Although perhaps not portraying the typical picture we have of the Australian Outback, Idalia National Park is well and truly in the Queensland Outback. It’s a long way from the east coast (~1,200km), and not a hugely popular place.
But with a few walks and views on offer, and plenty of solitude, it’s a neat place to camp out for a couple of days. Idalia was gazetted in 1990 and the first stop on our recent road trip around the Queensland Outback.
Idalia National Park: Camping Options
Idalia is about 130km west of Blackall in Central Queensland.
If you’re on your way to Longreach, you could just do a day trip to Idalia and camp along the Barcoo River at Blackall for the night. It’ll be hard to see everything at Idalia within a day but it’s doable provided you don’t mind an early start.
We chose to camp at Idalia as we wanted a couple of days to explore the park.
Monks Tank Camping Area
There is only one camping area at Idalia, Monks Tank, and it’s not the most picturesque campground. There are no views to speak of as the camping area is nestled into mulga bush beside a fenced-off dam (= tank).
It’s a bit of a drive from the entrance of the national park to the camping area (~30km), which actually gives you a nice introduction to the park’s vegetation. The road is passable for 2WD-vehicles in the dry but there are some sandy bits so go slowly.
Even though the camping area doesn’t offer amazing views, it’s a nice, little spot in a central location for exploring Idalia. There are no walks or sights (beyond the elevated, fenced-off Monks Tank) so there’s not much to do at this camping area beyond relaxing. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing.
Campsites are unmarked but you can easily make out some sites. There are a couple of slightly more private campsites but we ended up in a fairly open camping spot with direct views of the toilet. It’s so quiet out here that we didn’t really care too much.
The whole camping area is set up for about 20 people but we only saw one other couple (plus a caravan in another site but we didn’t even see the people).
The sites are all mostly dirt/sand, and you should be able to find a relatively flat spot for a tent.
As with all camping in Queensland’s national parks, you need to make a booking online or by phone before arriving. Keep in mind that there is no mobile coverage at all at Idalia, and you will need to almost go back to Blackall to get a signal.
Monks Tank Camping Area at a glance
PROS: Quiet bush setting; new and very clean (pit) toilet; centrally located for exploring the park
CONS: Some mulga trees and shrubs but not a huge amount of shade available; no views; relatively little privacy (open sites) but it’s very quiet so not a big deal; a fair few flies; no walks nearby
COST: $6.65 pp/pn (2019); pre-bookings only
Not sure what the tents and mozzies mean? Check out my tents and mozzies guide.
For more details on Idalia, including how to make a booking, check out Queensland National Parks Idalia camping.
More posts on exploring Outback Queensland
We explored Idalia National Park as part of a 10-day trip around southwest Central Queensland. Here’s our trip itinerary that’ll give you a taste of the Queensland Outback.