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About Lawn Hill Gorge

Getting there and getting around

Sections of the roads can also be impassable for extended periods after rain. Photo: Mark Nemeth, NPSR.

Sections of the roads can also be impassable for extended periods after rain. Photo: Mark Nemeth, NPSR.

The unsealed sections of road can be rough, with patches of bulldust and corrugations. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

The unsealed sections of road can be rough, with patches of bulldust and corrugations. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Maps

By road, Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park is 207 km from the Barkly Highway (via Riversleigh). Only the first 57 km of this route is sealed. Access is unsuitable for conventional vehicles and caravans.

The park can also be reached via Gregory Downs. The entire 100 km from Gregory Downs is unsealed. Although a four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended, this is the only route suitable for conventional vehicles and off-road caravans.

Access from the north is via various unsealed routes through Hell’s Gate or Doomadgee.

The unsealed sections of road can be rough, with patches of bulldust and corrugations. Sections of the roads can also be impassable for extended periods after rain. Always check road conditions before travelling to the area.

Road conditions

Unsealed roads in the area make access unpredictable. It is strongly recommended that visitors take precautionary steps by being well-equipped and self-sufficient, as there is limited communication and no mobile phone reception. Contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads to find out about local road conditions and the Bureau of Meteorology for weather reports and forecasts.

During the wet season (October–April) it is recommended that visitors travel by four-wheel-drive and carry an over-supply of food in case of becoming stranded. The wet season can bring dramatic rises in creek levels within a short time and with little warning, cutting off road access. Visitors may find themselves stranded for a number of days.

Airstrip

There is an airstrip at Adels Grove, 10 km from Lawn Hill Gorge. Contact Adels Grove for details and permission to land.

Wheelchair accessibility

The paths around the campground and amenities block are accessible to wheelchairs.

Park features

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park is one of Queensland's most scenic national parks. Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland.

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park is one of Queensland's most scenic national parks. Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland.

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park is one of Queensland's most scenic national parks. Situated within the remote north-west highlands of Queensland, the park features spectacular gorge country, sandstone ranges and World Heritage fossils.

Lawn Hill Gorge is formed by Lawn Hill Creek, which is fed by numerous freshwater springs from the limestone plateau to the west. The magnitude of the sandstone cliffs lining the gorge, its emerald waters and lush vegetation make it a visual splendour. Serving as an oasis, the spring water and surrounding vegetation attract an abundance of wildlife. The Waanyi Aboriginal people have strong cultural ties with the park while pastoralists of European descent have more recent historical connections.

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park lies on ancient sandstone of the Constance Range, between the Barkly Tablelands to the south-west and the black soils of the Gulf Savanna Plains to the east. Lawn Hill Creek and the Gregory and O'Shanassy rivers flow all year round, providing a stark contrast to the dry, parched landscape during the dry season.

Camping and accommodation

Revegetated areas offer some shade as well as seclusion from other campers. Photo: Tamara Vallance, NPSR.

Revegetated areas offer some shade as well as seclusion from other campers. Photo: Tamara Vallance, NPSR.

Camping

The camping area is on the bank of Lawn Hill Creek and has 20 sites, toilets and cold showers. Fires and generators are not permitted within the park. Visitors should be self-sufficient in food, camping supplies and vehicle spare parts. The camping area is suitable for caravans, buses, motorhomes or camper trailers less than 12 m overall rig length. A maximum of six people per camp site is allowed. Please make sure you book a camp site that meets your requirements. Miyumba camping area is adjacent to the Gregory River, approximately 55 km south-east of Lawn Hill Gorge camping area and 3.5 km south of Riversleigh D Site. It is open March to October and has no facilities apart from a composting toilet. Bookings are essential.

Camping permits are required and fees apply.

  • Find out more about camping at Lawn Hill Gorge.
  • Book your camp site online.
  • If you cannot book online, see camping bookings for other options.
  • Pre-paid booking is essential for March to October. For the rest of the year campers are encouraged to book online or by phone, however last minute bookings can be made, and camping fees can be paid, at Adels Grove prior to arriving at the park, subject to site availability and wet season closures. Camping permits are not available at the national park.

Other accommodation

Accommodation and camping is available at Adels Grove, 10 km from Lawn Hill Gorge. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Impressive views from the Island Stack. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Impressive views from the Island Stack. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Sunrise from the Constance Range. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Sunrise from the Constance Range. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Views from the Upper Gorge lookout. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Views from the Upper Gorge lookout. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Views from the Indarri Falls lookout. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Views from the Indarri Falls lookout. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Canoe the shimmering waters of Lawn Hill Gorge, Queensland. Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland.

Canoe the shimmering waters of Lawn Hill Gorge, Queensland. Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland.

Walking

Walks in the gorge are divided into Eastern and Western tracks and are of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty. Note: numbers relate to map reference.

Map

The five Eastern walking tracks all start near the canoe hire.

