Thurloo Downs in the state's far north-west is being acquired by the NSW Government for addition to the national parks estate. At 437,394 hectares – almost twice the size of Australian Capital Territory – it is the largest acquisition of private land for national parks in NSW history.
The property contains exceptional biodiversity values, filling important gaps in the national park estate and protecting landscapes and ecosystems not found in any other national park. These habitats support an array of threatened species, including black falcon, flock bronzewing, bustard, stripe-faced dunnart and woma python.
Located between Bourke and Tibooburra and boasting spectacular scenery, the property will become a must-see destination in a network of national parks in far western New South Wales. It includes a complex network of rivers, salt lakes and floodplains, fringed with coolibah and decorated with billabongs and waterholes. Long parallel sand dunes overlook a mosaic of woodlands, transitioning into sandplains and gibber country.
The property has extensive Aboriginal cultural heritage with evidence of artefacts, including hearth remains, flakes, grinding plates and other items of significance across the property. The National Parks and Wildlife Service will work with the Aboriginal community to protect these important cultural sites.
Thurloo will transition to a national park over the next 2 years as the pastoral operation winds down. During this period, we will deliver targeted feral animal and weed control, undertake ecological and cultural heritage surveys, and plan visitor infrastructure.
We will employ 5 staff to manage the property and invest $4 million in capital works to support park management and visitor infrastructure such as campgrounds, day-use areas, observation points and outback driving routes.
The park will open to visitors from 2025–26.