Visiting Riversleigh safely
Riversleigh D Site is the only part of the Riversleigh Australian Fossil Mammal Area open to the public. The area 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 Riversleigh D Site and the Riversleigh fossil trail.
Alternative route from Camooweal
- Drive 2km east on the Barkly Highway then turn left onto the Gregory Downs–Camooweal Road (from here the road is unsealed) 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 D Site and the Riversleigh fossil trail.
From Gregory Downs (unsealed road)
- Travel 72km west along Gregory-Lawn Hill Road then turn south onto Riversleigh Road and drive 21km to the entrance to the Lawn Hill Gorge section of the park.
- From Lawn Hill Gorge drive 55km south via Riversleigh Road to the Riversleigh D Site section of the park and the Riversleigh fossil trail, and a further 4km to the Miyumba camping area.
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.
- From Lawn Hill Gorge drive 55km south via Riversleigh Road to the Riversleigh section of the park and the Riversleigh fossil trail, and a further 4km to the Miyumba camping area.
The unsealed roads in the area provide unpredictable access. Sections of road can be rough, with patches of bulldust and corrugations. Roads can also be impassable for extended periods after rain. It is strongly recommended to take precautionary steps by being well-equipped and self-sufficient, as there is limited communication and mobile phone reception. Contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads to find out about road conditions and the Bureau of Meteorology for weather reports and forecasts.
During the wet season, (generally October–April) it is recommended that visitors travel by four-wheel-drive and carry a sufficient supply of food and drinking water 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, about 50km from Riversleigh. Contact Adels Grove for details and permission to land.
Access to the toilet facilities at Riversleigh Site D is suitable for wheelchairs (assistance may be required).
Warning! Riversleigh D Site 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 .
- Mobile phone coverage is not available at Riversleigh D site or Miyumba camping area. Consider taking a UHF radio (channels one and six are local repeaters), a satellite phone or personal locator beacon (PLB). If you have a PLB, it should only be activated in a life-threating emergency situation.
- Stay on the formed walking track and take care on uneven surfaces.
- Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and a long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days. Preferably walk in the early morning or late afternoon.
- Ensure you carry and drink plenty of water.
- Do not underestimate the intensity of the heat on the walking track—heat radiates off the sandstone and from the hot sun above, significantly increasing daytime temperatures.
- Make sure someone knows your destination and route and when you expect to return. Never leave your vehicle if it breaks down.
- Freshwater crocodiles occur in the Gregory River. They can become aggressive if disturbed and may cause injury. Do not approach or interfere with these animals.
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 the Telstra network with very limited reception. Patchy coverage is usually available on the Gregory Road from 10km east of the mine turnoff all the way up past Adel’s Grove and up to the Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) entrance. The network is also available for 10km along the Riversleigh Road from the Adels Grove/Lawn Hill Gorge intersection. The nearest public phone is at Adels Grove.
Essentials to bring
To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable visit, make sure you 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 very limited and unreliable in the national park.
- A complete first-aid kit and first-aid book.
- A fuel or gas stove for cooking
- Sturdy rubbish bags. Rubbish bins are not provided in the national park.
Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park is open 24 hours a day. The park may be closed at times due to extreme weather or management operations, check park alerts for the latest information on national park access, closures and conditions.
Camping permits are required and fees apply
Various activities in the national park require a permit. Activities include commercial tours and organised group visits, school excursions, scientific research, and the sale of photographs or vision of the national park. View Permits and fees for further information.
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. During the wet season the temperature can range from 25–45°C.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and basic supplies are available at Adels Grove, 50km from Riversleigh D Site and 10km from Lawn Hill Gorge, and at Gregory Downs 100km east of Lawn Hill Gorge. The nearest major centres with a full range of supplies and services are Burketown (275km) and Mount Isa (285km). For more information, see the tourism information links.
- Toilet facility closed at Miyumba Camp Site, Riversleigh World Heritage Site 15 July 2021 to 31 May 2022