Welford National Park – Remote Camping On The Barcoo River

Love Secluded Camping? Go Here…

It’s pretty safe to say Welford National Park is a fair way from anywhere. Located about 120km ENE of Windorah and 250km WSW of Blackall in Western Queensland, Welford NP is remote.

Barcoo Floodplain Remote Camping Welford National Park
The Barcoo floodplain

Originally Welford Station, the National Park covers about 124,000 ha (310,000 acres). The Barcoo River forms the Southern boundary and this was to be our destination.




Coming in from Blackall, we passed through Emmet. With a population of two, Emmet’s a pretty quiet place. It was originally a busy railway siding, but not any more. Just one house and one store sit exposed to the elements on bare flat ground. It would be pretty warm in summer! An old bloke leant out of the store window, staring at us as we drove past. Maybe he’d never seen a vehicle before…

 

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After Emmet, the country changed. We passed rocky ridges that for some reason had been cleared of all scrub. Maybe they were trying to create a new desert.

The land started to slope very gently down towards Barcoo River. Lots of black soil and huge areas of green meant we were on the massive Barcoo floodplain.

Road Train Remote Camping Welford National Park
On the way to Welford NP, a triple road train appeared. Definitely cattle country!
Road Train Remote Camping Welford National Park
Makes you appreciate how long they are.

Cattle were grazing knee deep in swamps, munching happily on the Mitchell grass. We drove past Trafalgar Station, crossed the Barcoo River (which was flowing) and turned right to Welford National Park.




Once in the park, we were welcomed by a small swarm of locusts, the first we had seen since leaving Blackall.

Locusts Remote Camping Welford National Park
Good seasons tend to bring out the locusts in force.

Campfire On The Barcoo

Driving about 10km past Welford homestead leads you to a beautiful campsite on the Barcoo, across the river from Trafalgar Station. What a fantastic spot, so secluded and relaxed.

Welford Homestead Remote Camping Welford National Park
Welford Station, a rare structure built from rammed earth.
Barcoo River Remote Camping Welford National Park
Barcoo River.
Barcoo River Remote Camping Welford National Park
Stunning.
Flower Remote Camping Welford National Park
Wildflowers making the most of the good season.
Corellas Remote Camping Welford National Park
The ever-present corellas chilling out for a change.

When we visited, the Barcoo was flowing quite strongly – we could actually see it moving! The river had recently been 4 to 5m higher than its present level. No wonder the Barcoo floodplains are covered in rich black soil – the Barcoo has deposited deep layers of silt across the surrounding countryside for thousands of years.




Fortunately, we were there in campfire season. So a crackling fire topped off an already perfect camping spot. Of course, the marshmallows appeared after dark and the kids (and Mum!) contented themselves with way too many toasted marshmallows!

Barcoo River Remote Camping Welford National Park
Campfire on the Barcoo – bliss!
Campfire Remote Camping Welford National Park
“Hmmm, this should be warm enough to get the marshmallows crispy”.
Marshmallow Goggles Remote Camping Welford National Park
It’s a little-known fact that marshmallows make excellent night-vision goggles. Just ask Dad…

Welford National Park is one of those secret camping spots that you sometimes stumble upon unwittingly. There’s so much more to do than just camp on the river. We’ve added it to our list of places to explore further – I’m sure you will too.

Questions or comments? Ask away in the Comments section below.

Any errors or omissions are mine alone.


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