Travelling Australia - Journal 2015c
|4 June 2015
Kinchega National Park
Kinchega National Park was established on a former sheep-grazing pastoral lease to preserve the bluebush plains as well as river red gum and black box tree communities along the Darling River floodplain. The park has been heavily affected by recent low rainfall and park lakes are dry but that has not affected the structure of plant communities most obvious along the Darling River.
Along the river bank there is a line of very large, very old River Red Gums mostly overhanging the banks of the river. Behind the red gums a belt of black box forms a fringe of trees which are not as tall or as solidly robust as the red gums. Moving further away from the river the black box are replaced by extensive bluebush flats less than one metre high sometimes interspersed with taller shrubs and occasionally trees.
4 June 2015 - Kinchega National Park, page 2
Away from the Darling River different sequences of plants occur many of them centred on the now-dry lakes.
I had hoped to spend some time along the Darling River, albeit with reduced water levels, and intended to use some of the 34 river-side camp sites the National Parks people are so proud of to have a closer look at the river-side vegetation distribution.
But River Drive along the river connecting the river-side sites had been closed by Park Management leaving access to only three sites. The Information Centre in Broken Hill had been unaware of this closure and there was uncertainty about the duration. A notice at the park entrance said the closure would end at midnight on the 31 May but the roads were still closed on 4 June giving the impression of confused management and indefinite, unadvertised closure.
When other closures in Kinchega National Park were included the area and number of camp sites available to visitors was sharply reduced yet visitors were still expected to pay the full entrance fee of $7 per day per vehicle for severely restricted access to the park attractions.