Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park
Next on the list was Lawn Hill National Park, located about 4 hours drive north-west of Mount Isa. The park has many walking trails which showcase the spectacular views of Lawn Hill Gorge and Indarri Falls, but that’s another story. Lawn Hill Creek, which runs through the gorge, is fed all year round by underground springs which come to the surface at the top of the gorge.
We spent a few days in Boodjumulla (Lawn Hill) National Park and chose to camp at Adels Grove, just a short drive from the National Park itself. Adels Grove, a resort in the outback, rests on the banks of Lawn Hill Creek providing more excellent opportunities to use the inflatable SUP.
Adels Grove offers a variety of accommodation with permanent tents and air-conditioned rooms for those who don't have a tent, camper or caravan. It was just $30 per person, to enjoy a 2-course meal (set menu) at the restaurant every night. We also recommend you try one of the great burgers for lunch - delicious.
Packed with kayaks and a SUP, our next destination was Lake Julius – a large body of fresh water 100 kilometres northeast of Mount Isa. It can hold as much water as Sydney Harbour when full and is the largest freshwater lake in Queensland. Not bad for the outback!
Lake Julius is fed by the Leichhardt River and Paroo Creek, created for irrigation and water supply. Well known for fishing and boating, but also ideal for SUPing! The trip into Lake Julius is over a mostly unsealed road and the travel time from Mount Isa is between 2 and 3 hours – very undulating and quite corrugated. The scenery, however, is beautiful as you pass some of the highest peaks in the district.
Lake Julius is huge, and the view from the lookout reveals the twisting limbs of the water body protruding through the land. For some travellers, this section of the lake, with a multiple arch, buttress style construction of the dam, would be their best view. If you manage to have a SUP with you though, the place only gets better!
We launched off a jetty near a few well-shaded picnic tables and paddled around the corner and out of sight. The wildlife was abundant and was not startled as we moved silently through the water