Tracks & Trails

Lawn Hill Gorge
Tracks & Trails | bushwalking | hiking | kayak | North West | Queensland

Lawn Hill Gorge

The jewel in the crown of Boodjamulla National Park

by Susie Baber  |  30 July 2022

The softly flowing waters of Lawn Hill Creek have carved a winding ribbon of green through the dry savannah. Surrounded by spectacular orange sandstone cliffs its emerald waters and lush vegetation make it a sight to behold. To best appreciate the gorge you can paddle, walk or do a relaxing guided boat cruise. Boat tours and canoe hire are available through Adeles Grove and should be booked before your arrival at the national park.


The first walk we had planned to do was Island Stacks – a 4km return track offering views of the Middle Gorge. Unfortunately due to the recent floods the bridge to Island Stack and Wild Dog Dreaming was closed, we will have to come back for those.

We did walk up to Duwadarri Lookout, a 300m steep climb to a viewpoint above the Lawn Hill Gorge campsite. The ascent to the top is challenging, but the views are stunning. From here we continued along the top of the cliffs, following the gorge, to Indarri Falls lookout and took the circuit track back to the visitor centre, approximately 3km circuit walk. The walks up to the lookouts are very uneven and steep and there is very little shade but if you are up for the challenge it is well worth the effort.

Other walking options include Constance Range – 3.7km return with expansive views over the Australian outback, and the Upper Gorge Track, a 7.2km hike along Lawn Hill Creek to the Upper Gorge lookout including another very steep climb.

Boodjamulla walking map


After our walk in the morning, before it got too hot, we packed our lunch and set up our inflatable kayak for a paddle. For cultural reasons kayaking and canoeing is not permitted in the lower gorge, there is a launching ramp at the lower end of the middle gorge, near the visitor centre. Once we were settled into our water craft and had negotiated who was doing most of the paddling (not me – I am in charge of photography) we headed upstream, gliding peacefully over the water.

The middle gorge from the launching area to Indarri Falls is about 1.5km one way, and if you just want to paddle this section you should allow about an hour. As you get closer to Indarri Falls you can hear the water rushing over the rocks. The falls are not tall, more of a series of small cascades spanning across the creek, but they are beautiful and in a boat you can get up quite close to admire them. Swimming is permitted in this area, just not under the falls as there is a croc living there who is a little territorial, not only could you end up with bite out of a limb you will also be fined.  At this end of middle gorge there is a ramp to pull your boat out of the water and after carrying it a short distance along the shore you can relaunch above the falls in the upper gorge.

Upper gorge continues to delight with spectacular turquoise waters and stunning red cliffs. There are less paddlers up here, the total distance for both sections is 2.8km one way and you should allow 3 hours to do them both. As the gorge starts to narrow it turns into a series of small channels and rapids until you can go no further. We went through one narrow section lined with pandanus trees, paddling hard against the current and were rewarded with a sighting of a crocodile sunning himself on a log. This was the only croc we saw on our paddling adventure, and he didn’t seem the least bit interested in us.

The paddle back downstream is, as you would expect, a little quicker. After all that hard work we cooled off with a swim at the falls before drifting back to the lower end of middle gorge and packing up the kayak.

Share this story