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

Discover the ancient remains of Gondwanan animal life along the Riversleigh fossil trail. Photo credit: Mark Nemeth © Queensland Government

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

Riversleigh fossil trail

Delve into Australia's prehistoric past and discover many kinds of ancient fossils at this intriguing World Heritage site.

Journey type
800m return Start and finish points are the same and the traveller must return via the same path
Time suggested
Allow 1hr walking time.
Grade 3 walking track

Accessible by

  • 4WD

Journey facilities

  • Lookout (natural)
  • Toilets (non-flush)
  • Walking

From the Riversleigh – D Site visitor area, follow this steep (in places) but fascinating trail through an ancient landscape to the top of a limestone outcrop.

Along the way, step back in time as you spot fossils of extinct animals—the gizzard stones of a towering flightless bird, ‘Big Bird’, and the remains of ‘Baru’, the largest known freshwater crocodile.

This site is part of one of the most significant fossil deposits in the world. Experience a tantalising glimpse of the rich record of life following the separation of Australia from the early continent of Gondwana.

Visit in the early morning or late afternoon as it can be very hot during the middle of the day.

The Riversleigh fossil trail is part of the Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh/Naracoorte) World Heritage Area, famed for its outstanding examples of the record of life and evolutionary history.

Riversleigh World Heritage Area and the national park is protected. Please leave everything as you find it! Interfering with fossils or rocks is an offence and penalties apply.

Getting there and getting around

The Riversleigh fossil trail is in Riversleigh World Heritage Area, Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park in remote north-west Queensland, close to the Northern Territory border; 270km north-west of Mount Isa and 156km north of the Barkly Highway. Access is via the Riversleigh – D Site visitor area.

Refer to Visiting Riversleigh safely for detailed road access information.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Drinking water

Drinking water is not provided. Collect water from the water tank (treat before use) at the nearby Miyumba camping area.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Riversleigh fossil trail is open 24 hours a day. Access may be closed at times due to extreme weather and management activities.

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 Walk with care.