Lawn Hill National Park

Submitted: Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 13:35
ThreadID: 104971 Views:2548 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
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I'm thinking of heading up to Lawn Hill Gorge from Perth next year with a c/t.
The description in EO 'places' i.e. "dustbowl with little or no shade" is contrary to opinions of others who have been there.
Has anyone been to the campsite recently who could advise current conditions and best time of the year to travel there.
Also I believe that you have to book a campsite with Qld parks authority.
Are there other places in the vicinity of Burketown/Normanton which would be worth a look?
Thanks in advance
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 13:55

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 13:55
There are two camping areas.

One is in the National park and you need to book through them.
There are tree but fairly open.

The other is Adele's Grove just outside of the park. They have camping under very dense trees in the grove or alternatively they have sites that are more open in under sparse tree foliage.

Peak hour is after Easter through to the September school holidays. Super peak is end of June start of July.

It is just a short drive from Adele's to the park where you hire a canoe and go up through the gorge. Camping at either is convenient for visiting Lawn Hill Gorge.

Alan
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Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 14:19

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 14:19
Been there done that, echo every item in this reply
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Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 15:41

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 15:41
Hi DB, glad to see you read my comment in Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park in Places. We were there in Sept '11 and as you'd expect towards the end of the Dry it was a dustbowl. My comments still stand. Now the river is flowing and there's plenty of water but will the QNPWS put on the sprinklers to water the grass. No, in fact they have stopped any watering. You can see where I'm going with this. Does a NP have to be 100% natural or would a bit of green to camp on add to the amenity of the place?
Now Adels is privately run but it was still a dustbowl underfoot. Plenty more shade there thanks to the Frenchman's trees. Click on the pix in Places and read the comments.
While in the area the Mt Isa to Cloncurry drive is fantastic after all the flatness. Lots of old mine sites to visit. See Info centre at the Isa.......W
Warrie

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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 17:02

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 17:02
Ditto - much smarter in my view to stay at Adele's Grove - the attractions of the natural environment in the NP are amazing, but the high demand for the camp spots made their campground a fizzer for us (we don't book, anywhere). Adele's is great - check their site - we got mobile phone access from a small hill a short stroll away (Century Zinc Mine cell, I presume). The Riversleigh Fossil site is only a modest drive away too - a very significant paleo site.
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Reply By: Member - Chris_K - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 17:29

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 17:29
Hi Folks

We spend a little while at Lawn Hill a couple of months ago, and echo the thoughts above. The Riversleigh Rd (alternate route from Mt Isa to Lawn Hill) starts quite nicely, then deteriorates into a rough, rock littered goat track (albeit quite a wide one). Some nice shady river crossings - quite low when we got there - made it bearable. I'd avoid the Riversleigh Rd as a method of getting there though and take the main drag.

Adel's Grove is quite nice - and if you like proper amenities is a better place to stay in my opinion than the National Park. You can't use generators at The Grove (camping spot near the creek) but you can elsewhere at Adels, it's only a short drive from Adels to the gorge. Solar panels are also next to useless at The Grove due to the number of shady trees around.

All up the actual gorge itself is absolutely spectacular, and worth the trip.

In terms of camping spots around Normanton - there is a nice spot along the river (free camp) near Gregory Downs on the way to Normanton. There is also a camp along the way from Normanton to Croydon - called "Glenore" from memory. Didn't stop there - but it's not far out of town. If you are going that far - Karumba is a great spot if you like fishing - and the Karumba Sunset Caravan park is a great spot to do that. There are two caravan parks at Karumba Point - the Sunset one is the better. It's walking distance to the tavern that has quite good value meals, and a great spot to watch the sun go down over the water.

While up that way you could also check out Cobbold Gorge - the road in was also pretty ordinary in parts - but well worth a look, and the facilities are just great. We were also going to visit the Undara Lava Tubes - but ran out of time.