1 Island Stack (Grade: difficult (steep ascent and descent))

Distance: 4 km return

Time: allow 2 hrs walking time

Best time: early morning or late afternoon

Details: An easy stroll through creek side vegetation leads to a steep climb up the stack, which adjoins a 1.7 km walk around the 'table top' for impressive panoramic views. The Waanyi people ask that you respect their culture by not taking photos overlooking the Wild Dog Dreaming site.

2 Cascades (Grade: easy)

Distance: 2 km return

Time: allow 1 hr walking time

Best time: any time

Details: This easy walk leads through creek vegetation along the start of the Island Stack track and then continues on to the Cascades where you can view fascinating tufa formations.

3 Wild Dog Dreaming (Grade: easy)

Distance: 4.5 km return

Time: allow 1.5 hrs walking time

Best time: mid- afternoon

Details: A partly-shaded walking track leads to this important cultural place with ancient rock art and stone engravings. The Waanyi people ask that you respect their culture by not taking photographs at this site. The track continues into the lower gorge where freshwater crocodiles are often spotted basking in the sun. This is a pleasant walk, even in the mid-afternoon.

4 Duwadarri lookout (Grade: moderate)

Distance: 600 m return

Time: allow 30 mins walking time

Best time: early morning or late afternoon

Details: This short, strenuous walk takes you up the steep ridge behind the camping area, to a lookout with views over the gorge. You can continue onto Indarri Falls or retrace your steps down the ridge and return along the creek.

5 Constance Range (Grade: moderate)

Distance: 4 km return

Time: allow 3 hrs walking time

Best time: sunset or sunrise

Details: This walk leads away from the creek and onto the hilltops of the Constance Range for spectacular, panoramic views surrounding the range and beyond. If walking in the evening remember to take a torch.

The two Western walking tracks start from the trail head at the western end of the camping area, or from the track along Lawn Hill Creek.

6 Indarri Falls (Grade: moderate (steep descent))

Distance: 3.8 km return

Time: allow 1.5 hrs walking time

Best time: morning

Details: This loop walk takes you to the falls and returns via the hill tops and gorge rim. It is a moderate walk, with a steep descent, if walked in a clockwise direction. At the falls, refresh in the cool water and watch purple-crowned fairy-wrens and crimson finches in the creek-side vegetation.

7 Upper Gorge (Grade: difficult)

Distance: 7 km return

Time: allow 3.5 hrs walking time

Best time: early morning

Details: Enjoy the spectacular scenery of the upper gorge and then stroll back along the creek edge to encounter a diversity of plant and animal life. This loop walk is recommended for experienced bushwalkers.

Picnic and day-use areas

Picnic tables, toilets and cold showers are provided in the camping area. Visitors are encouraged to place recyclables in the containers near the amenities block and take the rest of their rubbish with them when they leave the park.

Canoeing

Canoeing on the still waters of Lawn Hill Creek is an ideal way to explore the middle and upper gorges. Canoeing is not permitted in the Cascades as it poses a threat to tufa formations, or in the Lower Gorge.

Canoe hire
Canoes can be hired on an hourly basis from the canoe hire area at the eastern end of the camping area. Private canoes are also welcome. To ensure that the waterways are kept unspoiled, motorised vessels are not permitted.

Indarri Falls

Distance: 3 km return

Time: allow 1 hr paddling time

Details: From the canoe hire landing, paddle upstream to the spectacular orange sandstone walls of the Middle Gorge and continue to Indarri Falls. A landing is provided here so you can have a rest and a swim before returning. Please do not climb on the waterfalls.

Upper Gorge

Distance: 6 km return

Time: allow 3 hrs paddling time

Details: From Indarri Falls, use the portage track to carry your canoe around the falls to continue upstream. Do not climb on the fallsyou can destroy years of natural tufa deposits. Paddle a further 1.3 km to reach the Upper Gorge. It is not possible to canoe much further than the Upper Gorge lookout as the creek dwindles into a series of channels and rapids, thick with pandanus. Return the way you came.

Fishing

Fishing is not permitted in Lawn Hill Creek. Bag and size limits apply for other rivers and creeks. Fisheries regulations apply—information on bag and size limits, restricted species and seasonal closures is available from Fisheries Queensland.

Viewing wildlife

The gorge is an oasis for wildlife. Birdwatching is always rewarding and the camping area is a great place to see animals. The sandstone and limestone gorges and ranges, along with the permanent waters of Lawn Hill Creek, support a variety of habitats and a range of plants and animals. The area is not only a home for resident animals but also an important corridor for wildlife movement, particularly migrating birds.

See the description of the park's natural environment for more details about Boodjamulla's diverse wildlife.

Things to know before you go

Essentials to bring

  • ample fresh water and food in case of delays caused by bad weather, flat tyres or breakdowns
  • a minimum of two spare tyres in good condition
  • a UHF radio, if possible (channels one and six are local repeaters), or satellite phone.

Make sure someone knows your destination and route and never leave your vehicle if it breaks down.

Opening hours

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park is open 24 hours a day.

