Lawn Hill Gorge, Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park Outback Queensland | Tropical North Queensland

Photo credit: © Fiona O'Grady

Lawn Hill Gorge is a beautiful oasis in the outback. Photo credit: © Tourism & Events Queensland

Lawn Hill Gorge canoe trail

Dip a paddle into the emerald waters of Lawn Hill Creek and glide between towering orange sandstone cliffs of the Middle and Upper gorges.

Journey type
Canoe/kayak
Distance
6km return Start and finish points are the same and the traveller must return via the same path
Time suggested
Allow 3hrs paddling time.
Grade
Unrated
Where
View map

Accessible by

  • Conventional vehicle

Journey facilities

  • Canoeing and kayaking

Paddle your canoe or kayak along the tranquil green waters of Lawn Hill Creek for a completely different experience of the middle and upper gorges.  Remember to pack your binoculars, as there is a variety of wildlife to observe on this adventure. Hire canoes are also available

Indarri Falls section

Paddle upstream from the canoe launching ramp floating past spectacular sandstone cliffs that tower over 70m above you and cool off and relax at Indarri Falls. The natural tufa deposits of Indarri Falls are very fragile and have taken thousands of years to form. Take care to avoid scrambling over the falls, as this will destroy the tufa formations. If you are after a short paddle, turn back from here (3km return from the canoe hire landing, allow 1hour paddling time).

Upper Gorge section

For the longer paddling venture into Upper Gorge, carry your canoe around Indarri Falls via the canoe portage track, walking past lovely stands of pandanus. Continue your journey another 1.3km to reach the Upper Gorge. It is not possible to canoe much further beyond the Upper Gorge lookout as the creek dwindles into a series of rocky channels thick with spikey pandanus (6km return from the canoe hire landing, allow 3hours paddling time).

Start your paddle from the canoe launching ramp at the Middle Gorge day-use area.

Getting there and getting around

The Lawn Hill Gorge canoe trail is in Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park in remote north-west Queensland, close to the Northern Territory border, 270km north-west of Mount Isa.

  • The canoe trail is accessed from the day-use  car park in the Lawn Hill Gorge section of the park.
  • From the car park walk to the Lawn Hill Gorge ranger office and take the Rainbow Serpent track to the Middle Gorge day-use area. You can hire a canoe here if you don't have your own.
  • The Lawn Hill Gorge section of the park can be accessed from the south via Mount Isa or Camooweal; from the east via Gregory Downs or from the north.

From the south

  • From Mount Isa drive 118km north-west on the Barkly Highway; or, from Camooweal drive 71km east on the Barkly Highway to the Gregory–Burketown sign.
  • Turn right at the Gregory–Burketown sign, and drive 56km north-east on the Thorntonia–Yelvertoft Road.to the Gregory Downs–Camooweal Road (from here the roads are unsealed).
  • Turn right and drive 61km north on the Gregory Downs–Camooweal Road then turn left onto Riversleigh Road and drive 35km north-west to the Riversleigh section of the park at Miyumba camping area, and a further 4km to the Riversleigh fossil trail.
  • Continue travelling 41km north-west to a T-intersection, then turn left and drive 4km west the entrance to the Lawn Hill Gorge section of the park.

Alternative route from Camooweal

  • Drive 2km east on the Barkly Highway then turn left onto the Gregory Downs–Camooweal Road and drive 151km north.
  • Turn left onto Riversleigh Road and drive 35km north-west to the Riversleigh section of the park at Miyumba camping areaand a further 4km to the Riversleigh fossil trail.
  • Continue travelling 41km north-west to a T-intersection, then turn left and drive 4km west to the entrance to the Lawn Hill Gorge section of the park.

From Gregory Downs

  • Travel 72km west along Wills Developmental Road then turn south onto Riversleigh Road and drive 21km to the entrance to the Lawn Hill Gorge section of the park.

From the north

  • Several 4WD routes on rough unsealed roads via Hell's Gate or Doomadgee lead to the Lawn Hill Gorge section of the park.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Drinking water

  • There is no drinking water along the way, but you can collect treated water from the taps at the Lawn Hill Gorge ranger officeand Lawn Hill Gorge camping areabefore you go.
  • Don't drink water straight from Lawn Hill Creek as it can make you very thirsty because of the high levels of calcium carbonate. Please do not waste water

Before you visit

Opening hours

Lawn Hill Gorge canoe trail is open 24 hours a day.

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Lawn Hill Gorge safely and Water safety.