Chris
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Follow Up By: Member - DingoBlue(WA) - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 18:53

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 18:53
Thanks for the additional info Chris. Will start planning to include the spots you mentioned.
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Follow Up By: BUSH CAMPER - Monday, Nov 04, 2013 at 19:54

Monday, Nov 04, 2013 at 19:54
We were at Adel's grove in mid August this year, towed an Elite off road caravan from Mt Isa through Riversley road with no problems.
Just reduce tyre pressure on CT and tug, and drive carefully.
We did a day trip to Lawn hill for canoe trip ( great ).
Adel's Grove was pretty good a little dusty however it was the dry season and also in a drought so it's about what you would expect. We had a good time, but if we went again we would stay at the free camp at Gregory Downs which we thought was very good. We were camped right beside the river and stayed for 4 nights and wanted to stay longer but ran out of time.
It's about 80kms to Lawn hill, so a day trip would be good.
If you want to stay in the national park you need to book well in advance as there are not many camp spots.
If you do the the canoe trip, get there early in the morning as it gets pretty warm in the direct sun.
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Reply By: LJME & LMG - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 23:37

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 23:37
We were there the last week in August and stayed at both places.Adels Grove has good facilities and costs about $30 per night for two.The grove has full shade and is no good for solar! The cafe is great and there is access to the creek, but not the gorge - to access the gorge you must drive 10 kms to the national park.

The national park camping costs about $14 per night for two. It has cold showers and flush toilets and full mobile reception. There are 14 sites suitable for camper trailers with very limited shade and direct access to Lawn Hill creek gorges. Booking was a PITA but we managed (easiest done by phone) and QLD parks assure me that their on-line system would be upgraded by the end of this year!

Both places were dry and dusty but that did not bother us after a couple of months in the Kimberley.

We drove in from Camooweal via Riversleigh towing an off road camper (quantum) with no problem at all. The road crosses the O shanassy and Gregory rivers but towards the end of the season there was not a lot of flow. If you go that way and are interested, stop at the Riversleigh D site and have a quick look at the fossils. It doesn't take too long and saves retracing your steps. We drove out from Lawn Hill via Cheers
LJME
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Follow Up By: LJME & LMG - Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 23:45

Sunday, Nov 03, 2013 at 23:45
whoops, don't know what happened there.

via the Century mine and Gregory Downs which was also an easy drive.
End of August was very hot 34-38 degrees all week - would recommend June July.

We loved it and extended our stay. On balance we preferred staying at the NP campground, but both were good.
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Follow Up By: Member - Chris_K - Monday, Nov 04, 2013 at 18:03

Monday, Nov 04, 2013 at 18:03
Hi Guys - our camper was also a Quantum - and car & camper handled it all without incident. I'd still go the other way and not the Riversleigh Road, unless you are into fossils...our travelling companions blew a shock absorber off their "off road" camper on that road...! A couple of other people we spoke to also got stuck towing an off road van for a few days, as they had two tyres blow out...& had to wait for new ones from Mt Isa to be sent up.

I think the temperature in August was quite extra-ordinary this year - we were there about the same time - our first day (according to the folks at Adels) we were in the hottest place in Australia. They said it was quite unusual for that time of year....I'd still go in June/July as well (next time).

Chris
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Follow Up By: LJME & LMG - Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 16:38

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 16:38
Hi Chris
There were half a dozen AOR campers there both at the Grove and the NP - we had a little party - sorry you missed it!
Of course the condition of those roads can change over just a few days - especially when the cattle trucks are using them.
Bad luck for your fellow travellers, do you know what tyre pressures they were running? We used car: front 28 rear 30 camper: 24 psi cold (cooper ST max) and had a comfortable ride. Mind you after some of the Kimberley roads our judgement may have been skewed!
ljme
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Follow Up By: Member - Chris_K - Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 16:55

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 16:55
Hi Guys

Never mind maybe next time. We were using about 28-30 all round for the car and camper - with no problems. Not sure about the others, but in hindsight I should have checked!

Chris
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