Two wrongs don’t make a right – but maybe three do? If the Bourke visitor information centre staff had been less busy; AND our tour of Bourke more comprehensive; AND our allocated campsite spacious and attractive, we’d have spent more time in Bourke itself! That would have been a tragedy because we wouldn’t have got to see Gundabooka National Park!
On our next visit, we’ll just head straight for the excellent Dry Tank camp ground in this beautiful outback National Park, so we can see the bits we missed. But the bits we DID get to see were so stunning, that like any good teaser, they left us wanting more!
The Gundabooka National Park entrance is about 50km south of Bourke, in western New South Wales. The dry weather dirt roads allowed easy access to the park on our visit in early June 2010, and our trip out to the camp ground uneventful. Unless you count the endless stops to admire wildflowers and spot new birds, of course!
Our conquest of the 4.8km Little Mountain walk, a steady climb with panoramic views over Mt Gundabooka, would have been far less time-consuming (but no less pleasurable) without the continual birding interruptions. Amateur twitchers like me choose obvious favourites like the spectacular Splendid Fairy Wren, Red-capped Robin and Mistletoebird; but SERIOUS twitchers (like my mate!) may find Western Gerygone and White-browed Treecreeper more appealing. We agreed that Mulga Parrot, Yellow Thornbill and Chestnut-rumped Thornbill were mighty fine as well! But now that you’ve seen the pix, you agree with me about Splendid Fairy Wren, right??
Tragically, the rest of the park, with its old homesteads, picnic areas and trails remains a mystery – for now – although the Mulgowan Art Site and Valley of the Eagle walks would have to be pretty good to outdo Little Mountain. BUT … we remain hopeful, given the park’s four former grazing leases cover 21 diverse habitats. Who knows which of the 137 bird species recorded in the park will appear next? Or whether we’ll actually see the ants that built this nest??
But next time our travels take us back of Bourke (always wanted to say that!!!) we know where we’ll be headed!