Lewis' Exploring Oz

On and off the beaten track…………………….

Adels Grove – Sept 2011

Posted by lewisfamilyexploringoz on October 11, 2011

Roadwork but road still good

Gravel highway

What's left of tyre and rim

Hi Everyone,

Next day we packed down and left Karumba Point, stopping in Normanton for a few more supplies as groceries were very expensive in Karumba! We stopped at a rest area called Bang Bang for lunch, then continued on towards the Burke and Wills Roadhouse.  The road was a little better than the Savannah Way but it was still mostly single-lane bitumen for most of the drive there. We stopped for an ice-cream then drove on to Gregory Downs to free camp for the night. We stopped to collect some

Swimming hole at the Grove

Kids on the pontoon

Adults in the water too

firewood along the way but decided to keep it until Adels Grove in case we want to cook a roast or bread on the campfire.

We left Gregory Downs and headed into Adels Grove going via 90kms of gravel road. The first 10kms out of Gregory Downs was bitumen, the next 30km of gravel was like a highway, very smooth and wide.  However, once past the mine turnoff, the road deteriorates quite rapidly.   There were 2 different sets of road works and in between the roads were really rough.  The last bit of gravel after you turn at

Kids relaxing after swimming

Canoeing up Middle Gorge

more canoeing

Lawn Hill Station was the worst of the lot.  As we turned into Adels Grove we noticed we had done a tyre on the van and we hadn’t heard a thing.  We must have done it a little ways back as the rim was almost demolished! We pulled off the road as much as we could and changed out the tyre.  Peter from the workshop here came over to lend a hand which was very nice of him. We also noticed that when the tread came off it had destroyed a couple of the drains – nothing we couldn’t fix but it would have to wait until we got to Mt Isa for hardware supplies.  We headed into the reception area and were given a generator site. We only just managed to fit the van

Frogs everywhere

One of 3 springs feeding the creek

daniel trying his hand at camouflage

onto the site and it was out in the boondocks of the camping area as well.  I don’t think she liked us very much as there were heaps of sites closer to everything else than we were and they were all vacant for days! Not too worry we set up camp, had lunch and went down to the Grove for a swim. There were tyre tubes there for use for a gold coin donation to the RFDS. There was also a pontoon there so the kids were in heaven.  During the afternoon they met some more kids and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon, just coming back for something to eat! There was no mobile or rather very little mobile service at Adels Grove but back

Upper Gorge

Paddling back

Alexandra and Pandanus Palms

along the track, closer to the mine we knew there was good service.  Joel went out to make some calls to some tyre places in Mt Isa to organise a new rim and to replace all the tyres on the van as they are all quite worn.  He managed to get us booked in on Monday morning first thing which was great. We had an early night as we want to get up early and head off to Lawn Hill (Boodjamulla) National Park and take a canoe trip up through the gorges. Adels Grove is named after the French Botanist Albert De Lestang who had the property in 1930.  He planted a garden with species from all over the world, sold fruit and vegies and advertised “repairs,

Daniel on the falls

More falls

Wade paddling on his own

blacksmithing, carpentry and saddler as well as the purchase, sale or exchange of horses and motor vehicles, catering for motorists, drovers, bagmen and other travellers.” In the early 1950s Adels Grove was burnt down and he lost all his written records and planted groves.  He succumbed to a great depression and died in Charters Towers in 1959.

We woke up at 7am but it was bloody freezing so we had brekky and lazed around in bed until 8:30am! We dressed and then drove out to Lawn Hill National Park which was about 10kms from Adels

View from Stacks lookout

On our way back

Sunset from Harry's Hill

Grove. We walked down and hired 2 x 2 man canoes, which were $20 for an hour and they require a minimum payment of 2 hrs for each and if you return early, they refund you money.  We had a lovely chat to Don, the bloke in charge, and after telling us how to move the canoes up/between the gorges, we were off.  Joel and Wade in one and Daniel and I in the other.  We paddled slowly up the river through the middle gorge marvelling at the colour of the water which was a sort of emerald-green and the sheer contrast of the red rock of the gorges. It was absolutely gorgeous and the colours and remoteness reminds us of the Karijini gorges back in WA.  We paddled right up to the end of the middle gorge which ends at the Indarri Falls.  There is a jetty here that you can tie up your canoes and stay for a while or a bit further on you can pull your canoes up via some steel bars.  Once up on the bars you have to then carry the canoes for about 50m to put them back in the water in the upper gorge.  We decided to go on and see the upper gorge then come back for a swim at the falls later.  The upper gorge was just as magnificent as the middle gorge and we paddled as far as we could to the end, where we found three separate creeks/springs that feed the river.  The water is very clear and when we pulled up onto the “beach” there were frogs and tadpoles everywhere in the shallows and a heap of fish just

