Just 25 minutes from Narrabri and Wee Waa and a few kilometres west of the scientific wonder of Narrabri CSIRO Australia Telescope, lies an unexplained wonder of the natural variety. Yarrie Lake, a 3km saucer-shaped expanse of water on the very edge of the Pilliga Scrub is thought to have been formed by a falling meteor many thousands of years ago. Whatever its origins, its existence is much appreciated by locals, visitors and wildlife alike.
Of particular interest is the unusual milky colour of the water. It’s thought that the colour comes from the sandy bases of the creeks and the soil from the Pilliga scrub, the water from which fills Yarrie Lake. Although some visitors who are used to the pristine clear waters of the coast and tableland waterways may be deterred from swimming in Yarrie Lake, we can assure them that the water is quite suitable for swimming and water activities. Because of its dish shape, relatively shallow nature and opaque appearance of the water, no diving is permitted and visitors are urged to be mindful that it is a natural environment and due care needs to be taken to ensure that all visitors enjoy their experience.
Yarrie Lake boasts magnificent sunrises and sunsets, an abundance of birdlife, kangaroos and yabbies. This enormous watery expanse is encircled by shady trees and sandy beaches, with shelters, tables, chairs and camp oven pits also lining the edges. The marvellous sunsets make Yarrie Lake a popular spot for photographers, while others come here to enjoy water sports or a touch of yabbying. Although not particularly deep, Yarrie Lake is a busy hive of activity in summer, strewn with boats and water skiers. Before launching boats, please call the caretaker to inquire about boat licences.
A veritable Mecca for over 70 bird species, Yarrie Lakes’ sheltered position makes it an excellent natural bird breeding ground. Bird watchers have even spotted a pair of storm birds that they reported would be on their way from Russia for the summer.
Further information about birdwatching at Yarrie Lake can be found on our Bird Routes information page
Camping & Caravans
Travellers seeking a little peace will love the quiet isolation, while powered sites, hot showers, toilets, laundry facilities and on-site drinking water bring that touch of civilisation to this bush camping experience.
There are unlimited camping spots available amongst the shady gum trees around the lake. Volunteer caretakers are generally living at the lake and campers are asked to check in with them before setting up camp. Please consult the caretaker in regards to possible fire restrictions before using the wood-burning barbecues and fire rings provided.
Yarrie Lake is also a great spot for caravans, motorhomes and tents, and some powered sites are available. The road is sealed from Narrabri up to one kilometre from the amenities block.
Those wishing to use the lake for skiing must apply for a licence through the Yarrie Lake Flora & Fauna Reserve Trust.
Pets are not permitted at the lake.
If you require the caretaker- they are located on the western side of the lake.
- Yarrie Lake is located 28km from Narrabri.
- From the Visitor Information Centre, take the Newell Highway towards Coonabarabran. Turn right at the BP Service Station into Ugoa St, past the showground complex and then follow the Australia Telescope signs, which will take you left into Walowa Street and then right into Goobar Street.
- Continue on this road for approx 2km until you get to a sign to the right for the CSIRO Australia Telescope. Continue past the turn-off to CSIRO Australia Telescope for approximately 3km then turn left to Yarrie Lake.
- Continue down this road for approx 3km then turn right onto a dirt road signposted to Yarrie Lake, this road goes around the edge of the lake.
- Onsite laundry
- Car parking
- Drinking water
- Powered sites
- Fire pits
- Hot showers
Powered site $25, Unpowered site $20