When you think of western Queensland, you don’t exactly imagine lilypads and gorgeous rivers to kayak down. Then you’ve obviously never heard of Lawn Hill.

Highlights
  • Kayak up Lawn Hill creek through the gorge to picturesque waterfalls
  • Cool off with a swim in the creek
  • Camp in the national park or nearby at Adels Grove
  • Hike around the gorge

I could taste the dust in the air as we bounced across the corrugations leading to Boodjamulla National Park. It was a searing 38 degrees and after an hour on a dirt road, I started to question whether we had gone the wrong way or if Lawn Hill was just a made-up place. But soon enough, we reached the campground and found our own oasis in the Aussie outback.

 

Oases Are Real! // Lawn Hill Boodjamulla National Park (QLD), Conor Moore, gorge, cliffs, river, trees, woman

The Lookout

After speaking with the Park Ranger, we decided to check out the ‘best view in the park’ – the Upper Gorge Lookout. The landscape photographer in me instantly fell in love, but without much cloud cover, I didn’t bother setting up the tripod and just admired the views in the warm morning light instead.

The Gorge

The next place to explore was the gorge itself – we hired a canoe and hit the water. Surrounded by lily pads and freshwater fish, I couldn’t believe that we were in western Queensland! Birds darted overhead from tree to tree and cool breezes blew off the top of the water from up the gorge. Surrounded by lily pads and freshwater fish, I couldn’t believe that we were in western Queensland!

Oases Are Real! // Lawn Hill Boodjamulla National Park (QLD), Conor Moore, kayak, river, gorge, woman, paddling

I told Kate that I was only going to take the camera out of the dry bag for a couple of photos so she wouldn’t have to do all the paddling. But as soon as I got it out, I couldn’t stop taking photos and didn’t put it away until we got back to the hire shop. It’s nice to have some help in times like these!

 

It All Comes Together

The next morning I was up at the crack of dawn and nearly wet myself as I saw the even cloud cover overhead – sunrise was going to go off! There was only one thing to do! I ran up to the lookout we had checked out the day before. Dripping in sweat, I set up my tripod as the first signs of colour appeared on the horizon. 15 minutes later the sky was bursting with orange – truly a ‘pinch me’ moment– Lawn Hill was very real and very beautiful.

Essential Gear
  • Camera
  • Hiking boots
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Camping gear
  • 4WD
How To Get There

Boodjamulla National Park is located along a remote stretch of the Savannah Way in western Queensland. You can access the park from Mt Isa (348km south-east), Gregory Downs (118km east) or from Hell’s Gate (179km to the north).

WARNING – the road leading into Boodjamulla is mostly dirt and can be heavily corrugated, particularly after rain. I’d recommend a 4WD – the only van that made it to the campground had two punctured tyres.

Activities
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Photography
Skill Level

Beginner-Intermediate – The hiking trails to lookouts can be difficult with steep rocky climbs and exposed cliff faces. However, the walk along the side of the creek is flat and easy.

Distance Covered

There are several trails, the longest being 7km to the Upper Gorge Lookout.