The Lakes
The Lakes The stunning property was recently purchased by the Queensland Government with support from The Nature Conservancy. © Queensland Government

Land and freshwater stories

The Lakes becomes a Queensland national park

Vast sweeping plains, picturesque wetlands and dancing brolga. The Lakes has it all. Once a well-managed cattle station, the stunning property inland from Townsville was recently purchased by the Queensland Government with support from The Nature Conservancy.

The former grazing property is on Gudjala country. It’s home to high-altitude lakes, rare gums and unique forests. On the property, four unique hyper saline lakes, classified as Wetlands of High Ecological Significance, provide habitat for species that are unique and isolated. It’s also an important habitat for the vulnerable Northern Greater Glider.

Greater Glider
Greater Glider (Petauroides volans) in Australia. © Mark Gillow/Wikicommons

The purchase of The Lakes in February was the first under Queensland’s $60 million strategy to grow national parks by 2030. It was the biggest in the state’s history, however this has recently been superseded by the acquisition of the Bramwell and Richardson stations in Cape York.

A haven for wildlife

The Lakes is an important acquisition, due to its location in a poorly protected region. Turning it into a national park will link it to other protected areas and create a safe haven for wildlife like the threatened Greater Glider and the Little Bent-wing Bat. 

Quote: The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon

This purchase will ensure the future preservation of valuable, undisturbed ecosystems and habitat that will link up to an existing network of protected areas in the region,"

Queensland Minister for the Environment

Returning land to Traditional Owners

The Nature Conservancy started negotiations to purchase The Lakes in 2019 with support from the Wyss Campaign for Nature. The Wyss Foundation and artist Haley Mellin’s Art into Acres initiative together donated $US1.82 million as part of the purchase price.

The land was purchased with a view to provide Gudjara First Nations people opportunities to engage in land conservation and indigenous cultural heritage management.  

Quote: Molly McUsic

The purchase and protection of this incredible property illustrates how local communities across Australia are contributing to the global goal of protecting at least 30 percent of the Earth’s lands and ocean by 2030”

President of the Wyss Foundation

Fighting climate change with nature

Protecting areas like The Lakes is about more than just conserving our flora and fauna. It’s also a frontline in the battle against climate change.

Large ecosystems like forests and wetlands play a crucial role in carbon storage. Ecosystems like those found at The Lakes can store a lot of carbon. As climate change forces us to consider ways to reduce carbon present in the atmosphere, it’s critical we protect the ecosystems that support this process.


It's an amazing property. It is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, which are critical in the face of climate change."

Director of Conservation and Science, The Nature Conservancy
INTERCONNECTED ECOSYSTEMS. Trees, wetlands, plants and soil store carbon and can support the fight against climate change © Queensland Government

Ensuring the health of landscapes like The Lakes is one of the most effective ways to support natural solutions to a changing climate.

At The Nature Conservancy we’re passionate about conserving the lands and waters we all depend on. We deliver results based on actionable science. Will you help us deliver high impact conservation today?

Help protect precious landscapes like The Lakes

Will you help us conserve important habitats in the fight against climate change?