Thursday, 4 August 2011

Road to Boodjamulla

Leichhardt River

We've returned to a land where communication is possible! Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park has been our base for the last few days, and what a fascinating place it is. But more on that later. First, we had to get there.

There's a lot of money in mining, evidenced by the excellent condition of roads that lead to the mines. The sealed roads north from Cloncurry to the Burke and Wills pub and then west to Gregory Downs were some of the best we've been on, and even when we hit the dirt after that they must be regularly graded and formed. It was only when we were within 50 km of Lawn Hill that we had to cope with large stones and corrugations. Of course the price we pay for all this is having to stop or slow down for the road trains to pass.

The Leichhardt River is a delightful spot but since the new high bridge has been built it's a bit tricky actually getting down to water level. A pair of Rainbow Bee-eaters were patrolling their patch near the bridge, flashing orange as they swooped to pluck insects off the water, and the martins have taken advantage of a new nesting site. Butterflies were taking advantage of flowering Cattle Bush, fluttering past us as we made our way down to the water - I suspect the two below are male and female of the same species (Valda, can you dig out your Braby and let me know?).

Gregory River is totally different. It has a wide gravel bed, it's fast-flowing and it's lined with palms and pandanas - delightful, especially when you add Crimson Finches. Our camping book states that camping beside the river banned but there were many, many campers there. The rule should be enforced because that section of this river is going to end up ruined. The free facilities opposite the pub are excellent and it's only a short walk to the river from there.

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