LAWN HILL NATIONAL PARK...any suggestions please.

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 28, 2008 at 19:32
ThreadID: 124497 Views:5131 Replies:10 FollowUps:1
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We are heading north from Rockhampton QLD before Easter in convoy with about twenty vans from our local caravan club. Will eventually get to Karumba in the gulf where we will leave the group and head west. The first camping spot will be Lawn Hill so I am asking for tips and ideas as to the best place to camp etc. I have got some info off the web but personal experiences can be more useful. Am feeling a bit lazy to do a search here so please forgive me.
Thanks in advance
Ern and Kay
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Reply By: Turist - Thursday, Feb 28, 2008 at 21:59

Thursday, Feb 28, 2008 at 21:59
Anywhere except the Lawn Hill Nat Park campground.
For the past few years has been managed by the local indigenous
Run down, overgrown, dead foliage.
This campground, in years past, was good, so much so that there was a waiting list.
The area is irrigated from the abundant water supply but these managers don't believe in turning it on.
The amenities were putrid when we were there last August.
There was rubbish around, the place was generally unkempt.
Bit like the places you have to get a permit for.

All that said the walks and swims are great.

However Adels Grove is OK.
Good amenities if you need them, a bar & restaurant and a small store.
Most campsites have their own fireplace but you need to bring your own wood.

So Adels and dinner for SWMBO.

Bob

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Reply By: Slider - Thursday, Feb 28, 2008 at 23:18

Thursday, Feb 28, 2008 at 23:18
hi there,

we camped at gregory downs near the river near the bridge you have to cross to get to lawn hill, but that was a few years ago and I dont think your allowed to camp there anymore
it was a great site!

AlthoughI must say I am a little envious of you going to Karumba we continued on to there after we had been to lawn hill, make sure you visit the barra farm at kurumba thats a great experience and a good laugh it tests the chickens from the real men at feeding time!!!

Happy travels

Suzanne
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Reply By: Motley - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 00:15

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 00:15
Ern,

What Bob said.

Also, we camped down near the Gregory River last year and it was a very pleasant spot.

Lark Quarry, about 100km south of Winton is also worth a look. Remains of a dinosaur stampede. Check at Winton first because entrance is on a guided tour at certain times. Area around Lark Quarry has some good isolated camping as well.

Half ya luck!
Motley

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Reply By: Turist - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 00:16

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 00:16
Camping on the river flats at Gregory Downs is still OK, or it was last August.
The Council is still putting out rubbish bins and collecting the waste.
There are a few drop dunnies.
All this in spite of a a few “Don’t camp on the riverbank” signs.

It does make for a long day if you use G.D. for a base camp for a return trip to L.H.G.

When finished at Lawn Hill I suggest taking the track north through Lawn Hill Station and Bowthorn Station. Turn North after you leave Adels, about 10 K east from memory.
Look for the “K F C” signs.
They are station tracks but usually in fair to good condition as there is very little traffic on them.
At the end of that track and still on Bowthorn you have Kingfisher Camp.
A little oasis, plenty of watered grass, large campsites, a lagoon one side and the Nicholson River on the other.

From KFC you go to Burketown and then Kurumba.
Good bread at the bakery in Doomadgee on the way past, but leave someone in the car.

Bob

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Reply By: Maximus - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 04:15

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 04:15
We did Karumba, King Fisher Camp,Adels Grove and Gregory Downs last year.
Adels Grove and Gregory Downs were probably some of the best places we stayed.
At Adels grove, we parked at the bottom amongst all the trees. Despite a 21' BT with Effie and a bit tight, we found a great spot. The other area is very dry and hot. Gregory Downs is a place you will not want to leave , if you get right onto the river. You will not find fresher water.

Barrie
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Reply By: Turist - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 05:08

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 05:08
If you read and want a good factual read about life in the Aussie outback there are two books worth reading, both written by the recently retired owner of Bowthorn Station.

Pieces Of Blue & Heart Country by Kerry McGinnis. (Read Pieces Of Blue first)

If you elect to take the track through Lawn Hill Station and Bowthown Station you will have an understanding of both the country and the people before you get there.

We had the pleasure of meeting Kerry and her brother and sister some years ago, very interesting people.

Bob
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Reply By: NIK `N` OFF - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 06:09

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 06:09
we also visited the area last year, wasn't impressed with either Lawn Hill or Adels Grove after hearing how great they were, dry & dusty, after visiting many other spots that were idylic i just couldnt understand the attraction.

We came in through Cammooweal and the track that takes you in to Lawn Hill, bypasses Drysdale Station but there are a couple of lovely camp sites on the Drysdale River before L.H.

Took the station track to KFC [Bowthorn Station] and loved it, an oasis of green & shady trees with plenty of roo's & birdlife, left there after a week and headed to Karumba on the Gulf, recent 4WD Monthly has a pic i took of mates van and the bulldust we encountered.

Cheers
Mick & Vickie

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Reply By: Leigh & Mita - Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 19:47

Friday, Feb 29, 2008 at 19:47
So Lawn Hill NP camping area has gone downhill since management has been handed over to the "locals"; thats really disappointing as we stayed there several years ago to 5 days before it was "handed over" and had no complaints.

While I agree that Gregory River is great camping its 90k from Lawn Hill. If you want to have a good look at Lawn Hill, enjoying the numereous walk and paddle a canoe up the waterways (canoe hire is available at Lawn Hill) you will need to stay out at Adel Grove which is only about 10k away.

Enjoy Lawn Hill as I doubt you will be disappointed.

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Reply By: The BrakeAways - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 04:40

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 04:40
We lived in the Isa for many years. I remember in the late 70s and early 80s camping at Lawn Hill while it was still part of Lawn Hill station. Initially it was pristine and you could camp anywhere. With mounting tourist pressure, it started to get grubby. The owners of the station then very kindly donated the entire area to the State of Qld and it was turned into a national park. You could then only camp in certain areas, but it was nice and tidy and well run. I haven't been back since it's been handed over, but it's very disappointing that it has gone backwards so much. In this case the worm has turned, but only in a negative way.
Reminds me of last year doing the Canning stock route. New rules came in last year that you can no longer go into Calvert Hills, which was one of the star attractions, because it is a sacred site. Our party chose to not go in (almost everybody else we met on the CSR went in anyway). There's only one aboriginal settlement on the CSR at Kunawaritji and nobody has any jobs there. Tourism really is the only credible employment prospects for most of these remote aboriginal communities, but they seem unable or unwilling to put the effort into providing tourist/tour facilities (with some notable exceptions). They could have made good money out of running guided tours of Calvert hills, but they make no money, and the (law-abiding) tourists see no sights! Sounds similar to Lawn Hill. The place is run down so nobody stays there anymore, so everyone is a loser!
Rick
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Follow Up By: Turist - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 05:13

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 05:13
Rick we also have been to Lawn Hill prior to the current management.
At that time we had to book in advance to secure the campsite.
The campgrounds were well maintained, watered grass, clean and tidy.
Rangers in attendance to give advice.
The campground was also full of campers, no free space at all.

Well the word must be getting out, last August the campground only had 3 campers, all in rented Britz type vehicles.
And as I said earlier, dirty, run down, no rangers present and this at the peak of the tourist season.

I took some visitors with me this time and have to say that I was embarrassed to do so.

But the natural beauty of the gorge overcomes those issues.
It is still well worth a visit, just don't camp there.

Bob
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Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 19:49

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 19:49
Thanks a million for all your replies. A lot of good meat to chew on.
cheers and beers
Ern and Kay
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