Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park
Situated in Queensland's dusty north-west highlands is Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, a lush oasis that boasts a range of scenic highlights and opportunities for off-road exploration.
What to expect
On the bush track route there’s plenty of bulldust and rough stony sections to bounce over. Soon after leaving Kingfisher Camp the track crosses the Nicholson Channels, where the sandy, silty river bottom can trap the unwary.
The dust may give way to flooding among the melaleucas at Lawn Hill Creek, just short of the privately owned camping area at Adels Grove that’s just outside the Park boundary. There’s a permanent waterhole on Lawn Hill Creek that can be greatly expanded by late season rains.
The site of present-day Boodjamulla National Park was once tropical wetland, but has been eroded over millions of years into rugged escarpments with sheer sandstone walls up to 60m high. The permanent water and rocky hills have created a savannah-tropical micro-environment that contrasts greatly with the surrounding flat, dry country. A few hundred metres from sparse, grassy plains where wayward willy-willys roam are deep waters, fringed by palms, rainforest trees and water lilies.
A closed society of freshwater crocodiles, northern snapping turtles, walla- roos, possums, bats and countless birds and reptiles call Boodjamulla home.
Things to do
Kingfisher Camp is a tree-shaded green patch on this dusty route and is well worth an overnight stay. You can also pick up jars of homemade jams and pickles: tomato and passionfruit in a jam jar blends an odd combination, but is a taste sensation!
Adels Grove is a victim of its own popularity, so camping is shaded, but somewhat squeezy. The National Park campsite is a less-shady alternative, and don’t forget to buy your e-permit before you arrive.
In 1992 Boodjamulla National Park was extended to include the Riversleigh World Heritage Site that has contributed significantly to the knowledge of Australia’s fauna evolution.
Exploring Boodjamulla on foot
The scale of Boodjamulla is best appreciated by a combination of hiking up to the rocky plateaus in the early mornings and drifting on the gorge in a rented canoe in the hot afternoons.
For the moderately fit, the ‘must-do’ hikes are the 4km Island Stack Walk that kicks off with a staircase climb then eases into an easy track that loops around a large island of rock in the heart of the gorge. From this track there’s the short Cascades Walk to a pandanus-fringed pool, with a mini- waterfall. If you start this walk in the wee hours – wear a head torch – the sunrise experience is well worth the loss of shut-eye.
Indarri Falls Walk is a 3.8km return track with gradual climbs and a very steep descent. It scales the heights of the gorge and offers dizzying views of the falls and the deep waters below the cataract.