Is it a dream? Is it a mirage? No, it’s an oasis and it’s called Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park.
You’ll find it north west of Mount Isa – in a place that’s so far from the bright lights and city sights that time is best documented by the passage of the sun, not a watch and certainly not a schedule.
If the promise of red earth and emerald green waters isn’t enough to get you packing your 4WD for an off-the-beaten-track adventure to Gulf Country, we’re certain these five reasons will:
1. YOU CAN SLEEP IN THE SAVANNAH
If you thought savannahs were reserved for the continent of Africa, think again friends. Spend the night in Australia’s savannah country – in the epitome of outback accommodation, Adels Grove. This site has you covered with everything from safari tents just footsteps from the river, to air-conditioned ensuite rooms with all the creature comforts. A licensed restaurant cooks up bistro-style meals like lasagne and honey-mustard chicken all day long, or you can take advantage of the shared camp-kitchen facilities to DIY. After placating your hunger, retreat to your bed for a siesta accompanied by a soundtrack of chirping birds and rippling watercourses, the kind city folk pay good money to have emulated while lying on a beautician’s bench.
2. TAKE A GUIDED TOUR
Double the national park action with a four-day guided tour through Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park and the World Heritage-listed Miyumba (Riversleigh) Fossil Fields with a Savannah Guide tour. These adventures depart from Mount Isa on Mondays and Fridays and include food, accommodation, and a complimentary lesson in local history. Wrapped into a neat little tour package, it’s easy to see why these savannah guides have earned bronze, silver and gold tourism-award gongs for this very experience.
3. CAPTAIN YOUR OWN SHIP
See this landscape from a different angle as you paddle through canals below the towering Lawn Hill gorge walls. You can hire your own canoe from reception at the eastern end of the camping area, for a self-guided tour where you set the pace gliding over Lawn Hill’s smooth waters. Catch a glimpse of your own reflection and maybe even a turtle or two in the mirror-like waters. And keep your eyes peeled for purple-crowned fairy wrens and crimson finches frolicking along the creek’s edge. Trust us, the magic scenery will take your attention away from the ache in your arms!
4. SNAP THE SUNSET AT HARRY’S HILL
Introducing a hill named Harry – the best place to enjoy a sundowner with views over the gorge. Getting to Harry’s Hill is as easy as 1-2-sightsee thanks to the campsite staff who run daily afternoon drives to the top. Here, fuchsia-infused sun-down skies promise to play supermodel so even the most amateur of iPhone photographers can snap their way to Insta-feed glory. It’s no secret this daily dusk display is a must-see in Gulf Country.
Ps – if you’re looking for a good lookout, don’t forget to check out this post.
5. STEP BACK IN TIME (25 MILLION YEARS AGO) AT MIYUMBA (RIVERSLEIGH) FOSSIL FIELDS
You know a fossil deposit is good when David Attenborough describes it as one of the four most important in the world. Riversleigh does not disappoint. This is the grave of an ancient Australian forest and provides an insight into the Down Under of yesteryear. The area contains hundreds of fossil sites from up to 25 million years ago, and beneath the dry plains lie the ancestors of some of our country’s most recognisable animals. The fossils of kangaroos, koalas, platypuses and wombats found in the area are a paleontological record of Australia’s evolution and a visit here promises a museum experience minus the queues and souvenir shops.