton and over 100 species of birds have been recorded in the area. During spring, the wildflowers bloom and they become a special feature of this park. If you are a keen bush walker and like to use your compass, you will enjoy navigating yourself around the park as there are no designated walking tracks.
To get to Thrushton National Park from St George, drive 51km west along the Balonne Highway towards Bollon. When you reach the Boolba tennis courts, take the next right and follow the road for 36.3km (which eventually becomes Cypress Tank Road) until you reach the Rutherglen Road turnoff. Follow Rutherglen Road for 14.5km until you reach the eastern corner of the park. For those travelling from Bollon, drive 14km east along the Balonne Highway towards St George, turn left at the Mourilyan Road and travel 17km north to reach the southern boundary of the park. If you open any gates on your travels then please remember to close them.
Culgoa Floodplain National Park
Culgoa Floodplain National Park is another great side trip for campers and birdwatchers. The park is remote, so prepare to be totally self-sufficient and well equipped. Culgoa Floodplain National Park is approximately 50km south-west of Hebel and accessible via dirt roads (dry weather only) and a 4WD vehicle is recommended.
On arrival to Culgoa Floodplain National Park, check into the Ranger's office to pick up a detailed map of access tracks and camping areas. Bush camping is permitted at the Byra Lagoon and Redbank Hut bush camping areas. This park is a birdwatchers haven with more than 150 bird species recorded. Pack your camera to capture the abundance of wildlife and nature that call this national park home.
To get there from Hebel, travel south-west towards Goodooga along the dirt road. After 45km, turn right into Brenda Road and the left fork after the cattle grid. Follow the ‘Byra 7km' sign until you reach the eastern boundary of the park.