Lawn Hill Gorge canoe trail
Dip a paddle into the emerald waters of Lawn Hill Creek and glide between towering orange sandstone cliffs of the Middle and Upper gorges.
Paddle your canoe through cool green waters beneath the spectacular orange sandstone walls of Middle Gorge towering 70m above you. Marvel at the white tendrils of tenacious figs clinging to the sheer walls.
Cool off with a well-earned dip at Indarri Falls. For a shorter trip (3km, 1hr return), turn back here.
To continue into the Upper Gorge, carry your canoe around the fragile tufa of Indarri Falls via the portage track. Paddle as far as the Upper Gorge lookout—beyond this point the creek dwindles into a series of channels and rapids, overgrown with pandanus plants. Return the way you came.
Start your paddle from the canoe hire landing at Middle Gorge day-use area.
At a glance
Getting there and getting around
The Lawn Hill Gorge canoe 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 canoe trail is accessed from the day-use car park in the Lawn Hill Gorge section of the park.
- From the car park walk to the Lawn Hill Gorge ranger office and take the Rainbow Serpent track to the Middle Gorge day-use area. You can hire a canoe here if you don't have your own.
- The Lawn Hill Gorge 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.
- Continue travelling 41km north-west to a T-intersection, then turn left and drive 4km west the entrance to the Lawn Hill Gorge section of the park.
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 area and a further 4km to the Riversleigh fossil trail.
- Continue travelling 41km north-west to a T-intersection, then turn left and drive 4km west to the entrance to the Lawn Hill Gorge section of the park.
From Gregory Downs
- Travel 72km west along Wills Developmental Road then turn south onto Riversleigh Road and drive 21km to the entrance to the Lawn Hill Gorge section of the park.
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.
- Roads in this area are mostly unsealed and not suitable for 2WDs and caravans; the only route suitable for 2WDs and off-road caravans is via Gregory Downs, although we recommend 4WDs.
- Unsealed roads in the area make access unpredictable. Road surfaces can be rough, with patches of bulldust and corrugations; and sections of roads can also be impassable for extended periods after rain.
- Road access can be cut during the wet season (October–April) when creek levels rise dramatically within a short time and with little warning. You can become stranded for several days.
- Check the Burke Shire Council Road Report for up to date road conditions in the area.
Park in the day-use car park near the Lawn Hill Gorge ranger office. Limited spaces are available for large vehicles.
Fuel and supplies
- Fuel and basic supplies are available from Adels Grove, 10km from Lawn Hill Gorge, and at Gregory Downs, 100km east of the park.
- The nearest major centres offering a full range of supplies and services are Burketown and Mount Isa.
There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.
When to visit
- Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.
Climate and weather
Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park has a tropical savannah climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. During the dry season (May–September) the sky is generally clear and humidity is low. Average temperatures in July range from 12–32°C. Nights can be cool with temperatures occasionally falling to single figures overnight. The wet season (October–April) brings heavy rain, high temperatures and high humidity. Average wet season temperatures can range from 30–45°C.
Permits and fees
- If you are planning a school excursion or organising a group event such as a wedding, fun run or adventure training, you may need an organised event permit. Maximum group sizes and other conditions apply depending on location and activity type.
Domestic animals are not allowed here.
Staying in touch
Mobile phone coverage
None. Check with your service provider for more information.
- Parks are natural environments and conditions can be unpredictable. You are responsible for your own safety and for looking after the park.
Read stay safe and visit with care for important general information about safety, caring for parks and essentials to bring when you visit Queensland’s national parks.
- There is no drinking water along the way, so you need to carry water with you. Collect treated water from the taps at the Lawn Hill Gorge ranger office and Lawn Hill Gorge camping area.
- Don't drink water straight from Lawn Hill Creek as it can make you very thirsty because of the high levels of calcium carbonate. Please do not waste water
- Rubbish bins are not provided. Take your rubbish with you when you leave the park.
- Fishing is prohibited in Lawn Hill Creek.
- Avoid canoeing during the middle of the day when it is very hot.
- Cover up when canoeing, as the sun's reflection off the water can cause sunburn.
- Don't take your canoe to the Cascades as you may damage the tufa formations, or into the Lower Gorge, where canoes and motorised vessels are not permitted.
- Be aware that freshwater crocodiles live in Lawn Hill Creek. They can become aggressive if disturbed and can cause injury. Do not approach or interfere with these animals and take care if swimming.
- Read water safety for important information about staying safe in and near water and caring for parks.