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Camooweal Caves National Park

Queensland, Australia Travel

Camooweal Caves NP
• Climate
• Flora and Fauna
• Access
• Things to Remember
• Camping

• Camooweal

Nearby QLD destinations
• Mount Isa

• Caves, Karst, Speleology

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Camooweal Caves National Park - Cities, Towns and Localities
Elaborate cave systems abound in this 13,800 ha park of dry Barkly Tableland, just south east of Camooweal. The only clues to the caves are the sinkhole openings that dot the landscape. Below the landscape, water percolates through 500 million year old layers of soluble dolomite, creating the extensive caverns linked by vertical shafts, some up to 75 metres deep.

Camooweal Caves is a large cave system unlike any other cave system in Queensland, and it continues to grow larger each year with the soluble dolomite being continually eroded by the flooding during the wet season. Following the summer rains the water table recedes deep into shafts leaving the caves dry for the remainder of the year.

The dolomite in the caves is subject to the extremes of temperature and sudden flooding, making it difficult for stalagmites and stalactites to form, hence the lack of the usual features found in other cave systems.

The largest cave is the Great Nowranie, 290 metres long and 70 metres high. It is also one of the easiest to access, although the entrance can only be reached after negotiating an 18 metre drop. The use of climbing gear is advised. As the area is extremely isolated only experienced cavers should attempt these caves and only in the dry season. Please be aware that the caves are home to many bats species including the Ghost Bat. Owls also call the caves home.

There are distinct wet and dry seasons, with heavy monsoonal rains falling during summer. For those wishing to visit, the middle of the year is cooler and drier. South-easterly winds at this time of the year also help to make conditions more hospitable. Temperatures during the rest of the year can be extremely high.

Flora and Fauna
The park itself is mainly flat dry Spinifex country with some open woodlands of snappy gum, western bloodwood and western grey box, that dominate the red earth areas in the northern section. There are areas of turpentine wattle. A dense fringe of coolibah trees lines Nowranie Creek. Extensive areas of mitchell grass plains occur in the southern section of the park.

The best time to see wildlife is at dawn and dusk, although birds can be found along the shaded creek banks. Some of the bird life found in the wooded areas of the park include galahs, black kites, cockatiels and kestrels. Owls roost in the caves feeding on small nocturnal mammals such as the long-haired rat, whilst colonies of bats also live in the caves emerging after dark to feed on small insects.

Although access by conventional vehicle is possible, visitors may experience difficulty at creek crossings or on some of the rocky sections of the road. It is recommended that when travelling to the park it is done early in the dry season, as roads become extremely boggy for several days after the rain. You can check the road conditions with the Mount Isa Ranger in Charge. For your own safety, please notify the local police of your arrival and departure times.

Things to Remember

  • A grazing lease covers the area where the caves are located, so please do not disturb the cattle or interfere with bore holes.
  • No pets or firearms are permitted in the park
  • Plan the trip carefully and be prepared for any emergencies as this area is very isolated.
  • Carry sufficient water at all times, notifying other people in your party of your whereabouts.
  • There are extreme seasonal conditions that range from temperatures that regularly exceed 40 degrees in summer to winter temperatures of between 0 and 7 degrees.
  • Take care with fires and use a fuel stove when possible.
  • Take all your rubbish with you when you leave.

Camping permits are required from the Ranger in Charge at Mount Isa or directly from the self-registration station on the park.

Source: Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service

Contact the local Parks and Wildlife Service or visit the QLD National parks, marine parks and forests website. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service - Camooweal Caves National Park
Ranger in Charge
Cnr Hillary and Butler Sts
Ph: 07 4743 2055

Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service

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