Thursday, August 5, 2010

BOODJAMULLA/LAWN HILL NATIONAL PARK




























































































After leaving Mt Isa (or “The Isa”) quite early, we headed for Cloncurry and then onto Burke and Wills Roadhouse. When we got there, we had something to eat...an early lunch if you like. From Burke and Wills, we had another 145km to Gregory Downs (only a pub, toilet and playground there) and we stopped to lower the pressure in our tyres. On the way we saw heaps of emus and brolga alongside the road.

Bec was a little stressed going off road...as we had 85 km of dirt road to Adels Grove. The going was Ok though...parts were sealed and the first 40km was well maintained due to a huge mine that uses the road. We did have to pull over though when a huge road train went past and engulfed us in a cloud of red dust! Eventually we got to Adels, found someone had stolen our site and then got put in the Grove...which was apparently better! It was too...the grove was very shady and was right beside the Lawn Hill Creek...which is a beautiful spring fed watercourse lined with pandanus and bamboo. The other sites were exposed to the sun and the weather was hot....30+ degrees. We got a shock, as we thought we’d left the weather behind in the Top End.

After setting up, we spent the arvo swimming in Lawn Hill Creek....a little cool in the water but beautiful! You could swim out to a floating pontoon or climb trees and bomb into the deep water. You could even hire tubes for a small donation to the Royal Flying Doctors Service and float on them. I just floated around on a noodle.
The nights at Adels were great. There was no power, but we had a roaring campfire that we sat around (a little way back though...cause the nights were warm enough). A couple of nights we made damper and had it with jam for dessert. Another night the girls played hairdressers with Mum and Bec. It was quite funny seeing Mum in pony tails!

On the first full day, Bec +George and Frey+I did the canoe trip up the Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) middle and upper gorges. The first gorge had sheer walls, quite close together that were interesting to paddle through. The contrast of the red gorge walls and emerald green water was magnificent too! If you looked up, you saw rock figs clinging onto cliff faces, with their roots trailing all the way down the cliff to the water.

At the end of the middle gorge, we had to drag the canoes to the upper gorge....a bit of fun that was! We went all the way up to the top of that gorge, including a section of rapids that I had trouble getting through! Because I had Frey in the front, the canoe was raised at the front and the water just kept pushing it back. On the way through the rapids, we saw quite a large freshwater croc sitting on the bank. We had a rest at the top and floated down the gorge eating muesli bars and mandarins. The archer fish were following our canoes and eating any bits of muesli that fell into the water.

Once we got back in the middle gorge, we all swam at Indari Falls. These falls were tufa falls....ones made by calcium and lime deposits in the water and they were quite beautiful. I swam out under the falls and had a natural spa where several falls fell into the one spot...making a bubbling/rushing section of water.

Once back, we were met by Mum and Dad and we had a picnic lunch. After eating, we walked to the cascades (between the middle and lower gorge) and swam there in little pools of running water. It was great to cool off, as the weather was hot at 34 degrees. Frey made a friend there and had fun building a mussel shell mural on one of the banks.
The next morning, Bec, Frey and I did the Island Stack walk. This walk goes up a sheer cliff face and onto a stack of rock that is surrounded by water. We walked around the stack, looking down into the Lower Gorge, which was magnificent and serene. We couldn’t take photos though, as this section was not allowed to be photographed by the public...but I tell you this....it was beautiful. At one point, we sat and had morning tea on the cliff top, looking down into the gorge, over rivers lined with cabbage palms and off into the distance into barren lands. It’s hard to believe that this paradise is out in the middle of what appears to be no-where. Even Bec said it’s like paradise...which is high praise from her! She didn’t even want to come into the place...

We finished our stay in Adels with another canoe trip up the gorge (this time with Mum and Dad too)...but we only stayed in the Middle Gorge and had a longer swim at Indari. Back at the camp, we all swam in the rapids below the resort and returned to the deep swimming of Lawn Hill Creek (with the pontoon).

I was pleased to get a few new birds here too....a channel billed cuckoo, a white browed buff robin and a purple crowned emu wren. God they are beautiful birds....the emu wren that is...although the robin was pretty nice too!

Thanks to Debra for making me watch Postcards last year on TV when they showcased Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill). After that...and Deb + Greg’s (and Mum and Dad’s) reports on Adels/Lawn Hill...we altered our trip and made the huge detour (900km round trip) to come into what has been one of the best places on our trip.
Even Adels Grove is worth the visit...it is an amazing place....a beautiful shady grove of trees on a magic coloured creek in the middle of nowhere. What is even more amazing is the grove was planted by a French botanist in the early and mid 1900s, so you have exotic trees growing along the side of the river. Adels Grove is actually an anagram of the botanist’s name....Albert De Le Strang! How’s that for a fact!!!!

It truly is paradise and anyone going past should make the effort to come in. It’s been a favourite of Bec, George, Frey and mine! Top of the list...alongside Jim Jim and Gunlom!

2 comments:

  1. Is there any reason for no photographs? Aboriganals?

    P.s i got first post!

    ReplyDelete