Tag Archives: lawn hill

Boodjamulla National Park

Boodjamulla (formerly Lawn Hill) National Park, is actually a very large place. It encompasses both the gorge area, Riversleigh fossil fields and beyond, all the way to the Northern Territory border.

A mere kilometre or so from the gorge, the landscape once again turns dry.

Lawn Hill Gorge

The geologists can’t help having a squizz at the rocks.

Lawn Hill Gorge

I was more interested in the flora. There were, once again, long wattles.

Lawn Hill Gorge

But I was more fascinated by this tree.

Lawn Hill Gorge

And the mottled bark pattern on its trunk.

Lawn Hill Gorge

Was it caused by insects or naturally occurring?

Lawn Hill Gorge – Part 4

Indarri Falls is a pretty popular place in the school holidays. But since we came in the late afternoon, and because the water was cool, there weren’t too many people.

Lawn Hill Gorge

We moored the canoe, put on our snorkel and mask, and swam in the cool water. I had heard that turtles, catfish and fresh water crocodiles lived there, but unfortunately all I saw were the ubiquitous archer fish. It didn’t however detract from the exhilaration I felt in swimming at such a delightful place.

Lawn Hill Gorge

We weren’t the only ones that liked this place. It’s a wonderful place to bring the kids.

Lawn Hill Gorge

Lawn Hill Gorge – Part 2

We canoed by sheer red sandstone cliffs.

Lawn Hill Gorge

Where gums precariously clung to life.

Lawn Hill Gorge

Despite there being numerous canoeists out on the water, there were still times when we seemed to have the gorge all to ourselves – and it was magical.

Lawn Hill Gorge

The area reminded me of my visit to Twin Falls Gorge in Kakadu National Park a few years ago, which also had sheer red sandstone cliffs, but there we travelled through the gorge by boat with a big group of tourists, not leisurely in our own canoe.

Lawn Hill Gorge

Century Mine

From the top of Lookout Hill, I could see the slag heaps of Century Mine on the horizon.

Century Mine from Lookout Hill

The mine is one of the biggest open-cut mines in Australia (perhaps the biggest), meaning it is a very, very big hole in the ground. They mine zinc and lead ore here, and it’s been going for 20 years.

Because it is an isolated place, and prone to flooding in the Wet, they had to build a lot of very clever infrastructure. They crush the ore and then dilute it with water. Then they pump it through 300km of pipes to Karumba in the Gulf of Carpentaria, where they ‘dewater’ the ore, put it on barges, and haul it 50km out to sea and on to the big export ships.

Century Mine from Lookout Hill

Hubby and a few of his colleagues got to go on a short visit, and he said the scale of everything, from the ‘tonka trucks’ to the big hole, was impressive. This is one of those operations where workers are flown in and out via their private airport, and where everything is self-contained.

The thing that got me about a mining operation like this is how efficient it was compared to, say, public transport in Sydney. I guess people in this country can make the effort to be efficient when there’s big money about. Public infrastructure however, makes no money, and so we’re left in the dark ages.

This mine is actually wrapping up operations pretty soon. But I doubt mining will disappear completely from the Lawn Hill area – there are plenty of other minerals about.

Cambrian Life

I wasn’t out in the field everyday (I was on holidays after all), but I liked to see what people brought in at the end of the day. One afternoon, Hubby returned with slabs of Cambrian trilobites and brachiopods. I was very happy because trilobites are my favourite fossils.

Fossils from Entrance Creek

I like their other-worldliness, these fossils being representatives from another time – when the Gulf Country and most of Eastern Australia was still under water, and when the only creatures on land were insects and spiders. Hubby suspected that there may be a new species in those slabs – he was only partially right.

This trilobite is a known species in the Gulf.

Fossils from Entrance Creek

We’re yet to find out what species this is.

Fossils from Entrance Creek

The ridged brachiopod (shell) is a known species, but those specimens came from western NSW. We’re yet to find out what species the smooth brachiopod is.

Fossils from Entrance Creek

These are giant burrows of some kind. So far no one has any idea of what could have made them. It must have been big, scary thing, whatever it was.

Fossils from Entrance Creek

And lastly, these are fossilised mud cracks! Surprising the things that survive.

Fossils from Entrance Creek