Visiting Lawn Hill Gorge safely
By road, Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park can be reached via Gregory Downs. The entire 100km 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.
Alternatively, the park can be accessed by way of the Barkly Highway (207km via Riversleigh). Only the first 57km of this route is sealed. Access is unsuitable for conventional vehicles and 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.
Detailed information on road access to the national park is listed below:
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 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 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.
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.
There is an airstrip at Adels Grove, 10km from Lawn Hill Gorge. Contact Adels Grove for details and permission to land.
The paths around the camping area amenities and Lawn Hill Gorge visitor centre are accessible to wheelchairs (assistance maybe required).
Warning: Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park is remote and rangers may not be onsite to help you. You must be self-sufficient, responsible for your own safety, and prepared for emergencies .
Be sure to read all of the essentials to bring and follow the guidelines below to help make sure your visit is safe and enjoyable.
- Wear sunscreen, a long-sleeved shirt and a hat, 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.
- Do not underestimate the intensity of the heat on the walking tracks — heat radiates off the sandstone and from the hot sun above, significantly increasing daytime temperatures.
- Avoid heat exhaustion — recreate in the cooler times of the day and complete your walk during daylight.
- Stay clear of cliffs and steep rock faces and take care on the rocky uneven and slippery track surfaces, especially when wet.
- Carry and drink plenty of water (at least 2 litres per person). Drinking water straight from Lawn Hill Creek can make you very thirsty because of the high levels of calcium carbonate. Fill your bottles with water (treat before use) 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.
- The natural tufa deposits which form Indarri Falls are very fragile. Scrambling over the falls destroys the tufa which has taken thousands of years to form. Please do not climb Indarri Falls.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
In an emergency
For all emergencies call Triple Zero (000).
Mobile phone coverage is limited to Telstra Next G. Coverage is usually available on Gregory Road from 10km east of the mine turnoff all the way past Adel’s Grove and up to the entrance grid at the national park. Coverage is also available for about 10km south of the parks’ entrance on the Riversleigh Road. In the park, there is a reliable signal at Duwadarri lookout and on top of the Constance Range. The nearest public telephone is at Adel’s Grove, 10km from the park.
Consider taking a satellite phone or personal locator beacon (PLB). If you have a PLB, it should only be activated in a life-threatening emergency situation.
Essentials to bring
- Ample fresh water and food in case of delays caused by weather, flat tyres or breakdowns.
- A minimum of two spare tyres in good condition, extra fuel and vehicle repairs.
- A UHF radio (channels one and six are local repeaters), a satellite phone or personal locator beacon (PLB). Mobile phone coverage is limited in the national park.
- A complete first-aid kit and first-aid book.
- Fuel stove or gas stove for cooking.
- Sturdy rubbish bags. Rubbish bins are not provided, please take all recyclables and rubbish with you.
Make sure someone knows your destination and route and never leave your vehicle if it breaks down.
Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park is open 24 hours a day.
Camping within Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park requires a camping permit and fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site. All bookings for camp sites must be made prior to visiting the park and well in advance during Queensland school holidays and the peak season (April to October).
Permits are required to conduct other activities in the park including commercial or organised group activities and scientific research. Learn more about Permits for parks and forests.
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 147mm.
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, 10km from Lawn Hill Gorge, and at Gregory Downs, 100km 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.