This is the first article for our special destination series. Enjoy
You’re standing on a steep river bank surrounded by stark white ghost gums dangling a line in the Barcoo River as it flows through Channel Country, Central Queensland. The wide blue western sky creates a natural contrasting backdrop behind the red sand hills. There is no one for miles except your family, your campsite, your 4WD and you.
Where are you?
You’re within the 124,000 hectare National Park which is known as Welford.
The Park is 991km west of Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane and lays between Jundah and Quilpie. Formerly known as Walton Downs, the park was a grazing property belonging to Richard Welford, hence the current name. The National Park was established in 1992 to protect the various ecosystems of mulga woodlands, Mitchell grass and channel Country. All roads into Welford are unsealed and the smallest amount of rain can close all access points.
There are two camping locations both located on the edge of the Barcoo. Both areas for camping have no facilities except for a bush toilet at Little Boomerang. This being said you would need to be fully self-sufficient for this isolated area.
Not only can you relax along the bank of the Barcoo with a fishing line you can also launch canoes or boats into the river and explore the park from a whole different angle. There are bush walking tracks that explore the diverse landscape of Welford including a moderate grade walk to Sawyer’s Lookout which rewards you with panoramic views of the Channel Country. Throughout your walks keep an eye out for Aboriginal stone arrangements & water wells these are scattered all over the Park completely untouched.
4WD enthusiasts visiting Welford National Park will not be left disappointed. There are three scenic drives ranging in duration from around one and a half hours to four hours. These drives will take you along the Barcoo River weaving around billabongs created by the Dry. These remains of water from the Wet are filled to the brim with various Australian Bird life including Pelicans, Black Swans, Cormorants, Kites and so much more. It is more than relaxing to sit on the bank and watch the birds land on the water as if no one is there. There are also various other native wildlife throughout the park including Emus, Kangaroos, Wallaroos, Brushtail possums and the rare yellow footed rock wallaby. The other drives will lead you through red sand dunes like those seen in the Simpson desert. These dunes form the most Eastern part of the Lake Eyre dune system. The perfect time to view them is at sun-set as the sun hits the dunes turning them bright red against a vivid blue sky.
The special thing about Welford is not many people know about it and most have only stumbled upon trying to reach another destination. If you happen to be traveling through Central Queensland make sure you stumble upon Welford National Park and stay for a few nights, you won’t be disappointed.