Injarri Falls

Daniel jumping off falls

waiting to feed on them.  We got out to stretch our legs and have a bit of an explore around the springs.  When we piled back in the canoes we swapped around and Joel and Daniel were in one and Wade and I in the other.  We paddled back down to the falls and took our canoes back around and tied them up on the jetty.  Then we all got in for a swim and the kids and Joel climbed up and jumped off the falls.  It was a great little area and a lovely way to cool off.  Wade wanted to have a go paddling around on his own and had a bit of fun with Joel in the water too. We had a bite to eat and drink then paddled back down the river admiring the scenery as we went.  We passed an overhang of rock that was full of swallow nests, the banks of the river were rock and green trees, and it was just beautiful.  When we brought the canoes back the guy let us have the extra time without paying which was great as we were closer to 3hrs than 2! We went back to the car for a top up of snacks and drinks and proceeded to do a 2km walk to the Cascades which was very disappointing as there

Wade jumping off falls

View from Injarri falls Lookout

was very little water and no falls! The kids returned to the car but Joel and I decided to climb up to the Stacks Lookout which was 200m straight up! We climbed up the steep and hot rocks and got a lovely view of the river and surrounding area.  We headed back to the car and then to camp where we had a very late lunch of burgers at 3pm.  We spent the weekend down at the Grove swimming in the water and jumping off the pontoon.  The kids met up with their new friends and we had a great swim.  We had booked in to do a sunset tour at 5:30pm so we quickly dried off and headed off to catch the bus.  The bus took us to a hill not very far away, called Harry’s Hill where we toasted to his memory and then Deb, our guide, gave us a bit of history about the place.  We had some nibblies and drinks and watched the sunset then back to camp.  As we had such a late lunch we had a quick dinner then watched a DVD for a while until the neighbours asked us to turn our generator off. They are supposed to be off at 8pm but we came to realise our neighbour was the gennie Nazi as he would

Pretty river spots

View from lookout on ridge

put his on so it faced us so we got all the fumes and noise, whereas we had ours behind us away from him – he really bugged Joel! Grrr.

Next morning wasn’t as cold and we headed back to the National Park for a 4km hike.  We walked back to Injarri Falls stopping to take some more photos and have another swim.  We saw a lot of finches and other birds along the walk as well as some pretty flowers too. We hiked back along the ridge and edge of the gorge stopping at a couple of lookouts on the way back too.  At the lookout at Injarri Falls you could see all the way up to the upper gorge above the falls; it was just beautiful.  We met up with Liz, Ken, Jack and Carla; the kids friends from the Grove and their parents who were canoeing today while we hiked. The last lookout on the hike back overlooked the middle gorge and camping area and was also quite beautiful.  The last part of the hike was a steep descent and we all agreed that we much preferred hiking down it rather than going up it!  After lunch Joel did some odd jobs while I collated more photos and the kids went back to the swimming hole to see if their friends were there.  Joel and I joined them later for a swim and spent the afternoon chatting to Liz and Ken. Ken was having some trouble with his electric brakes so Joel helped him fix them up then we all headed to the bar for a drink or two.  The kids got along very well and we had a great night.  We headed back to the van for a quick dinner and hoped there was enough power to watch another episode of VM. We are finding the batteries in the van aren’t holding enough charge from the solar panels and we have had plenty of sunshine on them so we’ll probably need to check them and get new ones in Mt Isa. The list of things to fix in Isa is getting longer.  The water here

Another view from lookout

is full of minerals and is also very drying on our skin. Wade and I seem to be having a reaction to it and have broken out in a “hive-like” rash.  Lots of moisturizer and aloe vera for us it seems!

Till Next Time



One Response to “Adels Grove – Sept 2011”

  1. Marge Hynoski said

    Greg and I were camped right near the swimming hole when we were there (no generators) and Merri and I had a soak in the Cascades…. .Marge

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