Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Lawn Hill Gorge National Park (Boodjamulla) Lawn Hill Gorge -The home of the Waanyi Aboriginal people

320 km north-west of Mt Isa and 220 km south-west of Burketown. By road it is 340 km northwest of Mt Isa via Riversleigh.

Lawn Hill Gorge is an oasis of lush vegetation and blue water in the arid Australian outback, situated on the black soil plains of the Gulf Country, on a dry flat plateau. The year-round deep waterholes are maintained by springs in the limestone hills on the Northern Territory border. There are Aboriginal painting sites throughout the park. Wildlife is attracted to the permanent water. The Camooweal Caves National Park lies to the south.

There are a number of species of fish in the waterholes, among them are archerfish, salmon catfish and bony bream. Some of the waterbirds are snakebirds and storks. The deep pools harbour several species of turtle and freshwater crocodiles, these are best seen in the lower reaches of the gorge.

Archaeological excavation has demonstrated that the Aboriginal People have occupied this area for up to 30,000 years. Large shell middens and occupation sites, ancient ochre paintings and stone pecking and grinding stones  have been found around the park.

Marked tracks lead to Wild Dog Dreaming and Rainbow Dreaming art sites. Some of the sites are only accessible by canoe.


There is a well-equipped camp site in the central gorge on Lawn Hill Creek, and camping facilities are also available at Adels Grove, outside the park. There is a ranger station near the Lawn Hill camp ground. There is also a good camp site at Nowrannie Creek in the Camooweal Caves National Park.

The road access to Lawn Hill is seasonally unpredictable. In the wet season there is usually flooding, and in summer it is hot, so when travelling there in summer it is advisable to take plenty of water. It is made up of several sections, 400 km northwest of Mt Isa. It is accessed from a road west of the Gregory Hotel. A 4-wheel drive route goes from Mt Isa 220 km west along the Barkly Highway and then 215 km north on the Gregory Down Camooweal Road.

Information is available from the Mt Isa National Parks and Wildlife Service - (07) 47432055

Sources & Further reading
Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated: 01/10/2011
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