Permits and fees

Both camping areas within Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park require a camping permit and fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site. Pre-paid booking is essential for March to October. For the rest of the year campers are encouraged to book online or by phone, however last minute bookings can be made, and camping fees can be paid, at Adels Grove prior to arriving at the park, subject to site availability and wet season closures. Camping permits are not available at the national park.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in the national park.

Climate and weather

Two seasons occur in north-west Queensland, the 'wet' and the 'dry'. During the dry season (May to September) the sky is generally clear and the humidity is low. The wet season (October to April) brings heavy rain and high humidity. January is the wettest month, with an average rainfall of 147 mm.

Temperatures in July range from an average minimum of 12 °C to a maximum of 28 °C. Nights can be cool with temperatures occasionally falling to single figures overnight. During the wet season the temperature can range from 25–45 °C.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and basic supplies are available at Adels Grove, 10 km from Lawn Hill Gorge, and at Gregory Downs, 100 km east of the park. The nearest major centres for a full range of supplies and services are Burketown and Mount Isa. For more information, see the tourism information links.

Staying safe

Walkers must keep to walking tracks and take note of safety signs, walking distances, return times and grades. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Walkers must keep to walking tracks and take note of safety signs, walking distances, return times and grades. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

  • Wear sunscreen, particularly when walking and canoeing, as the sun’s reflection off the water can cause sunburn.
  • Keep to the walking track at all times. Take note of safety signs, walking distances, return times and grades.
  • Rest often in the shade as heat exhaustion can affect even the fit and experienced.
  • Stay clear of cliffs and steep rock faces and take care on uneven slippery track surfaces, especially when wet.
  • Carry plenty of drinking water to avoid dehydration. Drinking water straight from Lawn Hill Creek can make you very thirsty because of the high levels of calcium carbonate. Fill your bottles with treated water from any of the taps. Please do not waste water.
  • Freshwater crocodiles live in the park and are often seen in Lawn Hill Creek. They can become aggressive if disturbed and can cause injury. Do not approach or interfere with these animals and take care if swimming.
  • Mobile phone coverage is limited to Telstra Next G, which is available on Gregory Road from 10 km east of the mine turnoff all the way past Adel’s Grove and up to the entrance grid at the park; and also for about 10 km south along the Riversleigh Road. In the park, you can get a reliable signal at Duwadarri lookout and on top of the Constance Range. The nearest public telephone is at Adel’s Grove, 10 km from the park.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

Do not feed the wildlife. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

Do not feed the wildlife. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

  • Everything in the park is protected. Please leave everything as you found it.
  • Fires are not permitted. Use a fuel or gas stove for cooking.
  • The use of generators is not permitted.
  • Fishing is prohibited in Lawn Hill Creek.
  • Do not feed the wildlife, including fish. It can affect their health and alter the natural population balance. Do not leave food or scraps around your camp site.
  • To protect the tufa formations, canoeing is not permitted in the Cascades or in the Lower Gorge.
  • To ensure that the waterways are kept unspoiled, motorised boats are not permitted in the park.
  • Limited rubbish facilities are provided at the camp ground. Please place recyclables in the containers near the amenities block and take the rest of your rubbish with you.
  • Domestic animals are prohibited in national parks as they can disturb and harm native wildlife.
  • All snakes are protected. Always carry a torch at night as this is when many snakes are active.
  • Protect water quality—minimise the use of repellents and sunscreen when swimming.
  • Be considerate of other campers and do not make undue noise or disturbance—this park allows campers and visitors to enjoy a remote and natural setting.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

Lawn Hill Gorge was gazetted as national park in December 1984. Prior to this it was part of the neighbouring cattle grazing property, Lawn Hill Station. In March 1992, the park was extended to include Riversleigh World Heritage Site, which was part of the neighbouring Riversleigh Station.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, in conjunction with the Waanyi Aboriginal people—the Traditional Owners of the area—aim to preserve Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park's unique beauty and values. Please help by following park guidelines and regulations.

Tourism information links

Adels Grove
www.adelsgrove.com.au 
Phone: (07) 4748 5502
Email:

Outback @ Isa Visitor Information Centre
http://www.experiencemountisa.com.au/
19 Marian Street, Mount Isa Qld 4825
Phone: 1300 659 660 or (07) 4749 1555
Email:

At the Creek Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre
www.atthecreek.com.au 
34 Burke Street, Julia Creek Qld 4823
Phone: (07) 4745 7690
Email:

TerrEstrial Visitor Centre
www.terrestrialgeorgetown.com.au 
Low Street, Georgetown QLD 4871
Phone: (07) 4062 1485
Email:

Croydon True Blue Visitor Information Centre
www.croydon.qld.gov.au 
Samwell Street, Croydon QLD 4871
Phone: (07) 4748 7151
Email:

Normanton Visitor Information Centre
Cnr Landsborough and Caroline Street, Normanton Qld 4890
Phone: (07) 4747 8444
Email:

Karumba Visitor Information Centre
Walker Street, Karumba Qld 4891
Phone: (07) 4747 7522

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
9 August 2016