From above the Lawn Hill Gorge truly looks like an oasis.
The surrounds of the Boodjamulla National Park are rocky and dry. Yet cutting through the middle of my view is a snake of palm trees, fringing the Lawn Hill Creek.
From the water in the gorge I’d had an unique view of the beautiful red sandstone cliffs. But the walking trails, many of which lead people on top of those cliffs, provide a different perspective and help you appreciate the wider landscape and how strange this paradise looks within it.
After spending a few hours canoeing and swimming in the gorge the day before, I returned to explore by foot. There are several walking trails starting at the car park, ranging from level strolls along the creek to more difficult climbs to lookout points on the sandstone plateaus.
I came here with my parents, planning to spend only an hour or so doing some of the shorter walks, but the landscape is so captivating we didn’t leave until after dark.
We walked out to Cascades, a short and level walk, mostly along the water, to a small section of the creek shielding by high cliff faces. Being the dry season, the water level was pretty low, but I could see the rocks the water covers in the wet season to give the area its name.
On the way back to the car park Dad and I climbed up to the Inland Stack lookout, which is only 200m from the track to Cascades. It’s a very steep 200m though, which is why you get views like this at the top!
There is a circular track around the plateau, but at this stage we still planned to leave after lunch and didn’t venture beyond the lookout.
On our way back to the car I decided I wanted one last view from up top and so Dad and I thought we’d quickly squeeze in a walk to the Duwadarri Lookout, just 600m from the car park. The track is part of the longer walk to Indarri Falls, which the signs recommended be done in a clockwise direction. But because we wanted to go the quick way, we went anti-clockwise and faced a very sleet and narrow climb! It was worth it though.
This was where our plans got waylaid. “Let’s just go round to that bit of the track over there,” I said to Dad, pointing a few hundred metres ahead to where we would be able to look down on the creek. About half an hour later we’d completed the Indarri Falls Circuit and decided we wanted to spend the rest of the day here.
It was too hot for me to consider tackling the longer walk to the Upper Gorge, so instead we waited until late afternoon and ventured out to the Constance Range for sunset. Also worth it!
I couldn’t have walked more than 10km, but I was treated to so many different views of the Gorge, the cliffs and the surrounding Barkly Tablelands.
Here are some of my favourite photos from the walks around Lawn Hill Gorge and Boodjamulla National Park.