Diamantina National Park is located in Queensland between Boulia, Bedourie, and Opalton. The park in the past was a pastoral holding and became a national park only in 1992.
It is the traditional homelands of the Maiawali and Karuwali people, that have a long-lasting connection with the land for thousands of years.
Due to Diamantina National Park being located in the channel country, you can expect a flat landscape with floodplains of the Diamantina River and Mitchell grass plains. If you drive to the east you find small sandstone ranges and on the west, the park ends with dune fields similar to deserts further west.
Before arriving at Diamantina, prepare your 4WD properly as there are only dirt roads and tracks. Bring your recovery gear if you expect some rain in the next few days.
Arrive at the information centre at Ranger base to get all the information and driving directions.
The park is located right in the middle of Queensland outback, so expect a very hot and dry summer and a mild winter with night temperatures dropping even to 8 degrees.
Diamantina National Park Average Temperatures and Rainfall
Best Time to Visit
Visit Diamantina National Park between April and September. You will get cold nights, but the daily experience will be much better due to lower temperatures.
The park may be occasionally closed due to flooding. Visit park alerts before heading to Diamantina NP.
Don’t visit Diamantina National Park after a big rain. Check the weather forecast before your trip.
Access & how to get there
All the roads leading to Diamantina National Park are dirt roads. Make sure you are self-sufficient. Bring enough food and water.
- Coming from Winton (356 km) – if you are driving from the east, visit the Australian Age of Dinosaurs, take Jundah Road south for 110 km and see the Dinosaur Stampede in Lark Quarry. From Lark Quarry, go back on Jundah Road and later turn right into Diamantina Gates Road. On the way, make sure to stop at Mayne Hotel Ruins and learn its history. The distance from Lark Quarry to Diamantina is 255 km.
- Coming from Boulia (150 km) – go east on Kennedy Developmental Highway for 25 km. Turn right into Springvale Road and drive the remaining 135 km.
- Coming from Bedourie (275 km) – go south for 22 km and turn left into Diamantina Developmental Road. Drive 50 km and turn left into Coorabulka Road. After 100 km, turn right and drive the remaining 82 km.
There are two dedicated campgrounds in the park. Make sure you book your spot online as in the Winter season it gets busy.
Hunters Gorge Camping Area
Hunters Gorge Camping Area is located at Diamantina River. Every morning and afternoon you will be rewarded with an abundance of birds like herons, ibises, pelicans, galah parrots, and many other species. Just place your chair at the river bank and enjoy it!
- Tent sites
- Camper Trailer and Caravan sites
Gum Hole Camping Area
Gum Hole Camping Area is a smaller camping ground than Hunters Gorge and there are no camper trailers or caravan sites. This camping ground is located along the banks of Whistling Duck Creek and you will find many shady spots under coolabah trees to set your site.
- Tent sites
Things to do
Before getting to the park
When driving from Winton, 45 km before the park, you will see the small ruins of the Mayne Hotel. The hotel was a resting place for travellers, drovers, stockmen and opal miners. The hotel operated between 1888 and 1951 and now, there is not much left.
Due to the hot temperatures, the hotel cellar was open during the night to let the cold air cool the place and closed during the day to keep the hot air out.
Stop for a moment, stretch your legs and learn about the hotel and people who lived here.
Visit Information Centre at Ranger Base – here you learn about the area, the park and the indigenous people. Talk to the ranger to get your directions.
There is only one dedicated walk in the park, but you are free to stroll along the banks of Mundawerra Waterhole, Diamantina River, or Whistling Duck Creek.
Warracoota Ruins – 400 meters easy walk located 3 km west of Waracoota Waterhole, along the signed Warracoota Circuit Drive.
Warracoota Circuit Drive – self-guided 90 km circuit drive going through sand dunes, claypans, Gibber plains, grasslands, passing Little Lake Constance, and Warracoota Waterhole. Allow 5 hours.
There is an excellent resource map with all passing points on the Central West Queensland National Parks brochure.
Janets Leap Lookout – 8 km drive taking you to a bird’s eye view of Diamantina Gates. From the top, you can imagine the roaring waters passing through the narrow gap between the Goyder and Hamilton ranges after a lot of rain.
Canoeing and kayaking
Mundawerra Waterhole and Whistling Duck Creek are a real paradise for canoeing or kayaking. The water is usually very calm making the whole experience really unique.
Imagine yourself sitting in a canoe in complete silence. Only passing birds and wildlife are making occasional noise, but that’s nature.
Every morning and afternoon, there are many birds flying in and out from the waterholes. Get your camera ready to capture the spectacular wildlife and sun setting against the red hues and contrasting yellow weathered sandstone ranges.
Our Experience & Tips
Diamantina National Park was always on our list, but somehow, not on our way.
This time, we were driving to Darwin (as usual), and our main goal was to see the famous Dinosaur Trial.
We first, explored the Australian Age of Dinosaurs in Winton, then drove to Lark Quarry to see the Dinosaur Stampede to finally spend a night at Hunters Gorge in Diamantina National Park.
On our arrival, we stopped at the information centre at Ranger Base when we learned about the area and indigenous people who lived here for thousands of years. We had an opportunity to talk to the ranger who told us that we arrived at the end of the season and the weather is not as pleasant anymore.
I personally expected more hills (there weren’t any), so it was a real surprise when we drove through endless plains.
At Hunters Gorge we were welcomed by many flies but they all disappeared after the sunset. Surprisingly, we were the only people in the campground.
The night was great. We had a fire and a tasty camp oven meal at the Diamantina Riverbank.
The next day, due to the hot weather we did not decide to go on the Warracoota Circuit Drive, but at least we left something for the next time.
Have you been to Diamantina? Please drop a comment below.
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4WD Equipment Checklist
Tire Repair Kit – to fix the tire by yourself when you don’t have access to the tire shop (we use Oztrail)
UHF Radio – for communication with your mates and in emergency
Full Recovery Kit (with Dampener Blanket) – must-have if you are going on real off-road
High Lift Jack – useful if you do serious 4WD tracks
Shovel – useful if you get bogged, also good for campfire cooking
Fuel funnel with water filter – additional protection when fueling up in dodgy places