Park in Focus – Bladensburg National Park – National Parks Association of Queensland

Park in Focus – Bladensburg National Park

Nestled in the heart of Central West Queensland, Bladensburg National Park stands as a testament to the region’s rich biodiversity and cultural heritage. Celebrating its 40th birthday after being declared in 1984 and stretching across 84,900 hectares of Mitchell Grass Downs and Channel Country, this vast expanse of natural beauty is a haven for unique birdlife, diverse plant species, and a variety of animals that call it home.

Spinifex pigeon (Geophaps plumifera) – Nmulconray

The park is a living canvas, adorned with flat-topped plateaus, residual sandstone ranges, and the sweeping plains of grassland that create a picturesque backdrop. River red gums line the river flats, while rocky scarps add character to the landscape, forming a harmonious blend of terrain that captivates the senses.

Beyond its natural wonders, Bladensburg National Park is steeped in cultural significance. It is the ancestral land of the Koa people, and the Maiawali and Karuwali people share a strong connection to this captivating landscape. The echoes of their traditions and stories reverberate through the park, creating a tapestry where nature and culture intertwine.

At the heart of Bladensburg lies a piece of history—the remnants of a large pastoral station established by early pastoralists. The homestead, meticulously restored, now serves as an information center and ranger office, offering visitors a glimpse into the park’s pastoral roots. Scattered throughout the park, other historical sites provide poignant reminders of Bladensburg’s early pastoral history, inviting exploration and reflection.

Caring for this pristine environment is a shared responsibility, and visitors are encouraged to play their part in preserving the park’s natural and cultural treasures. A set of guidelines emphasizes the importance of leaving everything as it is found—whether living or dead, all components of this ecosystem are protected. Feeding wildlife is discouraged to maintain the delicate balance of nature, and waste management practices ensure that the park remains unspoiled by human activities.

Visitors are urged to use designated toilets, and where such facilities are not available, to bury toilet waste appropriately. The spread of weeds and pathogens is also a concern, with guidelines advising thorough cleaning of camping gear and vehicles to prevent the introduction of foreign species.

Bladensburg National Park is a haven where domestic animals are not permitted, ensuring the undisturbed harmony of the natural environment. The commitment to conservation is evident in the meticulous management efforts led by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Their role is to safeguard the park’s unique attributes, balancing the preservation of its natural and cultural values.

As each park in the Longreach area boasts distinctive features, Bladensburg National Park stands out for its diverse tapestry of landscapes and cultural heritage. It is a sanctuary where the past, present, and future converge, inviting all who enter to appreciate, respect, and help care for this extraordinary piece of Central West Queensland’s natural and cultural legacy.

In an exciting update, Bladensburg National Park will soon almost double in size to 150,721 hectares, following the Queensland Government’s acquisition of Melrose Station (around 65,000 hectare). Full details at: https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/99564

Porcupine grass – John Tann
*At the time of publishing, Bladensburg National Park  and other parks and forests in the Longreach and Winton area are temporarily closed due to high rainfall associated with Ex-Tropical Cyclone Kirrily

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