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Published: August 5th 2012
We left our campsite at about 8:30am. We fuelled up at Doomadgee roadhouse in the morning, then had morning tea near the Gregory River crossing. Mum and Dad have decided to go to Burketown to see if they can get repairs or parts for their van suspension, and then camp at Leichardt Lagoon until we rejoin them after our trip to Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park in about 5 days. Mum and Dad were at Boodjamulla last year. So we parted ways just after 11am.
We had lunch at a stopping point near Gregory Downs, and continued on to Adels Grove camp, arriving at about 3pm. We saw a flock of cattle egrets sitting among cattle on the way in, and also a wedge tailed eagle.
Located in the remote north west highlands of Queensland, Adels Grove is a very heavily treed camp, next to the attractive green Lawn Hill creek which has swimming holes. Facilities include creek water on tap, warm showers, washing machines, small shop and a restaurant.
We visited Boodjamulla National Park today. The park includes Lawn Hill Gorge (formed by
Lawn Hill Creek), which is fed by underground springs from the Georgina Basin, under the Barkly Tableland. The Waanyi aboriginals have lived here for over 17 000 years. We did the walk to Indarri Falls and the Duwadarri lookout, and had a swim at Indarri Falls. The Indarri Falls are beautiful small falls into the emerald green creek, surrounded by cabbage palms, paperbarks and pandanus and with a backdrop of red cliffs. The area is very much an oasis, as back away from the creek the vegetation is more scrubby, although dotted with the flowering Grevillea Dryandri and small gums.
After lunch, we drove the 50km to the Riversleigh Mammal Site, a World Heritage area and among the most important large mammal fossil deposits in Australia. Whilst the Boodjamulla carpark had been full, we were the only visitors at Riversleigh at the time we were there. There is an interpretive area showing pictures of some of the large mammals that have been found there, such as thunder birds and giant crocodiles. We did the 800m walk, where you can see some fossilised bones. According to the signs, over 60 scientists are still working on the fossils from this
site. On the drive back, we saw six emus, a kangaroo, three wallabies, some crimson finches, and a cow with a penchant for adventure sports (jogged in front of the car). In some of the low scrub, the termite mounds look like gravestones on the hills.
We had dinner at the Adel Grove restaurant (pork/ vegetarian lasagne respectively). There was a flautist playing old pop hits during dinner.
We hired a 3-person canoe and made our way up Lawn Hill Gorge, taking our canoe out at the Indarri Falls and portaging it around to continue to the Upper Gorge. We were the first ones out on the water, and had some amazing views of the red bluffs and riverside trees reflecting in the teal water. We saw a freshwater crocodile in the water here, and another swimming on the way back. We also saw several crimson finches and Kyle saw a purple capped fairy wren. Alex and Mike saw a water snake. We had morning tea at a small beach in the Upper Gorge, then made our way back. We had lunch back at the picnic tables near the carpark.
We returned to Boodjamulla National Park for our final visit on this trip. We walked to the Aboriginal art area (Wild Dog Dreaming walk), past the dramatic red cliffs of the rock known as the Island Stack. The white trees (woollybutts possibly?) look lovely against the red. Some of the art here is very old (10 000 years) and forms include the rainbow and a circle with a dot in it, carved on the rock.
We went to the beautiful Lower Gorge lookout, where we saw the red bluffs and creekside vegetation reflected in the still water. We then walked around to the Cascades, however these were not flowing due to the season. We took the short, steep walk to the Island Stack lookout, for a view back towards the main gorge. The boys had a swim back near the canoe hire area, and we had lunch near the creek.
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