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

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

Riversleigh fossil trail

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

Accessible by

  • High clearance 4WD

Journey facilities

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

At Riversleigh, near Miyumba camping area, follow this steep 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.

Getting there and getting around

The Riversleigh fossil 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 fossil trail is in the Riversleigh section of the park. Follow the signs on Riversleigh Road to the Riversleigh D Site car park.
  • The Riversleigh 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.

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.

From Gregory Downs

  • Travel 72km west along Wills 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 45km 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.

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 45km 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.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Drinking water

  • Drinking water is not provided. Collect water from the water tank at the nearby Miyumba camping area.
  • Treat all water before use.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Riversleigh fossil 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 Walk with care.